Following the intervention of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) seeking a review of the judgment by a court in Kano jailing a 13-year-old boy to 10 years imprisonment for blasphemy, the state’s Attorney General and commissioner for Justice, Musa Abdullahi Lawan has responded that the government cannot meddle in judicial affairs.
On Wednesday the UNICEF’s country representative in Nigeria Peter Hawkins had called on the Nigerian Government and the Kano State Government to reverse the court order as it negates the principles of child rights and justice in the country.
Reacting to the call, the commissioner said the global agency was wrong in asking the state government to intervene in a judicial process.
“For UNICEF to say that the state government should intervene, of course there is no country where government intervenes in court cases. Once there is judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction, the next thing if there is problem with the judgement the aggrieved party can file an appeal,” he said.
“And in this instance he has the right of appeal to the High court, to the court of appeal and to the Supreme Court and so if indeed he is a minor, record will show that and if he files an appeal like you know under the law a minor cannot be held accountable especially in criminal cases. So, I think it is wrong for UNICEF to say the state government should intervene,” he added.
“Not even here but Europe and America, they do not intervene in court cases. Once there is a valid judgement, there is a valid judgement there whether the judgement was rightly entered or not it is a subject of appeal. And as per as I know he has filed an appeal so the best thing for us is to wait and see the outcome of the appeal.”
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