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CAN requests the abolition of the Sharia Law from 1999 constitution

by Okechukwu Liberty
Sharia Law

 ‘Let the Sharia Law be abolished’ says CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) proposed to the National Assembly that there be an absolute abolition of the Sharia law from the 1999 Constitution. 

Section 10 of the constitution prohibits the adoption of any religion as the state religion, but in other sections, the constitution recognizes the legitimacy of the Sharia; which is an Islamic law practiced in northern Muslim-majority states.

The law is scowled upon in many areas due to a well-documented history of human rights abuses, sabotage of economic activities, and activities leading to national unrest.

An ongoing exercise by the National Assembly to bring an amendment to the constitution has brought various suggestions from the public, many of them revolving around gender equality and devolution of power.

In a presentation to the House of Representatives Special Committee on Constitution Review at the South West Zonal Public Hearing in Lagos on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, CAN say the sanctity of Section 10 must be upheld.

The Chairman of CAN, Lagos, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, said everyone can practice their religion with liberty without having it stipulated in the constitution.

“For us to have the same government and judicial system, let those areas (that recognize Sharia law) be removed from our constitution,” he submitted.

Adegbite reminded the lawmakers that Christians also have their own Canon law, but that there has been no demand for its constitutional recognition because of the diversity of Nigeria.

The cleric said the country will become a more peaceful state for everyone with a God-fearing constitution.

In its submission before the committee on Tuesday, CAN asked for amendments to the constitution to reflect gender equality, local government autonomy, state police, and local government policies, as well as judicial and electoral reforms.


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