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[Sharia News Watch] Nigeria - Sharia evaluation

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2003
      Sharia News Watch : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/messsage/66

      The Sharia News Watch provides a weekly update of news quotes on
      Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
      news search engines. All editions :
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/

      NIGERIA

      Last weekend the Weekly Trust (Kaduna) http://www.weeklytrust.com/
      spent most of its pages on an evaluation of the formal (and informal)
      Sharia States in Nigeria.

      map Nigerian Sharia states
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2210783.stm#map

      Jigawa: Effective Zakkat System, Poor Sharia Implementation - 26 Jul
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280433.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      ..
      Since the introduction of the Sharia legal system in Jigawa State
      about three years ago, its implementation has been beclouded in
      controversy. At times, outright condemnation between opponents and
      proponents of the legal system.
      ..
      Government introduced Sharia courts, appointed Sharia judges and other
      paraphernalia associated with the conditions for the proper
      implementation of the legal system. Governor Ibrahim Saminu Turaki in
      October 2002 at the national da'awah rally reiterated his commitment
      to enforce the law when a case of rape was established against one
      Muhammad Sarimu, 56. The governor also established a new ministry to
      ensure strict compliance and implementation of the legal system. There
      was for the first time in any state the appointment of a nationally-
      recognised scholar, Sheikh Yahaya Jingir as the special adviser to
      Governor Turaki on religious matters, ala Sharia .
      ..
      However, two years after the establishment of all these Sharia
      paraphernalia, doubts are being expressed about the whole exercise.
      First, it was a clash between the Hisba and members of the Dutse royal
      family.
      ..
      concerted pressures began to mount on all the institutions that were
      supposed to enforce the system in the state; the courts, police,
      judges and even scholars being branded as either pro or against sharia
      implementation.

      Moreso, the courts began to dismiss cases with impunity without any
      recourse to the criminality of the case. For example case between the
      state and Muhammad Sarim which was supposed to continue on 25th
      December 2002 has not been brought up till today.
      ..
      [an official at the state Justice Ministry] said the Sharia legal
      system is not out to punish people but to ensure that they become
      better. "In the discharge of the system, cultural, traditional and
      even religious differences must be taken into consideration, hence the
      need to tread carefully," he said.

      In the last one year, immediately after the Hisba was disbanded,
      prostitution outlets sprang up in major towns across the state. In
      fact, "city wives phenomenon" has become a norm in the Jigawa where
      immorality is displayed in daylight, and unchallenged. The
      unseriousness as regards the implementation has led to a situation
      where Sharia implementation in the state can safely be said not to
      exist and beer parlours, prostitution outlets, and several vices are
      now becoming more pronounced than ever before.
      ..
      Investigations at various ministries related with the implementation
      of the legal system revealed especially that the state has died down
      with the elections of April 2003. Ever since, no issue concerning
      Sharia could be said to have any relevance in the state. The only
      aspect of Sharia left is the issue of Zakkat collection, distribution
      and sustenance.
      ..
      While describing the Zakkat institution in the state as unique and a
      successful experiment, the deputy imam [Dutse central mosque] revealed
      that the ability of the institution to catch up gradually has become a
      litmus test for other states to emulate. Ustaz Habibu disclosed that
      several schools were open to ensure an educated society that
      understands Islam and Sharia is established.

      Kaduna: Beyond the Three-Legged Judicial System - 26 Jul 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280437.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      ..
      In Kaduna State, there are as many inhibitions against Sharia as the
      prohibitions against certain practices that it, as a legal code, seeks
      to entrench. There appears to be an equality in quantitative terms
      between the clamour for and opposition against the introduction of
      Sharia in the state as a result of which heads rolled and wealth
      vandalised. The series of physical combats between pro-Sharia and
      anti-Sharia folks to a considerable extent led to the disfigurement of
      the political and social settings of the state.
      ..
      The three-legged judicial system that provides for the establishment
      of Sharia courts, customary courts and common law courts is supposedly
      wide enough to accommodate the varying demands of the people in the
      state. Convictions of the people are now the major determinants of
      their own individual or collective choice of courts as and when the
      need arises.
      ..
      According to the provisions of the law establishing the system, Sharia
      is now enforceable in such areas where there is dominants Muslim
      population. And local government councils in such areas most of which
      are located in the northern part of the state are responsible for the
      enactment of by-laws that will primarily prohibit the existence of
      brothels and liquor stores.

