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Niger Govt to uphold stoning verdict on two lovers

Posted by Webby on 9/1/2002 8:40:32 AM | Views: 181 |

Niger Govt to uphold stoning verdict on two lovers

AIDELOJE OJO, BUSOLA BABALOLA with Agency report



AMIDST the nationaland internationalfury over the death by stoning sentence
passed on alleged adulteress, Amina Lawal, the Niger State Government on Thursday
vowed to uphold a similar sentence passed on two lovers, Amodu Ibrahim and
Fatima Usman two days ago.


The government’s pronouncement came as a member of the Bauchi State
Sharia Consultative Council, Sheikh Ibrahim, accused some Sharia judges in
the state of “corrupt practices and self-enrichment”.


Answering questions from reporters on the judgment of the Upper sharia court
that sentenced Ibrahim and Usman to death by stoning at New Gawu in Gurara
Local Government Area, the Niger State Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner,
Alhaji Umaru Kawu, said unless there was a contrary decision from an appellate
court, within 30 days the verdict of the competent trial court would be obeyed
by the government.


The commissioner said in the interim, the judgment of the upper sharia court
would have to be obeyed by the government.


“I know the appellate court will make a pronouncement whether the judgment
was delivered in accordance with the law or not. Whatever the court decides,
we have to live with it,”.


“A judgment has been delivered by a court, and it is a judgment by women
seizure of flow stations for probe a competent court, the government must
comply with the judgment that is what the rule of law says. The government
has no option,” he explained.


The commissioner said if the convicts considered that there was problem with
the verdict of the court, they should take appeal within the stipulated time
allowed by the law.


Idris who made the accusation during a Sharia enlightenment lecture held
at the palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, at the instance
of the Bauchi State sharia commission said there was enough evidence to show
that some of the judges were fond of collecting money from accused persons
arraigned before them with the aim of altering their charges to enable them
to get lessen punishments.


The cleric, who is also the Chief Imam of Gwallaga Jumma’at Mosque in
Bauchi, said he would not want to mention the names of the corrupt judges,
but warned them to be ready to face trial in a sharia court.


He said though the state government, in consultation with his council and
the Sharia commission, had fought for and won an enhanced welfare package
for the judges, corruption still persisted among them.


Meanwhile a human right activist and the National Coordinator of Women Advocates
Research and Documentation Centre Mrs. Abiola Akugode Afolabi has described
the current trend in the sharia legal system as a misapplication of sharia
law.


According to her, the application of the sharia legal system has revealed
that the law affects the poor in the country than the privileged in the society
a situation that has shown itself in the recent cases of Safiya Husseini and
the current Amina Lawal.


Speaking with DAILY TIMES reporter in her Ikeja office, Afolabi said sharia
has been existing in Nigeria constitution in the time past and has not developed
a problematic stature until recently when sharia became a code.


Explaining further Akiyode Afolabi said, though she is nothing against the
sharia, which is viewed as a legal tool in the Islamic religion, but the problem
is the ignorance of the judges should be dealt with, she emphasised that there
is a need to take cognisance of equity, justice and fairness to ensure law
an order.


Afolabi claimed that Islamic religion supports peace, hence sharia law should
be administered in the manner to reflect, its respect for humanity.


She added that the current disposition does not correlate with what Islam
preachers, rather it negates the impression people has about Islam.


Advising the democratic elected government of Nigeria, Afolabi said the welfare
of the people should supercede their interest and this can be done by putting
a halt to the current sharia imbroglio.


Commenting on the perception o other foreign countries Afolabi said the image
of Nigeria abroad is already affected especially with the classification along
with other countries like Iran and Iraq, which is contrary to the nations
policies.


She however called on the Obasanjo –led government to ensure dialogue
or referendum to prevent the nation from going down the drain through religious
crisis.










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