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CAN wants Chief Justice Tanko removed over comment on Sharia law

CAN President, Samson Olasupo Ayokunle

The President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has called for the removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammed, over his alleged religious bias.

Ayokunle made the call in his reaction to the CJN’s call for the integration of Sharia law in the country’s penal code through a constitutional amendment.

However, the CAN president in a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, described the statement credited to the CJN as provocative and unacceptable.

He urged Justice Mohammed to retract the statement because it can “provoke a religious crisis in the country.”

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the advocacy of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed, for the amendment of the Constitution with a view to adding more Sharia contents.

“Justice Muhammed reportedly made the call while declaring open the 20th Annual Judges Conference at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Faculty of Law’s Moot Court.

“We have not seen the full text of the paper presented and we learnt the Chief Justice was represented at the event. So, it is difficult to know if the speech was that of the Chief Justice or his representative.

“We don’t believe that such a reckless and provocative statement could be made by the number one judicial officer in the country. How could the CJN say ‘We as Muslims have the numbers to amend the constitution’? It is not possible. It is either he was misquoted outrightly or quoted out of context.

“Asking for constitutional amendment with a view to adding more to the Sharia contents is ill-timed, provocative and unacceptable. Was the Chief Justice of Nigeria put there deliberately for the promotion of Islamic matters or to be an unbiased and fair judge for all irrespective of religion? It appears from this statement (if he made it) that he was put there for Islamisation agenda.

“Those in the government are warned not to use the cheap popularity or acceptance they seek to set two religious practitioners against each other.

“This type of statement, if true, is enough for the President of the country to initiate the removal of this Chief Justice from office.”

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