Islamic Court in Nigeria Orders Amputations

Offenders Guilty of Assault and Robbery

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KANO, Nigeria, DEC. 19, 2001 ( An Islamic court in the northern state of Sokoto sentenced two men, convicted of assault and robbery, to suffer the amputation of a foot and hand, a local radio station announced today.

Enforcing the Shariah, or Islamic law, the Sokoto High Court on Tuesday condemned Sani Shehu and Garba Dandare to have their right hand and left foot amputated, after they admitted to their crime, Rima Radio reported.

The court stated that the accused entered a house one night in October, assaulted the residents, and stole valuable objects, including a television and motorcycle.

According to Judge Bawa Sahali Tambuwal, the court´s president, the crime is against the state´s Islamic law.

“Your confessions, the discovery of the objects you stole, and the physical state of the people who suffered the robbery are clear proofs of your culpability […], which goes against paragraph 155 (c) of the Shariah´s Penal Code,” he said.

“I give you 30 days to appeal this sentence. If you do not appeal, the sentence will be applied,” the court´s president added.

The two men said they do not intend to appeal. “We only hope in God´s mercy and hope that that will dissuade those who commit these crimes,” defendant Garba Dandare said.

A man had his hand amputated in Sokoto last August for stealing a goat. Over the past two years, 13 states have adopted Islamic law, despite opposition from the federal government, and Christian and human rights groups.

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