The Muslim Lawyers’ Association (MULAN), Kaduna State chapter, has condemned the arrest and intimidation of Alkali Murtadha Nasir (Presiding Judge, Sharia Court, Magajin Gari, Kaduna), Alhaji Sani Dauda and Alhaji Shehu Sani Dauda.
The association, in a statement sent to Daily Trust, yesterday, said it made some findings and that what it discovered was both troubling and disturbing.
The group said though ‘‘the reason given for their arrest and detention was contracting an illegal marriage, it was discovered that a failed marriage contracted between one Abubakar Musa Abubakar and one Nasiba Sani Dauda on 24/12/2016 was the source of the problem’’.
The statement said 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.
“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.
“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.
“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 arrest and detention,” the statement said.
The association wondered why a father, who authorized another person to serve as a Waliy (Guardian) to give out his daughter’s hand in marriage; or the guardian (the 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.
It said, “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 amended).
“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.”
The association, therefore, urged the law enforcement agencies to, in future, exercise restraint in cases of this nature as their actions are ‘‘capable of bringing disrepute and disregard for due processes of the law and subjecting Islamic institutions to public denigration’’.