Sufiyatu Huseini (also referred to as Sufiya Hussaini in earlier reports) is still awaiting a decision from an Islamic sharia appeals court that will determine whether she lives or dies. Huseini is accused of adultery, and a lower court has sentenced her to death by stoning. Husseini, however, claims that she was raped three times by her neighbor, Yakubu Abubakar, which resulted in the birth of her infant daughter. In the courtroom, Abubakar denied ever having met Husseini and pled innocent. The court ruled that there was not enough evidence against Abubakar to press charges against him. “Yakubu was exonerated,” said Huseini after the trial. “I felt like dying that day because of the injustice.” Huseini also claims that she had witnesses to attest to the fact that Abubakar was acquainted with her and admitted to be the father of the child. Says Huseini, “I don’t know why they were not listened to.”
Husseini, 35, is divorced and lives in the Islamic state of Sokoto. Officials from Sokoto state have explained that because Hussaini is divorced, the court can sentence her to death if she is found to have had consensual sex. Had Hussaini never been married, she could have received one hundred lashes for pre-marital sex. At least twelve Nigerian states have adopted Islamic sharia law. Sokoto, however, has one of the strictest versions of the already severe code, and Huseini’s lawyer, Abdulkadir Imam Ibrahim, has indicated that people in Sokoto warned him that they “wanted to see someone stoned.”
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