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Religious Bill: ‘Why El-Rufai shouldn’t appeal judgment’


[File] Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai PHOTO: TWITTER/GOVERNOR KADUNA

As criticism mounts against the endorsement of religious bill in Kaduna by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, a prominent Northern Islamic scholar, Sheikh Haliru Abdullahi Maraya, has advised the state government not to appeal the judgment of the High Court that prohibited issuance of licences to religious preachers in the state.

Maraya warned that appealing the judgment by the government would amount to embarking on an exercise in futility.

The Islamic cleric who reacted to the recent judgment of the Kaduna State High Court on the religious bill, said “Definitely, in the event the government appeals against the judgment, the Court of Appeal will affirm the judgment of the State High Court as preaching is a right given to Nigerians by section 38(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.”

While citing a case between Inspector General of Police (IGP) and some 12 political parties in 2005 where a Federal High Court in Abuja declared that Nigerians don’t need police permit to embark on a peaceful assembly and procession as doing such is a right given to them by section 40 of the 1999 constitution as amended, stressed that the IGP appealed the judgment but subsequently, the Court of Appeal, in December 2007, affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court and declared among other things that Nigerians don’t need any police permit before they would embark on a peaceful assembly.


Maraya noted that the recent state High Court judgment has clearly shown that democracy is at work, pointing out that “It clearly implies that the voices of the people have prevailed; the state High Court has acted promptly and wisely with utmost justice.”

He explained further: “l could remember vividly in 2016 during the breaking of a fast in the month of Ramadan, l was asked to speak on behalf of those invited by governor El-Rufai and l asserted that issuing licence to preachers before they would be permitted to propagate their religion and belief was inconsistent with section 38(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended, therefore the recent judgment on the issuance of licence has vindicated me.

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