A 22-year-old musician has been sentenced to death after being convicted of sharing an insulting song about the Prophet Muhammed in a WhatsApp chat.

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu faces being hanged after his conviction in Kano, Nigeria.

Outrage grew after the recording was widely shared earlier this year, with an angry crowd destroying his family home and forcing his father to flee.

Sharif-Aminu's conviction has been described as a "travesty of justice", amid calls for his life to be spared.

Lawyers for the music studio assistant told CNN the comment was made during a row posted in a WhatsApp group.

The offending song was allegedly shared on WhatsApp

Legal documents say he was found guilty of making "a blasphemous statement against Prophet Mohammed in a WhatsApp Group" - an offence punishable by death according to the Kano State Sharia Penal Code.

Sharif-Aminu admitted the charge during his trial - during which he reportedly did not have a lawyer - but later said he'd made a mistake.

He was arrested in March by the Hisbah Corps - a religious police force which enforces Sharia law in the state.

Amnesty International's Nigeria director Osai Ojigho said: "There are serious concerns about the fairness of his trial and the framing of the charges against him based on his WhatsApp messages.

Kano is one of 12 states that practices sharia law in Nigeria

"Furthermore, the imposition of the death penalty following an unfair trial violates the right to life."

A petition calling for authorities to overturn the sentence has been signed by more than 80,000 people.

However the state's governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has said he will sign the musician's death warrant as soon as the appeal process is exhausted.

He told a meeting, the Daily Post reports: "I assure you that immediately the Supreme Court affirms the judgment, I will sign it without any hesitation."

In a statement, UN human rights experts said: “We are deeply concerned over the serious lack of due process in Mr. Sharif-Aminu’s case so far, especially reports that he has been held incommunicado, and that he did not have access to a lawyer during his initial trial, a trial that was not open to the public."

They added: “Artistic expression of opinion and beliefs, through songs or other media – including those seen to offend religious sensibilities – is protected in accordance with international law.

"The criminalization of these expressions is unlawful. Music is not a crime.”