Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Nigeria: another stoning sentence overturned on appeal

This is yet another Sharia law story ... but check out why the sentence was overturned ...

From a December 11 story in the Vanguard ...
Daso Adamu was acquitted by the Upper Sharia court in Ningi on Thursday after the judge, Yusuf Suleiman, ruled that her being pregnant was not enough evidence to warrant a sentence that she be stoned to death.

"The court faulted the lower court's judgement, saying that since Daso became pregnant within two years of her divorce it was wrong to assume the pregnancy was illegal because there is the possibility that the pregnancy was from her former husband", defence counsel Abdulkadir Suleiman said.

Under the interpretation of Sharia in force in much of Northern Nigeria, it is regarded as possible that a "dormant pregnancy" might last up to five years from the end of a marriage.

Once a woman is married any sexual relation she conducts with a man other than her husband is considered adultery, even if she has divorced. (source)
And the following from a Reuters story published on December 9 ...
The judge said Adamu's four-month-old baby could have been conceived in wedlock, despite her earlier confession to having sex 12 times with another man. The confession was later retracted. The man was not charged due to lack of evidence.

[...] Ten Nigerian women have been sentenced to death by stoning since 12 northern states introduced Sharia Islamic law in 2000, shortly after democracy returned to the oil exporting nation following 15 years of military dictatorship.

But all have seen their sentences overturned on appeal. (source)