Femi Falana, the lawyer for Kano state musician Sharif Yahaya, took the state of Kano and the federal governments to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, in Gambia, for his client’s case.
Sharif was sentenced to death by a Sharia court in Kano for blasphemy against the Prophet, and Mr. Falana is appealing the verdict.
In a September 8 petition to the committee, Mr. Falana stated that his client does not trust the Nigerian government to grant him a fair hearing.
He accused the legal aid committee of failing to appoint a lawyer for his client at the lower court trial.
“An appeal has been lodged with the Kano State Supreme Court against the conviction and death sentence of the petitioner, but we believe that the petitioner will not get a fair trial as he continues to face imminent execution by hanging,” the petition states in part.
It also stated that in Nigeria “there is growing repression of human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and the rule of law.