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Friday 24 March 2017

Biafra: Between Sharia Law And Common Law, Which Should Take More Prominence In Kanu’s Case?

Biafra: Between Sharia Law And Common Law, Which Should Take More Prominence In Kanu’s Case?

 March 24, 2017

It is now glaringly evident, the sharp twist of the drifting to religious extremism in the case involving the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is fast becoming, following the employment of aspects of the incompatible Sharia law by his trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, in the argument against masked witnesses coming to testify against Kanu and other three defendants.

It is a pity and saddening that a modern court established under the powers of the constitutional law without any application of Sharia in its promulgation, will now be controlled with actions and declarations of a harsh law which is dedicated to the implementation of stricter adherence to the fundamental teachings of the Qur’an and Sharia law.

Sharia law is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition which was derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Qur’an and the Hadith and has no connection, whatsoever, with the situation on the ground or with Kanu’s trial.

READ THIS: Biafra: Binta and Buhari On a Mission To Establish Sharia Law in Civil Court Starting with Kanu's case

According to Femi Ajayi in his piece titled, “Sharia Law and Nigeria Unity,” Sharia is an Islamic legal system which an Islamic government can only apply it. Nigeria is a sovereign state with a constitution and a President who is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. Whereas the office of the governor was created by the same constitution and derives his powers from it. His actions are delegated by the constitution.

Ajayi held that in Nigeria, the constitution is supreme and if the constitution is superior to the Sharia, then the Sharia cannot work unless we are changing Nigeria to the “Islamic Republic of Nigeria.” Therefore, it is a heavy blunder and totally out of place that Justice Binta Nyako instead of thinking first as a citizen will start thinking of her religious or ethnic leanings. This act totally negates the insincere teachings of Nigeria’s political leaders who always preach that “it is hoped that Nigeria will not allow ethnicity and religion to split the country into smaller units and bits and pieces as a result of personal and selfish interests,” especially when they noted that religion and ethnicity are the two-headed dragons chasing the country’s unity.

Nnamdi Kanu’s trial is a constitutional process and not that of Sharia and as such, no one should arrogate the evil Sharia religion in his trial because it is believed that what should be done in his case is in the constitution and not to be employed from other laws talk more of Sharia.

READ TOO: Biafra: Why We Filed Fresh Applications For Kanu’s Release And Review Of Witnesses’ Order— Barr. Ejiofor

We strongly believe that Kanu’s trial should go conventionally through recognized legal systems rested only on the English Common Law, and Statutory Enactments and not through any religious law be it Sharia or whatever.

Hence, if Nigeria’s judiciary must move forward, religion must be separated from its judicial process. Nigeria must not commit the mistake of allowing the evil hands of ethnicity and religion to destroy the country’s judicial process.

We wonder the compatibility between the Sharia law and the English Common law which sharply contradicts each other, that a judge will seek to apply aspects of the Sharia in the administration of her rulings in a Common law court.

When countries of the world are fighting for more democratic reforms, A Nigerian judge is busy pledging her allegiance to Islamic traditional law.


There is absolutely no compatibility between the Sharia law and the Nigerian constitution. The Nigerian constitution, as a matter of fact, is a blueprint for a government that is limited in power and exists, to protect the rights of its individual citizens. The rights of citizens are God-given and are counter-opposed to the powers of the State.
Nnamdi Kanu [Prisoner of Conscience]

The rights of citizens such as Nnamdi Kanu, not even covered with the establishment of such laws is even unthinkable and absurd as there is no freedom of speech when it is against the law to criticize either Sharia or Islam. It is quite evident that by the argument posited by Justice Nyako for the adoption of the law, has been defeated in all fronts by the argument stated by Kanu’s lawyer and that was the reason why she found leverage on Sharia law.

The Sharia law and the constitution cannot co-exist and the evident sharp contrast between them is the more reason cannot apply aspects of it in a modern court of law covered under the secular constitution. Isn’t Sharia finance, a violation of the constitution by favoring a religion, especially when such law is remarkable for its notoriety in defense of the abuse of fundamental human rights? This simply implies that if Sharia law continues spreading, citizens will not only have less freedom of speech but the denial of their human rights.

Any person, be it a Nigerian politician or a judge or an institution, making reference to Sharia law or attempting to support the implementation of Sharia law in a Common law court, is/are enemies of the Nigerian constitution and should be treated as such with an additional charge of treason.


To employ the notorious law in IPOB leader’s trial is an exemplary infringement of his rights under the constitution cannot. There’s no gainsaying the fact that Justice Binta is taking the rule of law and the constitutional rights for granted. The mere mentioning of Sharia law at the Federal High Court is a reminder of how institutions like the judiciary can be influenced and potentially subverted by alien religious legal codes and practices to the grave detriment of our liberties as the Sharia law stands in direct opposition to the Nigerian constitution.

While the founding documents should be rooted in the principles of individual freedom and sovereignty, Sharia inculcates the submission and subjugation of the individual to the State under the threat of violence. The two worldviews could not be in greater opposition and we must very assertively stamp out any effort to its use in a Common law court.

MUST READ TOO: Biafra: Public Outrage as Justice Binta Deceitfully Reverts and Insists on Secret Trial...Adjourned case to 6th April, 2017

We must collectively demand the abolition of Sharia law in our conventional courts as elsewhere, it is not an attack on people’s right to religion; it is a defense of human rights, especially since the imposition of Sharia law is a demand of Islamism to restrict citizens’ rights.

Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not for beliefs and parallel legal systems. To safeguard the rights and freedoms of not just Nnamdi Kanu but other citizens of this country, there must be one secular law for all and no religious laws.

By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Published By IkeChukwu NwaOrisa
For Biafra Writers |

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