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Sharia court calls for expansion of jurisdiction

The Sharia Court of Appeal in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has called for a constitutional amendment to expand its jurisdiction. The Grand Kadi of…

The Sharia Court of Appeal in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has called for a constitutional amendment to expand its jurisdiction.

The Grand Kadi of the court, Justice Ibrahim Rufai Imam, made the call at a valedictory session held in honour of Justice Momodu Dirisu (Rtd) and presentation of award of honour to past Grand Kadis and Kadis of the court.

Justice Imam said the court’s performance as testified to by many had shown that it had the capacity to handle more Islamic matters beyond personal matters, which was currently the only area the court had jurisdiction.

He said, “What we are appealing for is that if the Nigerian constitution is to be amended, to expand the section of the Sharia Court of Appeal where we can have jurisdiction on other Islamic matters not restricted to Islamic family and personal matters.”

He suggested that the court should be given jurisdiction on areas like “Mu’amalat; that is where a Muslim and Muslim transact on any issue. Other than land issue in urban area, Sharia court has every right because it has authority and provision to adjudicate and decide on such cases.”

Also, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court and Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in the FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello, said he would not hesitate to make recommendations for the expansion of the jurisdiction of the Sharia Court of Appeal in the country because “there is nothing wrong in expanding the jurisdiction of the Sharia Court of Appeal within the subject matter of its mandate.”

Those honoured by the court at the event were its pioneer Grand Kadi, late Justice Bashir Sambo; his successors: Justices Musa Song, Ahmed Ibrahim Dodo, Mohammed Shehu and Ibrahim Abba. Others were the valedictorian, Justice Dirisu, and past Kadis, Justices Babagana Ibrahim and Aliyu Abdulrahman.

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