The Making of the Zamfara and Kano State Sharia Penal Codes
SHARIA IMPLEMENTATION IN NORTHERN NIGERIA 1999-2006: A SOURCEBOOK, Vol. 4, pp. 22-32, Philip Ostien, ed., Spectrum Books Ltd., 2007
11 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2007
Beginning in 1999/2000, twelve northern Nigerian states, led by Zamfara, undertook programmes of 'sharia implementation.' These programmes included reinstatement of the full scope of Islamic criminal law, to be applied in new Sharia Courts to Muslims. As required by the Nigerian constitution, Islamic criminal law was codified, in the form of Sharia Penal and Criminal Procedure Codes enacted by the State Houses of Assembly and signed into law by the Governors. This paper describes the processes by which the Sharia Penal Codes, first of Zamfara State and then of Kano State, were drafted and enacted. Among other topics discussed are the people who did the drafting work in the two states, sources from which the law was drawn, issues resolved in the drafting processes, the vast enthusiasm among northern Muslims generated by the announcement of sharia implementation in Zamfara State, the pressure this put on other northern Governors, and the politics of delay and eventual enactment in Kano State. The drafting and enactment of these codes is seen as a significant accomplishment for the Muslims of Nigeria’s Sharia States, with the larger problem of serious enforcement still remaining.
Keywords: Nigeria, Zamfara, Kano, Islamic criminal law, Islamic penal law, sharia, sharia penal codes
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