Senate to consider proposal to create Sharia courts in South-West

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A group known as the Muslim Congress has submitted a memo to the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, proposing the implementation of Sharia in the southwest region.

The Islamic religious law is implemented in Muslim-majority states in the Northern region, despite the constitutional provision that states be secular.

Sharia is alien to the southwest region which has an almost equal population of Christian adherents 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 said it wants Sharia implemented in the Yoruba-speaking southwest to cater to its Muslim population.

TMC representative, Abdulganihu Bamidele said: “We want to partner for the creation of Sharia courts in the southwest because of our population of Muslims.”

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 representing Lagos Central, Oluremi Tinubu, who chaired the public hearing, said the Senate will consider all the public submissions to create the perfect document to address everyone’s concerns.

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