Safiya Hussaini Tungar Tudu (born 1967) is a Nigerian woman condemned to death for adultery in 2002. She gave birth to a child as a single woman in Sokoto, a Nigerian state under Sharia law. She was sentenced to be stoned but was acquitted of all charges in March 2002 after a retrial.
Hussaini, a divorced mother of four, was sentenced to death by stoning in October 2001 for allegedly having a child with a married neighbour. She had the child after her divorce. Hussaini said, she was the victim of repeated rape by a man, whom the Sharia court found not guilty due to lack of sufficient evidence. During the trial, Hussaini had no legal representation and was not informed of her legal rights. The Sokoto court dismissed her testimony and convicted her on 12 October 2001.
The verdict was wide and international protests inviting campaigns and petitions to release her. Halima Abdullahi, director of Help Eliminate Loneliness and Poverty, HELP, a non-governmental organisation, also faulted the verdict. In a statement she said “it was a thorough embarrassment” to majority of Nigerian Muslims. The group argued that the judgment was wrong because Safiya was accused of adultery instead of fornication, since she was a divorcee. Again, four witnesses stipulated by the Islamic law were not available at the trial. The verdict was passed because Safiya comes from an under-privileged class, the organisation argued. While describing the verdict as “gender discrimination of the highest order,” the group called on Governor Attahiru Bafarawa to intervene to save Safiya’s life.