UNICEF Expresses Concern Over Jailing of 13-Year-old Child in Kano for Blasphemy

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UNICEF Expresses Concern Over Jailing of 13-Year-old Child in Kano for Blasphemy
Nwolu Obiajulu

The United Nations Children’s agency, Unicef has condemned the sentencing of 13-year-old Omar Farouq to 10 years in prison with menial labour for blasphemy by the Kano State Sharia Court at Feli Hockey, Kano.

UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins condemned the sentence by the Sharia Court for uncomplimentary comments describing it as an abuse of child right.

“It also negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria – and by implication, Kano State – has signed on to,” Hawkins said.

According to him, the sentence was in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Nigeria approved in 1991. It is also a violation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child – which Nigeria ratified in 2001 – and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act 2003, which domesticates Nigeria’s international obligations to protect children’s right to life, survival, and development.

UNICEF urged the Nigerian Government to urgently review the case with a view to upturning the sentence of the minor convicted on on 10 August 2020.

The UNICEF representative stated that the case gives credence to the need to hasten the enactment of the Kano State Child Protection Bill so as to ensure protection of all children under 18, including the child who has been sentenced.

Peter Hawkins added, “ensure that all children in Kano are treated in accordance with child rights standards.”

The boy’s counsel, kola Alapinni on 9 September said he had filed an appeal against the judgement.

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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