Nigeria: Thieves sentenced to amputation

2011-09-09 14:22

Gusau - An Islamic sharia court in Nigeria has sentenced two men to amputation of their right wrists for stealing a bull, with the amputation to be carried out in public if it is given final approval.

The sharia court in the village of Nassarawan Mailayi in the northern state of Zamfara on Thursday ordered that Auwalu Abubaka, 23, and Lawalli Musa, 22, have their right hands chopped off for stealing a bull worth 130000 naira ($867).

However, the two men have 30 days to appeal their sentence and the state governor must approve any amputation. Such sentences have only rarely been carried out in Nigeria.

"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 said.

"I hereby order that the sentence be carried out on October 08, on market day for members of the public to witness."

The convicts were arraigned on August 08 following complaints to the police by a resident accusing them of stealing his bull from his house, which led to their arrest, court documents showed.

Sharia law is in place across 12 states in predominately Muslim northern Nigeria, but it is selectively enforced.

It provides for amputation of the wrist for theft and it would be the second time such a sentence is handed down in Zamfara, the first of Nigeria's 36 states to reintroduce sharia law after the country returned to democratic rule in 1999.

In 2001, a notorious cattle rustler had his right wrist amputated following conviction by a sharia court in the state capital Gusau for stealing a bull after the then state governor approved the sentence.

The amputation drew outrage from local and international rights groups, which led to the overturning of more than a dozen amputation sentences across the 12 predominantly Muslim states.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation, and its 150 million people are roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.

  • scott - 2011-09-09 14:29

    bring the law to S.A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Nepster10 - 2011-09-09 14:40

      It will bring the crime stats down significantly.

      Ascendo Tuum - 2011-09-09 14:44

      Only problem with that, we would end up with a one handed work force!

      steve - 2011-09-09 15:17

      Correction to the comment above. We would have a no handed work force. Our thieves are stupid enough to do it twice.

      mickh - 2011-09-09 15:22

      One handed politicians as well.

      burtfred - 2011-09-09 15:26

      Then they would all have to get hands-free car kits

      Bob - 2011-09-09 15:32

      Amputate their wrists, gee could have been worse they could have amputated their hands.

      Stinkhout - 2011-09-09 15:47

      I must hand it to them that this is a very handy law. Let’s give the handsome criminals a hand.

      Wes - 2011-09-09 16:34

      Imagine how many hands will be for sale on the black market

      Banned - 2011-09-10 03:37

      Cant beg with only one hand, how will he hold his castle?

  • Palesa Masoeu - 2011-09-09 14:35

    Wish we had this law in SA,not only for theft but for rape also.

      Swart_Baas - 2011-09-09 14:44

      100% agreed!!! for rape the front bone would have to be "amputated". brilliant!!!!!!!!!

      meelo - 2011-09-09 16:09

      Palesa this if you rape according to Sahria they kill you. A women is raped every 16 seconds, but somehow women are free and liberated

  • WinnieThePoo - 2011-09-09 14:35

    Hmmm, sounds like quite a deterrent for future thieves. Apply this law here and add one for rapists. Just obviously substitute hands for .. well .. you know ...

  • talkischeap - 2011-09-09 14:36

    Imagine this happening in South Africa. Every where you will see people walking with amputated hands (and hopefully penises for rapists).

      amos - 2011-09-09 21:54

      No you wont cause the crime rate will be near zero.

  • IC1 - 2011-09-09 14:37

    Imagine how many ANC minustas would be hobbling around on 1 leg, bargain!

      vis vang - 2011-09-09 15:53

      Can you imagine how white collar criminals like Maureen Clifford and J arthur Brown would wipe their a!@# with no hands.

  • AntiRacist - 2011-09-09 14:38

    We need this in SA, oh but then how they going to work, we will as tax payers still carry the burden, Just hang them and get done with it!

  • Han Solo - 2011-09-09 14:39

    I agree with the punishment, but I'm not so sure this punishment should be dealt out by religious cults. Religions are not known for reason and logic. Quite the opposite in fact.

      meelo - 2011-09-09 16:11

      Han Solo then by who goverments ? who all corrupt

  • Captainmorgan - 2011-09-09 14:40

    Nigeria can lend SA a hand (or two) to get our crime rate under control , hope they do chop chop

  • PEA - 2011-09-09 14:46


  • falcon2020 - 2011-09-09 14:46

    now were talking!

