Muslim lawyers demand law to create Sharia courts all over Southern Nigeria

The association also opposes the involvement of non-Muslims in the administration of Islamic law.

Hisbah officers observe violations of Sharia (image used for illustration) [NTA]

The association made the demand at the second day of public hearings held by the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution on Thursday, May 27, 2021.

The Islamic religious law is in effect in Muslim-majority states in the northern region, despite the constitutional provision that states be secular, but is alien to the south west region with a balanced population of Christians and Muslims.

The law is frowned upon in many quarters due to its well-documented history of human rights abuses, and sometimes sabotage of economic activities such as the sale of alcohol.

MULAN's Lagos chairman, Ajibola Misbaudeen Kaka, told the Senate Committee on Thursday that the absence of courts with jurisdiction in Islamic law in Southern Nigeria is affecting the interest of Muslims.

He said, "We urge this committee to please empathise with Muslims and patiently consider our request and eschew religious bias and unnecessary antagonism that hitherto characterise against Islamic law in the country."

Kaka also slammed the involvement of non-Muslims in the administration of Islamic law, and asked that Islamic law judges should be appointed to the bench at High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court levels.

He said the language of unity in the constitution must also reflect the country's religious and ethnic diversity.

Another group had made a similar request for the creation of Islamic law in the south west during the first day of hearing on Wednesday, May 26.

Representative of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Abdulganiyu Bamidele, said the law must be implemented to serve Muslims in the region.

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