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Nigerian Archbishop welcomes reprieve for condemned mother

Nigeria's leading archbishop has applauded the decision of an Islamic appeals court to overturn the conviction of a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

The Tablet reports that the appeals court in the northern city of Katsina had examined Amina Lawal's appeal, and considered the verdict of the Upper Sharia Court "very wrong". Judge Ibrahim Maiangwa acquitted the 32-year-old mother of four.

Lawal had been sentenced to death by stoning under the sharia - or Islamic law - after giving birth to a daughter 10 months after being divorced. She said she had been raped by a man she thought was her friend.

"We are all very pleased that Amina Lawal has been acquitted", cardinal-designate Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Archbishop of Lagos, told the Missionary Service News Agency.

"Life is a gift from God, and that blood is life. Consequently, whoever sheds the blood of one of God's creatures offends God."

He said this teaching was found not only in Christianity but also in the Koran.

The Tablet

Stop the stoning - The suffering must end (Amnesty International) | Amina Lawal Wins Her Appeal!

8 Oct 2003