      However, a survey conducted by Weekly Trust has shown that Sharia is
      either not sufficiently observed or is being observed in the breach.
      In most of such areas, there still exist either brothels or certain
      centres at which intoxicants, not necessarily wine, are sold and
      consumed by youths who are the natural perpetrators of all sorts of
      crimes.

      In such Muslim-dominated parts of Kaduna metropolis as Tudun Wada,
      Badarawa, Anguwar Dosa, Malali and Rigasa, as well as other parts of
      the state where a lot of brothels, beer parlours and even religious
      places were demolished during the Sharia riots, there can still be
      found groups of youths that indulge in the intake of intoxicants and
      sexual misbehaviour. And there seems to be no agency that is charged
      with the responsibility of ensuring that, at least, the basic tenets
      of Sharia are observed.

      Local government councils in the Muslim-dominated areas are largely
      seen as the major culprits in the apparent failure to implement Sharia
      properly. While some of the councils have not yet even come up with
      the relevant by-laws on the implementation of the legal code, there is
      also a noticeable laxity on the parts of those councils that have made
      the laws.

      Sharia Not Active in Kano - Isa Waziri [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280629.html - 26 Jul 03
      .. [interview] Sheikh Isa Waziri is the chairman, Kano State Sharia
      Implementation Committee.
      ..
      Since the implementation of Sharia in Kano to date, I cannot point out
      a single capital offence that was treated in the state despite the
      fact that such criminal offences were everywhere in the state. No
      single thief's hand was amputated in Kano, I have never heard such
      cases in our courts. Does that mean we don't have such cases in Kano
      where a thief's hand deserves to be amputated?

      Killings are everywhere in Kano, but no single offender was found
      guilty in Kano since the establishment of Sharia in the state. And all
      these had happened because the Kwankwaso administration politicised
      Sharia in the state.
      ..
      the government should consider very important is the establishment of
      a ministry that could take care of the religious affairs in the state
      and the ministry should be handled by learned of trusted and lowest
      people. Government also should be cautious while recruiting judges.
      only qualified judges, trustworthy, honest and of good conduct should
      be recruited to our courts.

      Kano Govt. Failed to Support Sharia - Ustaz Rabo - 26 Jul 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280587.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      .. [interview] Ustaz Abubakar Rabo Abdul-Kareem is the secretary of
      the Independent Shariah Implementation Support Committee
      ..
      Sharia is very much functioning and working in Kano State, because the
      people's consciousness, their moral and social lives have drastically
      changed compared to their lives before the implementation of the
      Sharia legal system.
      ..
      Also issues regarding social problems within our communities are no
      more going to the police or courts, because they are now being solving
      at wards levels, at various levels in the state. This was done through
      the Sharia Guidance and Councils, Da'awah Committees and through
      Hisbah sub-committees in each and every ward, village and local
      councils.
      ..
      The former government was not giving due backing to Sharia at all,
      particularly on the legislative backing for Sharia in the state. The
      former governor, Dr Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso politicised Sharia because
      it truly seem to be played by. So the former government did not
      support Sharia implementation in the state but we are hoping that the
      present will support Sharia fully to take its due course, which is not
      brutal or cruel.

      We are also hoping that the present government will enact this
      legislation that will back the machinery of the Sharia legal system
      and if this machinery will be given the necessary support by the
      government and the general public to win a 100% per cent peace in our
      society.
      ..
      Sharia as a total way of life will not leave anything untouched. In
      respect of any issue whether naming or wedding ceremonies, Sharia has
      its own way of doing it.

      We are not saying there should not be gatherings during ceremonies
      within our communities. But rather, in what manner should such
      activities be conducted? Islamically should such ceremonies should be
      conducted according to the teachings of Sharia legal system. For the
      non-Muslims, they should conduct their ceremonies in their private
      environments and they shouldn't disturb peace in the society.

