In the wake of criticism and outrage over an attempt to smuggle-in sharia law into the nation’s Constitution, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has stated that it was not true that sharia law had been introduced into the Constitution by the National Assembly.
Speaking on Saturday at a reception organised in his honour by the Northern Nigerian Christian Politicians in Abuja, Dogara dismissed reports alleging that the House has before it a Sharia bill.
Although, he admitted that a legislator had sought to put some clauses of the sharia into the constitution, however, no such recommendation had been made to the special ad hoc committee on constitution review.
His spokesperson, Turaki Hassan, quoted him as saying:
“The proposal came in a way that a member wants some criminal aspect of sharia to be enshrined in the constitution now as a house if even there is a proposal from this floor that we should embrace ecclesiastical law we are bound to consider it and by the virtue of our rules once there is that kind of proposal we send it to the committee.”
“No individual member has the right to craft a bill that will lead to amendment of the constitution. Only the committee has the sole prerogative of drafting bill that will lead to constitutional amendment.
“In the senate, I am not aware that such a bill has been presented by the committee. In the house, that committee has not submitted any bill. That is where we are. It is not only totally misleading but false to say that national assembly is seeking to introduce sharia in the constitution. There is no such bill.
“I want us to get this thing clear because it is a point of contention in the Christian community not only in the north but even in the south. I feel I have the duty as the speaker to explain this even though I had explained it on the floor of the house before.”