Africa

Nigeria's Zamfara Sharia court orders amputation

A man shows his amputated hand (archive shot) Image copyright AP
Image caption Only a few amputations have been carried out

An Islamic court in northern Nigeria's Zamfara state has sentenced two youths to amputation of their right hands for stealing a bull.

The court ruled that the wrists of Auwalu Abubaka, 23, and Lawalli Musa, 22, should be amputated in public.

Amputations under Islamic law are rare in Nigeria and the court said the men could appeal against their sentences.

Nigeria's government recognises aspects of Islamic law in its 12 mainly Muslim northern states.

Judge Muhammadu Abubakar, hearing the case in the village of Nassarawan Mailayi, said Abubaka and Musa had pleaded guilty to stealing the bull from a local resident.

'Market day amputation'

"Based on the admission of guilt by the two of you of trespassing into the house... and stealing a bull whose worth is well above the minimum value to warrant amputation, I hereby order that each of you should have his right wrist amputated," Judge Muhammadu Abubakar told the convicts.

The bull was valued at $867 (£544), reports say.

The sentence would take place on "market day [8 October] for members of the public to witness", Judge Abubakar said.

The judge, however, gave Abubaka and Musa the right to appeal against the sentence.

Zamfara was the first northern state to introduce Islamic law after Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999.

In 2000, Buba Jangebe made history as the first Nigerian to have an amputation carried out after the re-introduction of Islamic law after being found guilty of stealing a cow.

There was widespread international condemnation of the amputation and only a few such sentences have been carried out.

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