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Aminu Yahaya Sharif
The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), has heralded the release of the 22-year-old musician in Kano State, Aminu Yahaya Sharif, who was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy in August 2020, with celebration.
Aminu was accused of circulating a song on WhatsApp that allegedly contained derogatory comments against Prophet Muhammad.
COSON had joined several others in a major campaign to overturn the death sentence on Aminu and to spare his life.
In his “No Music Day” address to the nation issued from COSON House in Ikeja, and syndicated on multiple media platforms on September 1, 2020, the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, had said, “as we mark No Music Day, we wish to humbly appeal for the pardon of the 22-year-old musician in Kano State, Aminu Yahaya Sharif, who was recently sentenced to death for blasphemy. We wish to state that we are an organisation representing the interest of musicians and others in the music industry”.
Continued Chief Okoroji: “Our organisation is neither religious, political nor tribal. We have members from every state in Nigeria belonging to different religions and different political parties and we respect the beliefs of each of them. We make our appeal on completely humanitarian and compassionate grounds and hope that other organisations and individuals will join us in pleading that the life of this young Nigerian is spared”.
Subsequently, on January 21, 2021, an Appeal Panel ordered that the case of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu be retried by a different judge based on the fact that he was never represented by any counsel throughout his trial.
It is reported that the Executive Secretary of Kano State Films and Video Censorship Board, Ismaila Na’abba Afakallah who reported the singer to the DSS which later arrested him, has confirmed Aminu’s release from custody.
An elated Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, expressed tremendous joy that the life of Aminu Yahaya Sharif had been spared.
Said Okoroji: “At a time when the lives of innocent Nigerians are being wasted carelessly everyday across the country, it is fantastic to hear that the life of this young musician has been spared. Life is too precious to be taken away by human beings who cannot restore it.
“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all organizations and individuals who lent their voices and took steps to ensure that Aminu’s life is spared. I also want to thank the authorities in Kano for listening to our plea”.