The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) , has described the statement credited to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed on the inclusion of Sharia in our Constitution as provocative and reckless.
The CJN had urged academics to champion the cause of redesigning the methods of teaching Shari’a law, while pointing out that implementation of his suggestions would be more feasible if universities give the Shari’a law its own faculty.
Reacting to the comment CAN raised an alarm of a plan to islamize Nigeria and backed its claim by pointing out that the President’s recent appointment was in favour of a certain religion.
The Christian group also called for the removal of Tanko and the Chief Justice of Nigeria over the comment it described as reprehensible, reckless and insensitive. According to the CAN, the CJN is religiously compromised and no longer trustworthy in the dispensation of justice.
A statement by CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr. Samson Ayokunle which issued by his Special Assistant (Media & Communications) Pastor Adebayo Oladeji reads;
“Our attention has been drawn to the advocacy of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed for the amendment of the Constitution with a view to adding more Sharia contents.
“Justice Muhammed reportedly made the call while declaring open the 20th Annual Judges Conference at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria Faculty of Law’s Moot Court.
“We have not seen the full text of the paper presented and we learnt the Chief Justice was represented at the event. So, it is difficult to know if the speech was that of the Chief Justice or his representative.
We don’t believe that such a reckless and provocative statement could be made by the number one judicial officer in the country. How could the CJN say ‘We as Muslims have the numbers to amend the constitution’? It is not possible. It is either he was misquoted outright or quoted out of context.
“Asking for constitutional amendment with a view to adding more to the Sharia contents is ill-timed, provocative and unacceptable. Was the Chief Justice of Nigeria put there deliberately for the promotion of Islamic matters or to be unbiased and fair judge for all irrespective of religion? It appears from this statement (if he made it) that he was put there for Islamisation agenda.
“Those in government are warned not to use the cheap popularity or acceptance they seek to set two religious practitioners against each other.
“This type of statement, if true, is enough for the President of the country to initiate the removal of this Chief Justice from office. He is religiously biased and partisan. We have no more confidence in him. And we once again reiterate our advocacy for religious balanced in the appointments that are being made by the President.
Lopsided appointments are direct contradictions to some portions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). These include but not limited to Sections 10, 13 (3-4), 15 (2) (d) and (4). It is widely believed that no country survives two civil wars. Our leaders should be mindful of the complexities of the people they are leading.
“There have been Presidents, who are Christians. During their time, there was never a time they promoted their religion at the expense of others. Our leaders should stop paying lip service to the unity and peace of the country.
“Do we take it that what he said is the official position of this regime on inter-faith relations? Why has no one in leadership, either, the Executive or Legislative arm of government taken him up on it? The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is eagerly awaiting the rebuttal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the unfortunate and unguarded utterances that can provoke a religious crisis in the country.”