Senate receives constitutional amendment proposal to create Sharia courts in South West

The group says the Sharia courts will cater to its Muslim population in the region.

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

The Islamic religious law is implemented 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 an almost equal population of Christians and Muslims.

The Senate commenced its zonal public hearings on constitutional amendments across the country on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, months after soliciting suggestions from the public.

While presenting its memo at the Lagos hearing on Wednesday, The Muslim Congress (TMC) said it wants Sharia implemented in the Yoruba-speaking south west to cater to its Muslim population.

"We want to partner for the creation of Sharia courts in the south west because of our population of Muslims," TMC representative, Abdulganiyu Bamidele, said.

The faith-based organisation also proposed amendments to the constitution focusing on gender equality, local government autonomy, state and community policing, and judicial and legislative autonomy.

Dozens of other organisations and individuals also presented their memos at the public hearing on Wednesday, with the most common topics revolving around gender equality, restructuring, and devolution of power from the Federal Government to the State and Local Governments.

Some also proposed that the 1999 constitution be completely scrapped and replaced with a new citizens-led constitution.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central - APC), who chaired the public hearing, said the Senate will take all the public submissions into consideration to create the perfect document to address everyone's concerns.

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