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Six sharia convicts await stoning death in Nigeria

Fri 15 Feb 2008, 15:07 GMT
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LAGOS (Reuters) – Six people convicted by Islamic sharia courts in a northern Nigerian state are awaiting death by stoning, while 46 others are waiting for amputation, the official News Agency of Nigeria reported on Friday.

The men on death row in Bauchi state include a 52-year-old sentenced in 2004 for getting his teenage step-daughter pregnant and another who was sentenced in 2002 for having sex 13 times with his friend’s wife, the agency said.

The report did not say how many people were facing such penalties in 11 other northern Nigerian states that have criminal courts using sharia law. Such data is not collated centrally.

The Bauchi convicts awaiting the amputation of their hands include a 46-year-old trader, Husseini Maidoya, who was convicted in 2002 for hacking off the leg of his wife after accusing her of unfaithfulness.

A sharia court had then ruled that Maidoya be amputated without the application of anaesthesia.

The sentences have not been executed because the state government is yet to ratify them, the news agency said, quoting the acting secretary of the Bauchi state Sharia Consultative Council, Ishiaku Tijjani.

Bauchi is one of 12 states in Nigeria’s mainly Islamic north that adopted a harsh sharia-based criminal code eight years ago. The move alienated large Christian minorities and sparked bouts of sectarian violence that killed thousands.

Punishments have been rare since 2000 as several of the sentences, including those of six women condemned to death by stoning for adultery, were overturned on appeal.

But one man who was convicted of multiple-murder in Katsina state was executed in 2003. Another convicted of theft in Zamfara state had his left hand amputated in 2001.


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