      The way that we are interfering into such cases was to assign our
      elderly people living in the area where such events take place to meet
      the organisers of the ceremony for proper solution, and sometimes, we
      just report them to the police. We are not taking laws into our hands
      at all.

      Two Years of Sharia in Kano: Shekarau's Humanist Approach - 26 Jul 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280443.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      ..
      When the wind of Sharia blew across northern Nigeria from Zamfara
      State in the year 2000, Kano was thrown into controversy between a
      willing populace and a reluctant government. The agitation for the
      implementation of total Sharia took a heated dimension that the state
      governor then, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was sometimes openly challenged
      in public by Sharia proponents while the government defenders insist
      that Sharia implementation must be gradual in a cosmopolitan state
      like Kano.

      The division in approach led to the formation of an independent body
      to mobilize the public and use constitutional means to achieve the
      Sharia implementation in the state. The activities of these groups,
      comprising mainly Ulama, Islamic preachers, scholars and various
      Islamic sects, finally made the government to bow to the will of the
      majority which wanted the full implementation of the Islamic legal
      system as introduced in Zamfara State.
      ..
      While the Ulama continue to accuse the government of inertia and
      foot-dragging in the implementation following its refusal to provide
      the necessary facilities, infrastructures and personnel to carry-out
      the duties of implementing the system, the government of Dr. Rabiu
      Musa Kwankwaso insisted that it is doing its best under the
      circumstances, citing the inadequacy of qadis (sharia judges) and the
      court facilities themselves as impediments.

      Following the disagreement on the mode of implementation, the
      Independent Sharia Committee established a Sharia vanguard called
      Hisba, a voluntary body charged with ensuring compliance with Sharia
      acceptable culture within the society. The government, and the police,
      to a larger extent, saw in Hisba as a sort of Independent Law
      enforcement body under the control of Ulama and other Sharia
      die-hards. This led to many disagreements and sometimes skirmishes
      between the police and the Hisba members in enforcing the Islamic
      legal system in Kano.
      ..
      The introduction of the Islamic legal law in Kano, despite the
      problems in implementation between the government law enforcement
      agencies and the independent law enforcers, however, brought about a
      reduction in many vices in the ancient city especially in the open
      consumption of alcohol in hotels and clubs within the metropolis. Even
      the Southerners-dominated Sabon Gari area became jittery and sold
      alcohol secretly at the initial stage of the introduction. Prostitutes
      left the city in droves and for once, the red streets of Kano became
      bare, free of pimps and hookers waving at motorists. Even the brothels
      in Sabon Gari closed shop. And thank God, up till today, they remain
      closed, ridding the city of an abominable practice condemned by all
      religions. The fear of cutting off the hands of a thief further
      reduced the number of burglary and petty theft in the city while the
      irresponsible menace of 'Yan daba and 'yan daukan amarya subsided to
      the barest minimum. Kano was experiencing a kind of Islamic cultural
      revival at the inception of the Islamic legal system until the
      independent Sharia Implementation Committee claimed that the
      government was not being sincere with Sharia implementation in Kano.

      Part of the accusations centred on the government's refusal to appoint
      and train qadis [Sharia court judges], lack of Sharia reference books
      and the inadequacy of the courts themselves became the bane of Sharia
      implementation in Kano. The remunerations of the few Sharia court
      judges itself became a problem as they were left without salary for
      months exposing them further to corrupt court officials. The
      Independent Sharia Implementation Committee was quick to point
      accusing fingers at the government for the lapses while the government
      continued to defend itself with gradual implementation policy.

      When the heat became too much the government changed tactics. It
      succeeded in winning over some of the Sharia die-hards within the
      ulama and preachers who began propagating what became the "government
      Sharia". They used strong Qur'anic Verses like Allah's injunction to
      Prophet Moses [A.S] to use softer words in spreading the gospel to
      Fir'aun and other powerful Hadiths while the proponents within the
      Independent Sharia Implementation Committee continued with their stiff
      opposition to anything but total Sharia in Kano.

