An upper Sharia court in Kano state ruled that Yahaya Sharif-Aminu committed blasphemy in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March.
Sharia courts in majority Muslim northern Nigeria have handed down death sentences for adultery, murder and homosexuality before but to date no executions have been carried out.
“The court handed down the death sentence as enshrined in Islamic laws based on irrefutable evidence and the convict’s admission of guilt,” Ibrahim said.
22-year-old Sharif was accused of blaspheming the Prophet in a song he shared on social media in March, which caused riots in the city.
Angry mob burnt Sharif’s home and took to the streets demanding his prosecution, leading to his arrest.
Ibrahim said Sharif had legal representation during the four-month trial which was held behind closed doors for security reasons.
Sharif, a Muslim singer, belongs to a separate branch of Tijaniyya Sufi order, whose beliefs are considered heretical because of their different interpretation of some basic Islamic principles.