Nigerian sheikh sentenced to death for blasphemy
A Sharia court in the northern Nigerian state of Kano has sentenced a prominent Islamic cleric to death by hanging, after finding him guilty of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad as well as incitement in some of his preaching, although he denies the charges.
Sheikh Abduljabar Nasir Kabara has been detained by the authorities since July last year after being accused of spreading lies against the Prophet - charges which he denied.
The trial is being closely followed by Nigerians. Kano is among a dozen states in northern Nigeria where Sharia is practised alongside the country’s secular law.
The 52-year-old scholar is from the Qadiriyya sect. He has a sizeable number of followers mainly in Kano state.
His father was the leader of the sect in West Africa until his death in 1996.
Sheikh Abduljabar has the right to appeal against the judgement.
Death sentences in Nigeria are rarely carried out. Instead, convicted people are usually kept in prisons indefinitely.