This version of events was refuted by Fatima Usman`s own account and the testimony of relatives, friends and lawyers who had tried to establish her whereabouts. [They] forced him to release my daughter.  Other lawyers and people concerned about Fatima`s safety also confirmed that her whereabouts had been unknown for several weeks.  To add an extra layer to an already complex problem, there is the fact that many of the recent codifications of Muslim laws have been a political game. People become victims of identity politics and are forced into positions where they feel they have to prove their piety, with a particular emphasis on morality. Ironically, this attention to morality did not include prosecutions for aggravated embezzlement and corruption, nor legislation regulating or prohibiting interests and usurers, or institutionalizing zakat (the tenth charitable organization that is supposed to care for the poor). Instead, issues of human rights and control of sexuality are highlighted. The most conservative and restrictive positions are adopted on these issues – such as the denial of the existence of liberal interpretations of reproductive and sexual rights. Predominantly Muslim lawyers accept contraception and abortion for up to 40 days – but Muslim religious rights in Nigeria try to deny even knowledge of contraceptive techniques because they are prohibited and promote immorality.
The result is that women`s interests and rights are ignored or sacrificed to appease religious rights and their maintenance of male domination. About three weeks later, on 27 August 2002, the same judge amended the verdict on the grounds that Sharia law now existed in Niger State and sentenced Fatima Usman and Ahmadu Ibrahim to death by stoning.  None of the defendants were present in court when the new verdict was announced and were not directly informed of this development. Fatima Usman explained how she found out: “We didn`t know that the judge had overturned the case for stoning  We were taken back to the same court. They didn`t tell me anything. They just asked me to sign a paper. I didn`t know what it was. They didn`t read it to me. On the same day, I knew we were being sentenced to stoning  Some people in court said, “It is the woman who will be stoned to death.” I was very scared. I didn`t realize it was a possibility.  Ahmadu Ibrahim was also not directly informed: “I didn`t know what was going on with the case. I spent eighty-three days in prison.
The day I was released on bail, I learned of the change of sentence. A senior official in prison told me that. He said I should be killed, but I am now out on bail. I felt very scared and shocked.  Lawyers and friends who visited Fatima Usman and Ahmadu Ibrahim in prison received strict instructions from prison officials not to tell them they had been sentenced to death.  The prison director only allowed them to visit Fatima Usman if they did not mention the death penalty. He insisted that the death sentence was just a rumor, even though it had already been announced in the media. One of the lawyers who visited him in prison was only allowed to speak to him in the presence of prison officials. Nigeria is a federation of thirty-six states. Each state has its own government and meeting room. State governors enjoy considerable autonomy in many ways, and in practice the federal government rarely intervenes to challenge their decisions or policies. About half of Nigeria`s states are considered part of what is commonly referred to as the North, although there is no recognized border between North and South and the regional and cultural identity of some states is the subject of much dispute. So perhaps the real question is what impact this conservative religious extremism and sharia criminal laws passed in 12 of Nigeria`s 36 states since 1999 will have on women`s rights. He wants to discuss what a secular Nigeria should look like, how Nigeria defines itself as a nation, and how the harmonious coexistence of Christians and Muslims can be promoted. .