The debate is raging everywhere; the matter is complicated but obvious, common law came to an end and the Nigerian civil constitution came to an end. The trial judged looked to her left and to her right, the trial seems to have come to an end and Nnamdi Kanu has won every argument not to be tried in any form of secrecy. But due to the trial Judge is poised to see to the will of the sick President of Nigeria who said in his maiden media chat that Nnamdi Kanu committed atrocious crimes and will never allow the ruling of competent Court or allow Kanu to go free. She suddenly imported Sharia law and disclosed that Kanu’s trial shall be on principles of Sharia law.
However; the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra and the entire people of Biafra have notably said there won’t be any form of secret trial or trial based on principles of Sharia law which gives credence to secret trial. This poses a bleak future to the trial of Nnamdi Kanu; with Facebook profile picture of all Biafran activists condemning or rejecting secret trial and Sharia law, there is high possibility that the trial of Nnamdi Kanu has come to an abrupt end. In a trial; justice is dispensed and not only dispensed but obviously dispensed but when it is not dispensed obviously, the law gave opportunity to stall it.
Justice Binta Nyako is judging with her emotions and trying everything possible to save the heads of her corrupt family facing criminal trial. By serving the head of Nnamdi Kanu to the government of the day; the heads of his corrupt family shall be spared. Continuously reminding the defense counsel that the Court belongs to her and she has right to rob her stool on their faces. Continuously ruling on the plane of injustice and disregarding justice at a high proportion. These have stalled or prevented fluent trial of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra. In an effort to force justice on the Court; the defense counsel is exploring and browsing deeply. This will at the end show the corrupt nature of the trial Judge and entire Nigerian judiciary because nothing short of justice will be done.
The trial Judge must be very careful in exercising her full ownership of the Court to avoid the defense counsel and the accused leaving the Court for her. Injustice cannot be obviously meted on a high profile litigant like Nnamdi Kanu without consequences. I am already imagining a situation the defense counsel would decide not to go on with the case due to the level of injustice meted out on the litigant. While the trial Judge has not given a backing to the importation of Sharia law; I have decided to join the debate on why Sharia law cannot be used against Nnamdi Kanu.
In my previous article on the issue of Sharia law; I defined this law as a religious law strictly meant for Muslims and accessible in Islamic States or Islamic country. This law has nothing to do with people of other faith but can only be effective on people of other faith when the people are resident or citizens of Islamic country Sharia law is accessible. This brings us to Nigeria and Sharia law; Nigeria is constitutionally a secular country which makes religious law highly selective, in the sense that it can apply here and here but cannot apply there and there. The secular nature of Nigeria ensures that Sharia law has its boundaries and limitations. Nigeria is not constitutionally an Islamic country making Sharia law a discretional or territorial thing.
Meanwhile; few people have argued that Sharia law is contained in Nigeria constitution and that at the expense of full capacity of Nigerian constitution, that Sharia law can be given green light. This is the major point of Sharia law proponents; they posit that the 1999 constitution gave room for Sharia law. This is a complete misconception; Nigeria as a secular country gives hand for the accommodation of all faith. Christianity has no Christian law or Christian Court, paganism has no law or pagan Court but Islam has Islamic law and Islamic Court hence the constitution in its secular benevolence gave Islam hand of accommodation. This does not imply that for being in the constitution that it applies to everybody or everywhere. It is strictly applied to Muslims alone and giving the Faith a constitutional backing to exercise its freedom of worship. This should not in any way be misconceived into a standard for everybody. Sharia law in the constitution is to give those that practice it a go-ahead order but never to be used against other faith.
The territorial factor is another thing that plays against the use of Sharia law. Before the inclusion of Sharia law in the constitution, a particular people were meant for that. Sharia law is applicable to Muslims and in Northern Nigeria and offences punishable under Sharia law is committed in the indigenous territory of Muslims. There is no legal backing that a purported offence committed in London or Biafra land is tried on principles of Sharia law, which is not only an act of madness but a clear indication that the constitution of such country is highly powerless. That the Court belongs to Justice Binta doesn’t give her the power to mess around and corruptly or unjustly try a litigant. By virtue of Nnamdi Kanu not being a citizen of any Islamic territory and the trumped up charges not presumably committed in Sharia territory, there is no way Sharia law principle which gives credence to secret trial is possible.
Religious factor is very crucial and opposes the principles of Sharia law; there is no gainsaying that by means of forcing principles of Sharia law on Nnamdi Kanu, you are practically forcing Islam on him. That can be described as another format of Islamization; the trial Judge is nothing short of ISIS that kill to force people to the way of Sharia law. Nnamdi Kanu as a Christian has nothing to do with Sharia law and by virtue of Nigeria being a secular country; the constitution prohibits forcing the principles of other religion on another believer. There is freedom of belief which this trial based on Sharia principle negates and for having outlined these factors, the trial Judge should drop her military approach to the trial of Nnamdi Kanu. To be continued…
Editor/Publisher: Chinwe Korie