An Upper Sharia Court sitting in Kano has sentenced controversial Islamic cleric Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara, to death by hanging.

The embattled Nigerian cleric was arrested and detained by the state government for allegedly making blasphemous statements against Prophet Muhammad. According to the charge, his statements are capable of disrupting public peace.

Abduljabbar was charged on July 16, 2021, by the Kano state government before Justice Sarki Yola over alleged blasphemy and incitement.

Abduljabbar Kabara is famous for his controversial religious commentaries and statements, which some Muslims have regarded as sacrilegious to Prophet Muhammad.

On Thursday, the court sentenced the cleric to death by hanging.

After delivering the judgement, Justice Sarki Yola gave the convict 30 days to appeal the judgment or forfeit his right to do so.

The judge also ordered the state government to seize two mosques belonging to Abduljabbar and called on all media to desist from using any of Abduljabbar’s teachings and pictures, Daily Trust reports.

Before giving his verdict, the judge said, “I am convinced that the prosecution counsel has done their part and proven their points beyond a reasonable doubt.”

He thereafter convicted the defendant of all the charges levelled against him.

However, there was a mild drama in court when Barrister Aminu Ado Abubakar, who stood as the defence counsel asked the court to accord leniency to Abduljabbar for he did what he did out of ignorance.

At that point, Abduljabbar stood up and said he did not know the lawyer.

According to the cleric, he was seeing the lawyer for the first time.

“I don’t know him. This is the first time I am seeing him. He should not be allowed to speak on my behalf. I can and should be allowed to speak for myself,” he said.

The judge however said the lawyer was recognised by the court as the defence counsel.

“My lord, after I heard how you twisted all my evidence, you turned around all my submissions upside down, you have assigned words to me that I have never uttered.

“Deliver your judgement, and I am not asking for leniency at all. I want all my followers to know that I will die a hero and I don’t want you (the Judge) Ibrahim Sarki Yola to do me any favour or grant me leniency. This is my last word. Assalamu Alaikum,” he said.