The Nigerian Senate has received a proposal for a possible review and amendment of the 1999 constitution that will provide for the introduction and implementation of the Sharia law in the South-West.
The Muslim Congress (TMC) issued the proposal for the promulgation of the Islamic law at a zonal public hearing on constitutional amendments in Lagos on Wednesday, Pulse reports.
The Islamic group’s demand for the implementation of the law in the Yoruba-speaking region is to ensure that the interest of Muslim population is protected, the group said.
The hearings organised by the Senate across all geo-political zones of the country is aimed at getting suggestions from the public so it can review and amend the constitution where necessary.
Stating its case, representative of the religious body, Abdulganiyu Bamidele stated: “We want to partner for the creation of Sharia courts in the South West because of our population of Muslims.”
According to the extant 1999 Constitution, Nigeria is a secular state, yet about 12 predominantly Muslim state adopted the Shari’a Law in 1999 amid controversies and accusations of a politically-motivated slight of then- Christian president Olusegun Obasanjo.
The implementation of the law in the northern states has witnessed noted infringements on rights of non-Muslims residents. For instance, Shari’a forbids sale or drinking of alcohol otherwise permitted by the Constitution. Alcoholic drinks worth millions have been seized and destroyed as a result with dealers ruing their losses.
However, the probability of the proposal seeing the light of day in the more liberal South-West is farfetched as demographics of Christians and Muslims are quite similar.