The clear intention of the 1957 Constitution was to allocate penal powers to the Federal Government and to confer on the states residual powers over minor syariah offences.
WHENEVER a general election appears to be around the corner, some people find it politically profitable to stoke the embers of controversy about the need for an Islamic state and its accompanying requisite – hudud laws – ie, laws relating to crimes, punishments and rights and duties that are mentioned in the Holy Quran.
Such a season of polemic is with us again and a few observations are in order.
First, it is a fact that since the 80s, many Muslims have been aspiring to give centrality to the Syariah in our legal system.
While this religious quest is understandable, its realisation requires massive legal reconstruction of the basic legal edifice.
We must be open-eyed about these changes and must accomplish them in accordance with, and not in disregard of, the constitutional charter.