21st September, 2011
The former Commissioner for Justice in Katsina, Mr. Abbas Machika, has threatened to sue the State House of Assembly over the law it passed regulating Islamic activities in the state.
Machika told a news conference in Katsina that he had given the assembly two weeks to withdraw the law entitled: â€œKatsina State Religious Education and Preaching Board and for Incidental Matters,â€ or face legal action.
He said that a study of the law revealed that Sections 5,9, 10,14,15,16 and 18 contravened the provisions of Sections 38,40 and 42 of the constitution, which guaranteed Nigerians the right of choice of religion, its practice and propagation.
The former justice commissioner argued that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had given every person the right to his religious belief.
He contended that those rights included the establishment of schools to propagate religion and the establishment of places of religious worship whether in secret or in the open.
Machika, therefore, argued that the house had no right to make any laws that contravened the provision of the constitution.
He stressed that there was no room for appeal under the law, adding: â€œeven Nigeria laws that allow one to be killed if he commits murder has given room for one to appeal if he is dissatisfied with the judgment.â€
â€œA Nigerian, whether a Muslim or non-Muslim, has the right to go to court, or take any action against any organisation or person that has impinged on his right as a Nigerian or has violated the provision of the constitution,â€ he added.
The former justice commissioner called on the assembly to withdraw the law or amend the provisions that violated the constitution.
Reacting on the threat, Alhaji Yaâ€™u Gwajo-Gwajo, the Speaker Katsina State House of Assembly, said there was no formal communication made to the house over the issue.