The Bauchi State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is proposing a court similar to the Muslim Sharia Court.
NewsReport Nigeria June 4, 2021
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Bauchi State has advocated for the establishment of an ecclesiastical court for Christians in the state, similar to the Sharia court for Muslims, to ensure that disputes between clerics and even Christians are settled amicably.
NewsReport gathered that CAN complain in a memorandum to the House of Representatives Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution in Bauchi on Thursday that despite the constitution’s clear provision, particularly section 10, that the government of the Federation and the state shall not adopt any religion as a state religion, the law had been swept under the rug.
“This online information learned that Since 2000/2001, preparations for the implementation of Sharia Law have been made in Bauchi State. In fact, the Sharia Commission was established, and Area courts were abolished in favor of Sharia courts.
“The existence of Sharia courts and Sharia Commissions without corresponding Ecclesiastical courts and Commissions to address the needs of Christian citizens has resulted in significant marginalization, discrimination, and/or conflict in terms of employment accessibility, because all employees of the said Sharia Commission and Courts are Muslims.”
CAN also suggest that any federal or state law that intends to or has embraced a particular religion and its legal system, or facilitates or creates any religious educational entity without correspondence to carter for the sake of Christian religion, be declared null and void.
“Alternatively, the establishment of an Ecclesiastical Court or Tribunal, as well as its Commission and other Christian educational authorities, to serve the interests of all Christians, will improve the Constitution’s equality and inclusivity.
“As a result, enabling the acknowledgment of Islamic faith and its legal system in the Constitution and its adoption by States is blatant discrimination against Christians and a flagrant breach of Section 10 of the Constitution.
“Continual recognition and adoption of the Islamic religion and legal system by both the Federal and State governments without corresponding Ecclesiastical Courts, Commissions, and Christian Educational Bodies is an injustice and a violation of Christians’ constitutional rights to employment opportunities,” CAN be added.
“The Ecclesiastical Court will ensure that disputes among Clerics and even Christians pertaining to spiritual matters involving sacraments, successors to personal properties, Christian Marriage, discipline, administration of the church, ecclesiastical corporate bodies, tithes, benefits, and questions touching on oaths and vows are resolved in accordance with Biblical and Christian law,” according to CAN.
“CAN has presented the aforesaid viewpoint in order to encourage this Honourable Committee to adopt our viewpoint as presented above. This will be in the broader national interest and peaceful coexistence among Nigerian citizens, especially considering the Christians’ sense of belonging.”