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Remove Sharia Law From 1999 Constitution

He also called for all references to Islamic Sharia law to be removed from Nigeria’s 1999 constitution.

The Nigerian Conference of Catholic Bishops, CBCN, has demanded the removal of Sharia law from the Nigerian constitution.

He also called for all references to Islamic Sharia law to be removed from Nigeria’s 1999 constitution.

The bishops also urged lawmakers to project Nigeria’s secularity in accordance with sections 10 and 38 of the Constitution, as no other religion is recognized by the country’s supreme law except Islam.

In the copy of its memorandum submitted to the Senate Constitution Review Committee obtained by Vanguard on Thursday in Abuja, the CBCN stated that there must be an end to the established status that Islam enjoys in the Constitution before Nigeria can have peace and unity. durable.

The memorandum, which was jointly signed by CBCN President Archbishop Augustine Akubeze and CBCN Secretary Bishop Camillus Umoh, held that the 1999 constitution was an imposition by the military, adding that it has put Christians and followers of other religions at a disadvantage anywhere with a Muslim majority.

The Catholic bishops’ memorandum reads in part: “With regard to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we first state that there was no time for Nigerians to come together as individual stakeholders or as represented citizens to decide on them or hand it over to you as a binding law or constitution. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a product and an imposition of the armed forces.

“Taking this into account, therefore, the particular aspect that we want to address for this Revision of the 1999 Constitution has to do with the place that Islam as a religion has assumed in our Constitution vis-à-vis our national life, insofar as the 1999 Constitution has put Christians and followers of other religions at a disadvantage anywhere with a Muslim majority.

“Complaints abound about the lack of proper enforcement of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against the establishment of any state religion, respect for freedom of religion, including the right to freely change religion, and the equality of all religions before the law.

“In particular, there have been complaints about the special prejudice, recognition and prominence accorded to Islam in the Constitution of this nation, Nigeria.

“The framers of the 1999 Constitution created Sharia Courts for Muslims. This explains why a Christian cannot be appointed qadi under the laws of the States or the Grand qadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal.

“Thus, we come to the conclusion that while Muslims have exclusively one Court that regulates their affairs and to which they can exclusively be appointed judges, the same cannot be said of Christians or people of other religions. This shows a constitutionally backed gap of inequality and underrepresentation in the Nigerian judiciary.

“The establishment of sharia appeal courts in our Constitution is therefore incompatible with articles 10 and 38 of the 1999 Constitution. It is equivalent to the adoption of a state religion than article 10 of the 1999 Constitution prohibits and prohibits.

“It translates into the adoption of Islam as a state religion. Of course, the application of Sharia laws with public funds amounts to those states adopting Islam as their religion. We hold that adopting sharia laws as state laws is equivalent to adopting the religion that founds those laws as state religion; and this violates Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution.

“To ensure the peace and unity of the nation, the practically established status that Islam enjoys in our Constitution must end. We note in this regard that while Islam is mentioned many times in the Constitution, there is not a single mention of Christianity or any other religion in the Constitution. This should be corrected.

“To maintain unity and justice in this country, the Senate must take seriously this position of the Nigerian Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to its call for memoranda on the 1999 Revision of the Constitution; and you see this Constitution review exercise as an opportunity to honestly listen to Nigerians to whom the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) later referred to as “The 1999 Constitution” remains a imposition.

“Accordingly, we, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, speaking on behalf of the Catholic community in Nigeria, hereby declare that Nigerians do not have a law as a people in a nation.

“To correct this, all references to sharia and any other discriminatory or divisive laws should be removed from the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”

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