An Islamic court in northern Nigeria has discharged and acquitted a pregnant teenager of her conviction for adultery, for which she had been sentenced to be stoned to death.
Presiding judge Muhammad Mustapha Umar of the Upper Sharia court said on Wednesday that the lower Sharia (Islamic law) court was wrong in sentencing Hajara Ibrahim, 18, to death by stoning last October.
“This court observes the following faults in the lower court judgement. Firstly, the judge was wrong in sentencing Hajara to 100 lashes and death by stoning, all at the same time,” he said.
“Secondly, Dauda Sani was charged to court for having an affair with Hajara which he denied. Therefore, the lower court should have dismissed the case and sentenced Hajara’s father who was the plaintiff to 80 lashes for slander.”
The judge at the court in Dass, in the northern Bauchi state, said the lower court also erred by not giving Hajara the chance to defend herself.