Call for Shari’a: CJN plotting to turn Nigeria to Islamic state, CAN alleges


The Christian Association of Nigeria has flayed the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, for calling for the amendment of the constitution to “accommodate some of the concerns of Muslims and the Shari’a law.”

It accused the CJN of engaging in official immodesty, noting that his statement was slanted towards making Islam a state religion.

Muhammad had in his keynote speech at the 20th Annual Judges Conference at the Ahmadu Bello University on Wednesday, urged the academics to champion the cause of redesigning the methods of teaching Shari’a law.

He was also reported to have called for an amendment of the constitution to accommodate Sharia law, stating that English should be discarded as the language of instruction in Shari’a law.

The CJN’s speech was read by the Grand Khadi of Niger State, Justice Muhammad Danjuma.

But the National Director of Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Samuel Kwamkur, in a statement on Saturday, said the Christian body viewed the jurist’s speech as “the most reprehensible, reckless and insensitive statement (ever) made by a public officer, a jurist and the head of Nigeria’s judiciary.”

It stated, “CAN observes that the CJN has neither denied any of the reports attributed to him nor has he clarified it. No person or association has come out with a contrary opinion. We, therefore, regard it as a settled fact: the CJN did indeed say it. And much more, he meant it.

“He called for amendment to alter Nigeria’s current constitutional status to be religiously inclined – inclined towards one religion – Islam. Clearly, this looks like the path to making Islam a state religion.”

Kwamkur said no one could begrudge the CJN his rights to practise his religion, but noted that he cannot give Islam the pride of place in the constitution.

He observed that the CJN’s pronouncement might be part of a bigger plan to promote religious bias in the country.

The lawyer stated, “Related cases are the heads of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force who chose to cite specialised universities in their home areas using public funds. Perhaps, the CJN is reinforcing the same mentality, this time using religious self-indulgence.

“But then, we may pause and ask ourselves the following questions: are these actions by the military chiefs and the pronouncement of the CJN deliberately synchronised to promote regionalism and religious bias?

“Are we seeing the implementation of part of a much bigger plan to turn the country into one behemoth of a region and also one grand religion?”

CAN also wondered whether there was a plot to move the nation towards becoming an Islamic state through the passage of the social media and anti-hate speech bills.

It asked, “Is Nigeria about to witness the sure move toward becoming an Islamic state and the possibility of the country being forcibly transformed into a Shari’a state?

“Could all these be part of the motivation for calling for laws that could stifle any national debate or crush opinions that are branded as hate speech and for the regulation of the social media?

“Was the CJN already speaking on behalf of those who are conspiring to allow Islam to dominate and subjugate other faith? Was this agenda the reason Justice Walter Onnoghen was crudely and hastily removed and Justice Tanko hastily sworn in as the CJN?”

The Christian association reminded Muhammad of the constitutional barrier to his “dangerous idea,” citing Section 10 of the constitution.

It expressed doubts about the CJN’s trustworthiness to continue to head the judiciary.

The body said, “If the less educated, those who are not enlightened, the mischievous and the politically extreme can tinker with such permutations, certainly not a man of the learning, age, experience, exposure and publicly centered personality as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“Does his position speak positively of a man who can still be trusted to hold the judiciary together as belonging to one nation with one people of various opinions, religious convictions and political persuasions?”



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