Sharia and National Law in Nigeria
SHARIA INCORPORATED: A COMPARATIVE OVERVIEW OF THE LEGAL SYSTEMS OF TWELVE MUSLIM COUNTRIES IN PAST AND PRESENT, pp. 553-612, J.M. Otto, ed., Leiden University Press, 2010
62 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2011 Last revised: 7 Mar 2011
Date Written: 2010
The relations between sharia and national law in Nigeria have varied widely from time to time and from place to place within the country – which after all was first brought under a single administration only in 1914. In sections 1-4 of this paper the complex history of our subject is sketched, culminating in the programmes of ‘sharia implementation’ that began in 1999 in twelve of Nigeria’s northern states. Sections 5-9 concentrate thematically upon the present day. Many details of the incorporation of sharia in the laws of Nigeria are discussed, including the Sharia Courts and the Sharia Penal and Criminal Procedure Codes now in place in the sharia states, the continuing application of uncodified Islamic personal law and other Islamic civil law throughout the north, the effects of sharia implementation on women and non-Muslims, and the constitutional questions the sharia implementation programmes raise. The conclusion, section 10, discusses the likely fate of Islamic criminal law in the sharia states, and gives some reason to think that sharia implementation has on the whole been a positive development for Nigeria.
Keywords: Sharia, sharia courts, Islamic law, Islamic criminal law, Islamic personal law, constitutional law, Nigeria, northern Nigeria
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