On Defending Safiyatu Hussaini and Amina Lawal
Aliyu Musa Yawuri
Aliyu Musa & Co.
SHARIA IMPLEMENTATION IN NORTHERN NIGERIA 1996-2006: A SOURCEBOOK, Vol. 5, pp. 129-139, Philip Ostien, ed., Spectrum Books Ltd., 2007
Safiyatu Hussaini was convicted of zina and sentenced to stoning to death by the Upper Sharia Court in Gwadabawa, Sokoto State, in October 2001. When news of this got out, a number of Nigerian NGOs, federal government agencies, and individuals combined in a 'stakeholders’ group' to prosecute Safiyatu’s appeal to the Sharia Court of Appeal of Sokoto State. The author second-chaired that appeal, in which the Sharia Court of Appeal quashed Safiyatu’s conviction and discharged and acquitted her. Amina Lawal was similarly convicted of zina and sentenced to stoning to death by the Sharia Court in Bakori, Katsina State, in March 2002. The same stakeholders’ group also rallied to her defense; the author was Amina’s lead counsel in her appeals first to the Upper Sharia Court, Funtua and then to the Sharia Court of Appeal of Katsina State, with the same ultimate result: the conviction was quashed and Amina was discharged and acquitted. This essay describes the author’s involvement in the two cases, the work of the stakeholders’ group, the decorum with which the appeals were conducted (so as not to outrage northern opinion) and some breaches thereof, why some legal issues were not raised, and the case of Hauwa Ibrahim, who achieved fame in the West based on her involvement in the two cases.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: Nigeria, Islamic law, sharia, zina, Safiyatu Hussaini, Amina LawalAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 8, 2009
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.469 seconds