      The success of this divisive tactics worked for the government as the
      momentum for Sharia implementation began to wane and Hisba's relevance
      in the Sharia implementation also suffered a set-back thereby allowing
      many vices that had hitherto been discarded to return. Gradually and
      systematically, prostitutes began to return to Kano using the Islamic
      Hijab [veil] as a cover in the dark streets of GRA. beer parlours in
      Sabon Gari began to open again. Some hotels even began serving alcohol
      in their bars, a situation that led the then deputy governor Dr
      Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to lead a raid on some of the hotels at the
      instigation of the Independent Sharia Implementation Committee.
      Compliance with the Sharia laws began to diminish even as the police
      continued to show resentment to Hisba's efforts to complement them in
      enforcing Sharia in Kano.

      Hisba's influence on the community in the implementation and the
      enforcement of Sharia were further weakened when the state government
      decided to have its own Hisba under the leadership of a renown Kano
      Islamic scholar, Sheik Aminudeen Abubakar. The split of Hisba gave the
      police the choice to accept cases brought to them only from the
      government Hisba members and refused to recognise the independent one.
      The former Kano State police commissioner Yakubu Uba, put it bluntly
      then, "We only recognise the government Hisba, we don't know any
      Independent Hisba."

      Sharia Implementation in Katsina, the Journey So Far - 26 Jul 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280597.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      ..
      Weekly Trust investigation revealed that one reason why Sharia
      implementation is faced with a lot of set-back is the state's
      "conflict of authority," as to who has the legal power to control and
      supervise courts between the newly created Sharia Commission led by
      the state Grand khadi and the already established State Judicial
      Service Commission led by the chief judge of the state. Further
      investigation revealed that this legal tussle had degenerated into
      negative consequence whereby a grand khadi would send an order to the
      court only for the chief to issue another letter asking the court to
      disregard the order for the latter. The development led to the
      resignation of some of the judges who could not withstand the
      meddlesomeness involved.
      ..
      the conflict seems to be created by the enabling legislation made by
      the state House of Assembly (Islamic Adoption Law 2000) vis-à-vis some
      constitutional provisions especially Section 3(3) and Section 12, the
      law which gives the chief judge the power to appoint and discipline as
      well as investigate the courts while Section 9 of the law conferred on
      the grand khadi the powers to make rules and regulations for the
      practice and procedure of the Sharia courts.

      Similarly, Section 277 sub-section 1&2, paragraphs 9-6 of the 1999
      constitution restricts the jurisdiction of Sharia Court to personal
      law while section 6(2b) allows for the establishment of Islamic courts
      to run side-by-side with the common law courts that all the courts
      shall have all the powers of a superior court of record.
      ..
      [The chief imam of Katsina Central Mosque] added that of all the 86
      judges that were heading the Sharia courts, only two are competent,
      disclosing further that they recommend led the training of some but
      the recommendation was never approved.

      Similarly, the state chairman of the Supreme Council for Sharia
      implementation in Nigeria and a renown cleric in Katsina, Sheikh
      Yakubu Musa Hassan blamed the Katsina State government for
      deliberately pulling down the structure it had earlier established,
      relating to Sharia implementation particularly, he noted the
      strangulation of Sharia enforcement bodies namely Hisba and Da'awah
      committees whose power of apprehension of offenders were curtailed by
      the government. He said the Katsina State government he said later
      accused the Hisba of taking laws into their hands and issued a
      directive to the courts to stop accepting cases from them, while
      giving the police the exclusive right to apprehend and prosecute
      Sharia offenders even without any constitutional mandate thereby
      rendering the two committees useless.
      ..
      The state commander, Hisba Committee, Ustaz Hamisu Abubakar Imam,
      informed Weekly Trust that the government's action created problem
      between them and some political thugs in town. The commander said
      their role was only to meet and advise offenders on the consequences
      of their actions and if they insisted, they report them to the
      appropriate authority. And that only when such acts criminally
      endangered public peace could they arrest and hand offenders over to
      the police or Sharia courts.
      ..
      [the secretary of the Sharia Commission] accused people of ignorance
      of the operation of the Sharia legal system, which he said encompasses
      only a preaching of what is wrong and what is right, adding that
      Sharia implementation in the state has fared well so far while
      asserting the role of the commission as only advisory, which will live
      no stone unturned in its legal responsibilities to the government and
      people of the state.

