Law Religion and Human Rights in Nigeria
African Human Rights Law Journal, Vol. 2, 2008
28 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2009 Last revised: 8 Jul 2010
Date Written: February 13, 2009
This paper explores the relationship between law religion and human rights in Nigeria. The level and intensity of religious strife in Nigeria justify this inquiry, whose aim should be the design of a framework that enables individuals to enjoy the freedom of religion and ensures that religious conflicts are managed in Nigeria's multiethnic and multi religious context. Almost a decade after the introduction of Islamic criminal law in the twelve northern states of Nigeria, there is no longer any doubt that religion is fundamental to the survival of Nigeria. The basic thesis of this paper is that the key to understanding the relationship between law, religion and human rights in Nigeria lies in the unacknowledged dominance of Islam and Christianity, which I characterize as de facto state religions, and the resulting neglect of other religions. It is this reality, its denial and misunderstanding of attendant constitutional obligations that define the relationship between the Nigerian state and religion.
Keywords: Law Religion Human Rights Nigeria
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