(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Man sentenced to stoning for sex with step-daughter

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IRIN

A Shari'ah Islamic court in northern Nigeria has sentenced a man to death by stoning for having sex with his 15-year-old step-daughter and making her pregnant, court officials said on Tuesday.

Umaru Tori, 45, was sentenced to death for adultery last week by a court in Alkaleri, a provincial town in Bauchi State.

His step-daughter was sentenced to 100 strokes of the cane, to be administered after she has given birth to her baby, since she was an unmarried minor.

A senior official of the Bauchi State Shari’ah Court of Appeal confirmed the judgment and said both convicts had a 30-day period until January 29 in which to appeal against their sentences.

Bauchi is one of 12 states in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north that began adopting strict Shari'ah law four years ago.

This prescribes several controversial sentences, including stoning to death for adultery, the amputation of limbs for stealing and public flogging for drinking alcohol.

While some amputations and floggings have been delivered, no one has so far been executed by stoning in Nigeria.

Tori is the eighth person to be sentenced to death by stoning in northern Nigeria in the past three years.

So far three death sentences have been overturned on appeal, the most recent being that of Amina Lawal, a 32-year-old single mother. Her sentence was quashed by an appeal court in Katsina state in September.

Lawal's case attracted a wave of international interest and outrage since the man she had accused of fathering her baby simply denied having sex with her and was acquitted.

Four people are currently awaiting the outcome of their appeals against stoning sentences in Nigeria.

Two are former lovers in Niger state and two are men in Bauchi state convicted of separate sexual crimes.One was sentenced to death for sexually molesting three teenage boys. The ofther confessed to adultery with his neighbour's wife after putting her in a spell.

The application of strict Shari'ah has heightened tension between Nigeria's Islamic north and the largely Christian south. This has given rise to periodic outburst of sectarian violence in which thousands of people have died in the past four years.

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