      Yorubaland: Sharia Implementation Progresses Despite Constraints
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280585.html - 26 Jul 03
      .. [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      One year after the implementation of Sharia began through private
      initiative in Yorubaland, indications are that the Islamic legal code
      has come to stay despite obvious constraints. The initial opposition
      to the implementation of Sharia, especially by non-Muslims, seems to
      have fizzled out, while the various independent Sharia panels set up
      under the aegis of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN)
      continue to function without hindrance.

      Expectedly, there has been increasing patronage of the Sharia panels
      by Yoruba Muslims who had hitherto been patronising common and
      customary laws. The Oyo State independent Sharia panel sitting at the
      Oja-Oba Central mosque in Ibadan had reportedly treated about 500
      cases since its inception in May last year.

      In the same vein, that of Lagos State which was inaugurated last
      December is said to have handled about 60 cases at its independent
      Sharia panel sittings at the Abesan Estate Central mosque, Ipaja. the
      Lagos State chapter of SCSN established another panel at the 1004
      Estate Central Mosque, Victoria Island, last March.

      In Ogun State, the official implementation of Sharia has not been
      quite successful because of opposition from some notable imams in
      Abeokuta.

      So far, most of the cases being handled by the various Sharia panels
      in the South-West relate to civil matters like divorce, contractual
      disputes, inheritance, etc. However, the panel in Ibadan has had to
      face the challenge of dabbling into criminal matters outside the civil
      Sharia jurisdiction decreed for it by the state chapter of SCSN.
      ..
      The eventual public caning of Shittu had attracted criticisms from the
      opponents of Sharia who maintained that the panel had no legal
      authority to adjudicate on the criminal aspect of Sharia since it is a
      private initiative.

      Even some Muslim scholars are of the opinion that the panel shouldn't
      have carried out the 'hadd' punishment on Shittu. Their contention is
      that only the government or its agents can carry out such fixed
      punishments prescribed by Islamic law.

      Following the controversy over the propriety or otherwise of the
      Shittu case, Weekly Trust gathered that the Ibadan Sharia panel has
      since decided to refer any subsequent criminal case brought before it
      to Zamfara State for adjudication.
      ..
      the panels have been largely unable to implement their rulings in all
      the cases they have treated. They depend largely on the goodwill of
      litigants to comply with their rulings. Apart from the absence of
      statutory backing for the Sharia panels, litigants whom the panels'
      rulings do not favour have no opportunity for appeal for now.
      Despite these inevitable shortcomings of the Sharia panels, many
      Yoruba Muslims still appreciate their existence, hence their
      increasing patronage of the panels.
      ..
      Interestingly, long before Governor Ahmad Sani relaunched sharia in
      Zamfara State in the year 2000, there had been agitations by Yoruba
      Muslims for the official reintroduction of the Islamic legal system in
      Yorubaland.

      For instance, as far back as 1923, the Lagos Muslim community had
      petitioned the colonial administration for the creation of Sharia
      courts. The Muslim communities in Ijebu-Ode and Oyo also demanded the
      reintroduction of Sharia from the colonial masters in 1940 and 1944
      respectively. The Nigerian Muslim Council (NMC) led by Senator Hassan
      Fasinro had mounted vigorous pressure on the then military
      administrator of Lagos State, General Buba Marwa, to create civil
      Sharia courts in Lagos.

      With the continued agitation for the creation of governmental civil
      Sharia courts in Yorubaland, perhaps the state governments in the
      region will accede to Muslims' request some day.

