Final Decision Delayed on Woman Condemned to Stoning

FUNTUA, Nigeria, JULY 11, 2002 ( The Islamic Court of Funtua has postponed until Aug. 5 a decision on the fate of a woman condemned to death by stoning for adultery.

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Amina Lawal, 30, is the second Nigerian woman condemned for that offense. She was sentenced March 22 by an Islamic court in Bakori, in the northern state of Katsina.

Last month the court of Funtua allowed Lawal to return to her village to take care of her 6-month-old daughter.

Lawal’s lawyers, contracted by an association of women’s rights, want the sentence of death by stoning to be declared unconstitutional.

“We want the state to modify the laws on the death penalty, but this will take time. When one of these condemnations is declared unconstitutional, this sentence will be extended to all cases,” Lawal’s defender, Hauwa Ibrahim, told the press.

President Olusegun Obasanjo’s federal government has declared the Shariah, or Islamic law, to be contrary to the Constitution, and has appealed to the northern states to give evidence of moderation.

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