Press Release: Muslim Lawyers Condemn Spurious Arrest and Detention of a Sharia Court Judge and others
The Muslim Lawyers’ Association (MULAN), Kaduna State Chapter has been inundated with phone calls from different quarters including Islamic Organisations and Individuals over the arrest and detention during the week by the Nigeria Police of a Sharia Court Judge and others including but not limited to:
1. Alkali Murtadha Nasir (Presiding Judge, Sharia Court, Magajin Gari, Kaduna).
2. Alhaji Sani Dauda
3. Alhaji Shehu Sani Dauda.
Before going public, the Association made some findings and what it discovered is both troubling and disturbing.
Though the reason for the arrests and detention of the “Suspects” was said to be “contracting an illegal marriage”, the Association discovered that;
i. A marriage was contracted between one Abubakar Musa Abubakar and one Nasiba Sani Dauda on 24/12/2016.
ii. A few months into the said marriage, Nasiba Sani Dauda approached the Sharia Court, Tudun Wada, Kaduna where the marriage was dissolved and a divorce certificate was issued on 5th January, 2018.
iii. After a sojourn at the Upper Sharia Court, Kawo, Kaduna and the Sharia Court of Appeal, Kaduna, the Sharia Court of Appeal, Kaduna quashed the decision of the Upper Sharia Court, Kawo, Kaduna and transferred the matter to the Upper Sharia Court, Daura Road, Kaduna for re-hearing.
iv. Instead of complying with the said Order of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Kaduna, the said Abubakar Musa Abubakar filed fresh Suits before the Area Court, FCT and the FCT High Court, Abuja.
v. Armed with the certificate of divorce issued by the Sharia Court, Tudun Wada, Kaduna, Nasiba Sani Dauda remarried on 9th November, 2019 which then prompted the action of arrest and detention of the “suspects”.
vi. Upon the arrest of the “suspects” by the Police, an application for the enforcement of their fundamental rights was filed before the Kaduna State High Court and upon an Ex Parte application, an interim Order for their release was made pending the hearing and determination of the substantive Motion on Notice on the 19th day of November, 2019.
vii. However, despite being served with the Order for the release of the “suspects”, the Police, instead of complying with the Order, attempted to arraign the “suspects” before Chief Magistrate’s Court, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna but the Magistrate declined jurisdiction upon being shown a copy of the Order of the High Court, Kaduna.
vi. To the chagrin and dismay of the Association, the Police thereafter approached the Judge, High Court 2, asking his Lordship to interpret the Order made on 12th November, 2019 by the same Court apparently with the view to continue to detain the Suspects.
The Association cannot understand why a Father, who authorised another person to serve as a Waliy (Guardian) to give out his daughter’s hand in marriage; or the guardian ( in this case , a Judge of the Sharia Court, Kaduna, serving in his personal capacity and not involved in any of the litigations), would be arrested and detained by the Police at all material times.
Apparently, the issues involved are generally Islamic matrimonial matters which do not fall within the contemplation of the Police Act vis-a-vis their duties and functions. They are issues that fall strictly within the purview of Section 277 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as ammended).
As an Association, we feel that the action of the Nigeria Police Force in the instant matter, rather than complement the tremendous efforts of the Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Mall. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai at entrenching a lasting peace in Kaduna State, is likely to bring about a breach of the peace and security as can be seen with the planned protests in Kaduna, which actually caused disruption of free flow of traffic and other economic activities within the Kaduna Metropolis.
The action of the Police on this occasion is not only reprehensible, it is impunity taken too far. To go from one Court to another shopping for forum convenience, shows a single minded devotion to act illegally and unconstitutionally.
We, therefore, call on the law enforcement agencies to, in future, exercise utmost restraint in cases of this nature as their actions are capable of bringing disrepute and disregard for the due processes of the law and subjecting Islamic institutions to public denigration.
We thank the Kaduna State Judiciary, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Kaduna State branch, the Media, Islamic religious Organizations, Scholars, Zazzau Emirate Council and all Stakeholders for their exercise of restraint and belief in the due processes of the law.
ASSALAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAKATUHU
DATED 16TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2019.
Being a Press Release by Muslim Lawyers’Association (MULAN) Kaduna State.
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