      [Zamfara] No Misunderstanding Between Government And Ulama
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280589.html - 26 Jul 03
      .. [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      (interview) Alhaji Mohammed Attahiru Bello, secretary to the Zamfara
      State government
      ..
      Since the inception of Sharia in 1999, a lot of achievements has been
      recorded. First and foremost is the sensitizing of the public to
      conform within the Islamic legal system, what it preaches and what is
      ordain by Allah. It is on record that Zamfara State has the lowest
      number of criminal cases in the country. And we have generated
      relative peace in the state despite provocations at different levels.
      A lot of the populace have been empowered for self-reliance through
      the Zamfara Poverty Alleviation Scheme (ZAPA) created by the
      government. As part of the welfare package, loans have been disbursed
      to stimulate trade and agriculture. In the public service, a
      commission has been set up to fight corruption for the fact that
      corrupt practices have been condemned by every religions especially
      Islam.
      ..
      Well, to the best of my knowledge, the restriction on women has not
      changed. There is still that prohibition. And as you know, at the
      beginning, there were taxis specially for women passengers and that is
      still in practice. And we had to appeal to the kabu-kabu operators to
      carry only male passengers. Just last week, His Excellency gave out
      vehicle loans for taxis in order to boost the number of taxis within
      the town. And because the taxis are many, it was decided that they
      should carry men or women only but they should not carry them
      together. If a taxi driver picks a woman, the he should not pick a man
      until he drops the woman. That directive is still in force.
      ..
      It is the duty of the Hisba (the Sharia monitoring agency) to enforce
      that prohibition. If for one reason or the other that cannot be done,
      it must be a big mistake. And the government is now trying to give the
      Hisba more powers. It will now be a commission for the implementation
      of Sharia and monitoring. Already, a bill is in the House of Assembly.
      That will give the Hisba more powers to enforce Sharia in the state.
      And that takes care of the kabu-kabu who carry women.
      ..
      As you knows the Hisba committee is composed of different groups.
      Before the composition of the Hisba, they always went out and
      performed their duty for the sake of Allah. This is what government is
      reminding them. They have been doing their work even without pay. So
      if for one reason or the other, there is delay in the payment of their
      monthly allowance, they shouldn't be complaining and stop doing what
      they are supposed to do. That doesn't mean also that he (governor)
      will stop paying their allowances. This matter is in the constitution
      of the Hisba which will soon be inaugurated. When it is inaugurated
      and it gets the approval of the House of Assembly, all they need will
      be given to them.
      ..
      Appropriate actions were taken against whoever was found responsible
      for confiscating lands or whatever. First of all, the land was
      returned to the rightful owner. And if the issue is before the Sharia
      court, it will depend on the judge to dispense with it as it should
      be. So I cannot give you particular instances.

      [Zamfara] Sharia: Yarima vs the Mallams [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280636.html - 28 Jul 03
      ..
      For, as Governor Ahmed Sani, Yariman Bakura settles down to a solid
      second term mandate, which was largely founded on Sharia campaign, a
      disquieting cloud also darkens his relationship with the Hisba (Sharia
      monitoring group) and the ulama (Islamic scholars) whose atonement
      formed the bedrock for the launching of Sharia in 1999.

