A Sokoto lawmaker, Hon. Abdullahi Salame, wants the constitution of Nigeria to be amended so that the jurisdiction of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory and Sharia Court of Appeal of a State will be extended to involve criminal matters. It’s a dangerous amendment in a secular nation like Nigeria and several people have rightfully kicked against it.
What obtains presently is that if a Sharia Court rules in a criminal case, the appeal is heard in a normal Court of Appeal. But Hon. Salame wants it to be heard instead in the Sharia Court of Appeal.
For those who do not understand how risky that is, the extremism of the governor of Kano state can help you understand better.
Six men were accused of blaspheming against Prophet Muhammad in Kano state and were sentenced to death last February by an Upper Shariah Court in Kano presided over by Khadi Atiku Muhammad Bello. The men appealed the unacceptable ruling at the Court of Appeal in Kaduna which has now overruled the Shariah court.
Gov. Ganduje however has said he is not happy with the Appeal Court ruling and has instructed the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice to file an appeal against the ruling. The Kano governor who has a PhD from the University of Ibadan believes that six men should be killed because they “blasphemed”. In 2016. Incredible.
Now imagine if Salame’s dangerous amendment is allowed to see the light of the day. It would mean that cases like this will be heard at the Sharia Court of Appeal which may most likely uphold the death sentences. No way that should be allowed to happen.