Last edited: December 30, 2004

Islamic Law in Nigeria

PlanetOut, October 13, 1999

In a startling development, the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara has adopted the Islamic Sharia legal system effective October 27, the Pan African News Service reported. The state assembly approved a bill to that effect and Governor Ahmed Sani signed it into law. Because the Nigerian constitution is a secular one, many believe Zamfara’s move is unconstitutional, and there are certainly expected to be legal issues when the Islamic law is applied to non-Muslims.

Islamic law provides for the death penalty for homosexuality, including the option of execution by the unusual method of pushing a wall over onto the condemned (as has now been done in about a dozen reported cases in Afghanistan). A majority of Zamfarans are Muslims, and they apparently expect the harsh punishments of Sharia to cut down crime. However, the southern parts of Nigeria are dominated by Christians and traditionalists.

[Home] [World] [Nigeria]