      As it is, this rift, which culminated in a threat by Governor Sani to
      deal with any scholar preaching anti-government sentiments has taken a
      toll on the Sharia and aroused serious concern in the minds of the
      over 50 million Muslim population in the country who hailed its
      adoption four years ago.
      ..
      Investigations by Weekly Trust revealed that the prohibition on the
      free mixing of the sexes has drastically slackened, so that
      motorcyclists now carry Muslim women passengers even as young men and
      women could be seen hugging each other at night without the slightest
      fear of apprehension by the now-reluctant members of the Hisba.
      And in spite of the restriction of the sale of alcoholic beverages to
      specified spots, drunks are seen these days roaming the streets of
      Gusau virtually unhindered. As if this is not enough, a local brothel
      also operates less than 50 metres away from the offices of the
      Directorate for Sharia Implementation behind Labin-Labin Motor Park in
      Gusau town. Reports of forceful acquisition of land and other
      properties of the less-privileged by those in authority, particularly
      village and district heads, have also reached an alarming proportion
      around the state.
      ..
      Evidently irked by what appeared as the ulama's political
      miscalculation, Yarima allegedly hit back by shutting the gates of the
      government house with all its prior 'magnanimity' to the scholars and
      withheld the monthly allowances of N5,000 [EUR 34,-] to the Hisba
      members. The upshot is that this storming rage has now turned into a
      contest between different appeals addressing different constituencies
      with attendant consequences on the future of Sharia implementation in
      the state.
      ..
      According to the ulama, a proper Islamic order requires that those
      whose rights and interests are involved should have full freedom of
      expression and should be kept informed about how their affairs are
      being run contrary to what obtains in Zamfara, which is fast becoming
      inclined towards authoritarianism as this reporter discovered. At one
      such lectures held at the old market, the scholars were said to have
      reminded people in the state of their rights under Sharia to protest
      any inefficiency, negligence or error in the proper discharge of the
      duties of leadership pertaining to their affairs.
      ..
      According to the secretary to the state government, the administration
      has embarked on the reconstitution of the Hisba to be transformed into
      a statutory body with additional powers to enforce Sharia. He said
      that the governor might have made the controversial threat out of
      annoyance as the Hisba used to perform the enforcement work
      voluntarily for the sake of Allah before they were even offered the
      N5,000 monthly stipends.
      ..
      Beyond the present situation in Zamfara, other sharia-implementing
      states too have their peculiar problems that have clogged the smooth
      running of sharia. For instance, in Kano State, reports indicate that
      the implementation of sharia was no more than a sham as former
      Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso never backed its enforcement.

      Commenting on this, Ustaz Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem, the secretary of
      the Sharia Independent Support Committee in Kano accused former
      Governor Kwankwaso of merely politicising the divine order while he
      never accorded it the required legislative backing. Another Islamic
      scholar, Sheik Isa Waziri, the chairman, Kano State Sharia
      Implementation Committee, categorically said that the system has not
      been active in the state. He said that since the adoption of sharia in
      the state, no capital punishment was awarded even in the face of
      increasing rise in crime rate. "But we are hoping that the Shekarau
      administration will support sharia in totality to enable people change
      from bad to good," he said.

      Similarly, in Gombe State, the administration of former Governor
      Abubakar Habu Hashidu was said to have done very little to ensure the
      success of Sharia in the state. Reports indicate that beyond getting
      the Sharia bill passed into law, the system never even took off in the
      state and is being further swept underground with the coming of the
      present administration. Confirming this, Ustaz Muhammad bin Sulaiman,
      said that the past administration had woefully failed on sharia and
      called on the new governor to consider establishing the system, which
      he said represents the essence of every Muslim's life on earth.

      While the regime of legal reforms introduced by Governor Ahmad
      Mohammed Makarfi following the series of bloody ethno-religious
      clashes in Kaduna State does not appear to be working at all, in
      Sokoto, it is the problem of poor monitoring that has hampered the
      success of Sharia.

      Observing this flaw, Sheik Isah Talatan Mafara said that in Sokoto
      State, there is no recognised body like the Hisba that is responsible
      for the enforcement of the system. "They (Hisba) are supposed to be in
      place parading many corners of this metropolis to arrest and hand over
      people to the police who will then introduce them to the judges for
      appropriate punishment," he said. According to the scholar, the
      weakness of the operation of the system in Sokoto could be attributed
      to the non-introduction of the Hisba system of monitoring.

      And in Borno State, a survey by Weekly Trust revealed that Sharia has
      not been put in place at all as there is no enabling law before the
      grand khadi that may enable the application of Sharia in the state.

      But whereas the implementation of Sharia is said to be slow in Jigawa,
      the state government is however on record as having put in place the
      best machinery for the collection and distribution of Zakkat (poor
      due) which is a basic step towards economic revitalisation.

      On the whole, the implementation of Sharia in most of the states could
      not be said to have overstepped the confines of partisanship given the
      present trend and the adoption of the system may have been destined
      for an early demise.

      Poor Sharia Monitoring in Sokoto - Sheikh Isah [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280628.html - 26 Jul 03
      ..
      When Governor Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa signed the Sokoto State Sharia
      bill into law in February 2002, he promised to give all necessary
      support to those responsible for implementing the system. Part of the
      support he promised was the construction and equipping of court rooms,
      recruitment and training of personnel, as well as guaranteeing the
      liberty of non-Muslims in the state.

