AFP, Aug. 19, 2002
by afp in FUNTUA, Nigeria
An Islamic court has dismissed the appeal of a young Nigerian woman sentenced to death by stoning for bearing a child out of wedlock.
A cry of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) resounded around the courtroom when judge Aliyu Abdullahi ordered that Amina Lawal, 30, should be executed once she has weaned her eight-month-old daughter Wasila.
The Sharia court granted the defence 30 days to appeal, an offer they immediately accepted, as Amina was escorted away in tears by her lawyers.
If the sentence is carried out, Lawal will be the first Nigerian woman to be stoned to death since 12 mainly Muslim northern states began reintroducing the Sharia legal code in 1999.
The verdict was a blow to a coalition of lawyers and rights activists who had backed Lawal’s case as part of a broader campaign against what they see as injustices and excesses carried out under the Sharia.
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“Based on proofs derived through our investigations and through Islamic books I, Aliyu Abdullahi, and my three assistants hereby uphold the judgement passed by Bakori Sharia court,” the lead judge said.
“We uphold your conviction of death by stoning as prescribed by the Sharia. This judgment will be carried out as soon as your baby is weaned,” he told Lawal, as she cradled her baby Wasila on a bench before the judges.