  • BokBru - 2011-09-09 14:49

    Fantastic!! Wish it was like this in SA. Imagine all the men being turned into woman convicted of rape. Haha!!

  • Fedup - 2011-09-09 14:58

    WTF ..... Brillient

  • Kev - 2011-09-09 15:00

    amputation OF their right wrist??? Maybe of their right HAND? how do you amputate a wrist? remove the hand, cut off the wrist and re-attach the hand higher up??? Just wondering.

  • kgaogelodp - 2011-09-09 15:04

    I wonder what happens if you are found guilty of rape!

  • DiePriester - 2011-09-09 15:04

    That's why they're all in SA.

  • The Dude - 2011-09-09 15:04

    if it was in SA we would have the guiness record for the most one handed members in a political party ..

      vis vang - 2011-09-09 15:55

      Oh, only politicians commit crimes. What a perfect world you live in.

  • Hiresh Narsai - 2011-09-09 15:06

    thats extreme!

      George - 2011-09-09 17:34

      Yeah..Hiresh,,you like like a nice Muslim.....what you say..doesnt your conduct expect that......sharia law....

      Banned - 2011-09-10 03:41

      George you racist, Hiresh is not a muslim name

  • derkus - 2011-09-09 15:07

    bring it to South Africa and we will have a lot of [h]armless people

  • 50something - 2011-09-09 15:12

    Way to go!!!

  • vsquad - 2011-09-09 15:13

    a criminal without hands = harmless. think this could work in SA..

  • chirimuhomwe - 2011-09-09 15:20

    do they give you a sedative before the do that

  • chriscdow - 2011-09-09 15:34

    What on earth is wrong with all of you? It's barbaric!

      Protest - 2011-09-09 15:49

      Crime is barbaric!

      meelo - 2011-09-09 16:13

      chriscdow It is Barbaric we agree but do you have an alternate solutions. No you dont !

      chriscdow - 2011-09-09 17:45

      Meelo: You agree that it's barbaric but you support it nonetheless? Why should I propose an alternate solution? There are human rights groups who are sufficiently vocal for the message to get across.

      me - 2011-09-09 20:24

      AND UNJUST...for there are more natural/medical amputees and industrial accidents than convicted cattlethieves.

  • Juliana - 2011-09-09 15:57

    Very good law and this is what we need in South Africa. The only problem will be that the majority will only have one hand!

      Subzer0 - 2011-09-09 16:10

      Ever heard of white collar crime?

      50something - 2011-09-09 16:26

      Subzer - you want to cut off the collars?

      me - 2011-09-09 20:22

      And should you loose a hand in an accident you'd be happy parading in public to be seen as a thief....I don't think so. THINK and then SPEAK...

  • Max - 2011-09-09 16:00

    Not just one handed but possible without their tool as well. Eish bring it on baby.

  • capetonian - 2011-09-09 16:23

    I see some of you lot like this "law". Perhaps you should ask what they do to "adulterers"!! It was only the result of an international outcry that stopped a woman in Iran from being stoned to death. It's the same set of laws that is followed by the Taliban in Afghanistan! Extremely patriarchal and definitely not in line with what our constitution stands for.

  • George - 2011-09-09 17:33

    They should start that here to.......YEAH RIGHT............

  • Verdade - 2011-09-09 18:03

    If they apply this law in SA then 80% of the Government employees will be one arm bandits!

  • stefventerza - 2011-09-09 18:21

    And they call themself human, How can those people provide in the furture for families, children and so forth, Rather give them labor sentence or something more human like, Not like barbarians. Who gives people right to give such harsh convictions for a minor crime. Rather concentrate for more harsh punishments on bigger crimes and live a proper democratic life.

  • Glennm - 2011-09-09 19:17

    We should punish aliens in SA according the law of their country. Let see how many one arm bandits there will be walking around....mmmmm.....thousands.

      me - 2011-09-09 20:18

      hope you loose your hand in an accident and chew on your words afterwars..... I am an amputee AND I DID NOT STEAL!!!

  • me - 2011-09-09 20:15

    So everyone with an amputated wrist is labelled a thief...spare a thought for the honest people who lost their hand, finger etc in an accident and/or were born limbless. I am an amputee, but due to an industrial accident. Please think prior supporting such physical punishment.....

      PinkAndProud - 2011-09-10 00:55

      You type very well with one hand.

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