      To achieve this, Governor Bafarawa constituted a high-powered Sharia
      implementation committee and directed it to among other things
      identify courts to be converted to Sharia courts and to liaise with
      the judicial Service Commission in the recruitment of Sharia judges
      and other judicial personnel. Three years after, the system could be
      said to have achieved a lot. According to Alhaji Ibrahim Gidado, the
      information commissioner in the state, achievements have been recorded
      in the areas of crime reduction and moral upliftment.
      ..
      In this regard it is argued that the implementation of the Sharia in
      the state has so far been poorly monitored due to the absence of an
      effective monitoring committee. In an interview, Sheik Isah Talatan
      Mafara, the co-ordinator and proprietor of the Islamic Science
      Institute, Sokoto, highlighted all the lapses that have hampered the
      success of the system in the past three years.
      ..
      [Isah:] there was the introduction of measurement in the market
      places. There is increased building of mosques and Islamic schools in
      the state by the government. There is a group that is "flogging" those
      who commit adultery or found drinking alcohol, but this is not enough.
      There should be the introduction of what we call Hisba, those who are
      to be responsible for the arrest of those people who commit some of
      these offences or vices. They are supposed to be in place parading
      many corners of this metropolis and the state to arrest and hand
      people over to the police who will then introduce them to the judges
      for appropriate punishment. This has not been done in Sokoto.

      You can see that nobody is responsible for arresting people who
      contravene the Islamic penal code like before. Maybe they regard it as
      no more necessary or they're playing politics. The weakness in the
      entire issue depends on the non-introduction of Hisba or the aid group
      like those in Zamfara and some other places. If Hisba is introduced in
      Sokoto, Sharia would achieve more purpose than now.
      ..
      [Isah:] We can say that if they introduce Hisba and in the council of
      judges, they should ensure that good incentives are provided to
      discourage them from looking elsewhere. Then the employment of more
      Malams for teaching and further education of Muslims at all levels on
      the intricacies of Sharia.

      [Zamfara] Ulama Have Failed to Assist Sharia - Dogon Dabino
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280440.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
      ..
      In this interview with Abdul-Azeez Suleiman and Salisu Zakari Maradun,
      Sheikh Haruna Mohammed Dogon-Dabino, an Islamic scholar in Gusau said
      that the Ulama in Zamfara have failed in their responsibility to
      ensure the success of Sharia in the state.
      ..
      Dogon-Dabino: Sharia as claimed to be practised in Zamfara is a set of
      laid-down rules by Allah. Everyone is expected to be guided by them
      because the book of Allah (the Qur'an) is a laid down criteria for
      every Muslim to follow and the traditions of the Prophet interpret
      those rules. We have been hearing on the media that certain Sharia
      punishments have been awarded by the courts. The only snag is that the
      Sharia of Allah is meant to be applied on everybody regardless of his
      status in the society. Sharia cannot be enforced on a certain class of
      the society to the exclusion of other classes. These are some of the
      lapses of Sharia that we want to be corrected.
      ..
      a council of ulama was set up with the task of assisting the
      government. I am not a member of the council. What I don't know is
      whether or not the council actually performed the duties assigned to
      it.
      ..
      Dogon-Dabino: We should be grateful to the governor for what he said
      concerning the ulama. it means he is attempting to sanitise
      scholarship in the state. As I said, he has pleaded with the ulama to
      alert him on any misdirection but most of the Malams have not raised
      any corrections to him. Yet they go about making noise while they have
      not done what was expected of them. The governor must have believed
      that at least, he had treated the Malams fairly, why should they then
      not return the gesture. It is really not proper for the Malams to
      start making comments against the government, whereas they have not
      advised it appropriately. Zamfara has not come into the limelight;
      therefore, it should be a pace-setter. But if the ulama feel that the
      government has treated them unfairly, they should come out openly and
      say so and not go about spreading ungodly remarks against the
      government.
      ..
      Dogon-Dabino: When the decision to separate the sexes was taken, I
      knew it was going to be very difficult; stopping it completely cannot
      be done.

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