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Finally, NASS opens up on Sharia Bill

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Saturday put to rest reports  of existence of a bill seeking to introduce Sharia legal system in Nigeria.
Speaking during a reception  organised in his honour together with Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal by the Northern Nigerian Christian Politicians,  he described the reports as false.
According to him,a member had introduced clauses which sought to include criminal aspects of Sharia in the constitution, which was referred to the Special Adhoc Committee on the Review of the Constitution but however,  said that no such bill has yet emanated from the Committee.



He also explained that amending the Constitution would require at least two-third of members of the National Assembly before such a bill could be passed into law.
 After that legislative  process,  it would be transmitted to the 36 states houses of assembly for endorsement by two-third of them.
He said: “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 by 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,” he said.

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