For about a week now, the news that there is a bill before the National Assembly seeking to expand the scope of Sharia law in Nigeria and elevate it to a federal law has been circulating online.
The Trent has obtained an official National Assembly notice paper which shows that a bill to alter Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution to increase the jurisdiction of the Sharia Court in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja and the Northern states with Sharia has indeed passed its 2nd hearing in March 2016.
The document shows that the House of Representative took the second reading of the Sharia Expansion Bill on Thursday, May 12, 2016 and the bill is being sponsored by Abdullahi Balarabe Salame, a representative from Sokoto State. He was elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress and has been representing Gwadabawa/Illela constituency since 2011. Salame is a one-time speaker of the House of Assembly in Sokoto State and holds degrees in Islamic studies.
The section in the paper says, “A Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of Section 262 and 277 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to increase the Jurisdiction of the of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory and the Sharia Court of Appeal of a State by including Criminal Matters of Hudud and qisas and for Other Related Matters; (HB. 530) (Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe Salame) – Second Reading.”
You may download the document HERE.