Singer Ahmad Abdul was released on conditional bail after the Department of State Security (DSS) detained him for releasing a song Barhama Gwaska, which was deemed “blasphemous”, Daily Post reported in June 2021.
According to The Guardian Nigeria, the arrest concerned the reference to the popular figure in Kano, Ibrahim Nyass, as “the man of extraordinary qualities”. The song faced backlash from the Muslim community, who deemed the song to be against Islamic teachings.
The Executive Secretary of Kano State Films and Video Censorship Board, Ismaila Na’abba Afakallah, stated that the release of the song had reportedly triggered hundreds of petitions against it, prompting him to report the matter to the Department of State Security for the musician to be taken into protective custody for safety. The artist apologised to Kano People’s, Ulamas, Government and the State Censorship Board.
Freemuse’s State of Artistic Freedom 2021 report states that in 2020, gospel singer Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to death in Nigeria for a song that was deemed blasphemous. He was among three people who, in 2020, faced severe consequences under the Kano State’s Sharia law on blasphemy.