3rd March, 2014
The Sokoto Shariah Court of Appeal in northern Nigeria has set aside the judgment of the Upper Shariah Court 2, which ordered the amputation of the hands of two commercial vehicle drivers.
The court ordered the immediate discharge and acquittal of the accused persons, Nasiru Abubakar and Anas Muhammed, who allegedly stole N10,000( about $60) belonging to a passenger.
The Upper Shariah Court had in 2010 ordered that the right wrists of the two accused persons be amputated, for allegedly stealing N10, 000 belonging to a passenger while on their way from Shagari Local Government Area to Tambuwal in the state.
The accused persons had been in prison custody in Sokoto since 2011.
A human rights activist, Malam Kabir Dodo, of the Office of the Special Adviser to Gov. Aliyu Wamakko on Human Rights and Donor Agencies, had filed an appeal against the ruling of the court.
Dodo urged the Shariah Court of Appeal to dismiss the verdict of the lower court, which ordered the amputation of the hands of the suspects.
The Judge of the Shariah Court of Appeal, Dahiru Danjega, held that the judgment of the Upper Shariah Court was not in tandem with Islamic principles regarding theft and amputation.
Danjega held that the judgment was against the principle of Islamic law, equity and justice, pointed out that the money that was allegedly stolen was not proved by the court.
The judge also noted that it was unclear who among the two suspects allegedly stole the said N10, 000.