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Upper Sharia Court to Rule in Hajara’s Appeal November 10

Vanguard, Nigeria
Oct. 28, 2004
Sule Lazarus • Friday October 29, 2004

Hajara Ibrahim, the teenager condemned to death by stoning by the Lere Sharia Court in Bauchi State for being pregnant outside wedlock is to know her fate, November 10 when the upper Sharia court, Dass entertaining the appeal filed against the lower Sharia court judgment will give its verdict.

The family of Hajara appealed against the Lere Sharia court judgment, arguing that there was no justice in the verdict that was meant to end their daughter’s life by stoning.

When the case came for hearing at the Dass upper Sharia court Wednesday counsel to Hajara Mr Abdulkadi Suleiman said the judgment of the lower court lacked merit, pointing out that the court sentenced her to death by stoning and at the same time to 100 strokes of the cane. He maintained that the learned trial judge of the Lere Sharia court erred in law when he convicted Hajara for adultery when she was not even a party to the case before the court. He explained that the case brought before the court was Hajara’s father versus the man suspected to be responsible for the pregnancy and the court dragged the girl into it.

The counsel argued that the trial judge also erred in law for asking Hajara to produce her witness when she was not the person standing trial before the court. He also said the trial judge in the Lere Sharia court erred in law when he convicted Hajara to be stoned to death when there was no evidence before the court that the convict was once married and the marriage was consummated. “To my mind what he should have done is to investigate to know when and how she was married.”

According to him, the judgment of the Lere Sharia court was nullity in the sense that the right of Izar was not accorded her. By that right, the convict is by Sharia law expected to express her mind concerning the judgment before judgment is passed.

Suleiman said that the entire judgment was wrong when the court passed both the sentence of canning and stoning to death when the law provided for one as agreed by the Majority of the Ullama, adding that the judgment was a miscarriage of justice, equity and fairness as preached by Islamic law.

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