The Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria and His Critics – Ibrahim M. Attahir

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CJN Justice Tank Muhammad

The CJN has recently been under attack by some disgruntled elements.  He was reported to call for an amendment of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) “the Constitution” on Sharia. I understand that the Hon  CJN was represented by the Hon. Grand Kadi of Niger State at the occasion of Annual Judges Conference organised by Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. However, I  am not in a position to know whether the Hon. CJN gave the person that representd him a prepared speech or he told him what to say or the man spoke his own mind.  In any event, whatever he said is an expression of opinion.

I see the criticism on the Hon. CJN coming from either ignorant or mischievous elements. Those who are ignorant do not know that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, etc.   Even where they know about the said  rights, they may not know the nitty-gritty of their application. Therefore, their attack on the Hon. CJN is understandable because they acted out of  ignorance.

The ignorant elements did not only criticize  the Hon. CJN. They criticized him in a  rude,  disrespectful and abusive manner.  They referred to him in unprintable words.There is a world of difference between disagreeing with the Hon. CJN or any important personality or  criticizing him on one hand, and disrespecting him and his office on the other.

Their uncultured behavior is a sad reality of our existence in a plural society. Some people come from a culture that does not see anything bad in disrespecting elders and constituted authorities. Therefore, their parents could not teach them civilized norms and values. They do not know decorum and courtesy in public discourse.

However, it is surprising that  those who know or ought to know (including some senior lawyers) compete with the ignorant elements in attacking the Hon. CJN. Since this second category are not ignorant, the only reasonable explanation is that their action is mischievous.

Their mischief is manifest because some of them are among those arguing that persons that called for the destruction of the country or its government are only exercising their freedom of speech. They insist  that the statements of those seeking to destroy the country and its unity cannot amount to treason because the statements are just an expression of opinion. So, the law  guarantees freedom of speech for their “clients” and denies it to the Hon. CJN who only called for an amendment to the Constitution?

This mischievous elements know or ought to know that  the Constitution has provisions for its amendment. Nevertheless, they mislead the public by painting the Hon. CJN black and even calling for his removal because they claimed that he was overheating the polity. There is nothing wrong in calling for  amendment of the  Constitution. It is the civilized way of improving the democratic process. I can call for amendment of a provision of the Constitution.  I can also call for introduction of a new provision in the Constitution. For example, I can call for a provision that  any person elected into any legislative house shall  serve for life. I can call for Nigeria to discard the bicameral legislature.

Other people may not like such an opinion. But it is just a call and an expression of  opinion. They can counter it in a civilized manner. I can make the  call one thousand times. But I cannot force any person or authority to act on it. It cannot have effect until the amendment undergoes the constitutional procedure. We know that the procedure for amending a rigid Constitution like ours  is very cumbersome. How can a person that knows this procedure  take  a mere call for amendment of the Constitution as  overheating the polity?

The mischievous elements also know that there are several provisions on Sharia in the Constitution.  Even the colonial invaders met some parts of the Country applying Sharia in judicial proceedings.  The colonial authorities did not abolish Sharia. What is the big deal about Sharia now?

I saw one of the senior lawyers on a television programme. The presenter asked him about provisions on Sharia in the Constitution as they relate to the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution. He knew the implications of the question. He, therefore, evaded the question. He ended up discussing corruption, insecurity and pilgrimage.

These selective critics should leave the Hon. CJN alone. If they must criticize him, they should be courteous. Our profession has taught us how to say no while smiling.  If they want to  oppose any provision on Sharia in the Constitution, they know what to do. They can attack the Hon CJN one thousand times. That will not change anything.

Gombe

21/12/2019

Ibrahim M. Attahir, Esq. can be reached on attahiribrahim8@gmail.com

The CJN has recently been under attack by some disgruntled elements.  He was reported to call for an amendment of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) “the Constitution” on Sharia. I understand that the Hon  CJN was represented by the Hon. Grand Kadi of Niger State at the occasion of Annual Judges Conference organised by Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. However, I  am not in a position to know whether the Hon. CJN gave the person that representd him a prepared speech or he told him what to say or the man spoke his own mind.  In any event, whatever he said is an expression of opinion.

I see the criticism on the Hon. CJN coming from either ignorant or mischievous elements. Those who are ignorant do not know that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, etc.   Even where they know about the said  rights, they may not know the nitty-gritty of their application. Therefore, their attack on the Hon. CJN is understandable because they acted out of  ignorance.

The ignorant elements did not only criticize  the Hon. CJN. They criticized him in a  rude,  disrespectful and abusive manner.  They referred to him in unprintable words.There is a world of difference between disagreeing with the Hon. CJN or any important personality or  criticizing him on one hand, and disrespecting him and his office on the other.

Their uncultured behavior is a sad reality of our existence in a plural society. Some people come from a culture that does not see anything bad in disrespecting elders and constituted authorities. Therefore, their parents could not teach them civilized norms and values. They do not know decorum and courtesy in public discourse.

However, it is surprising that  those who know or ought to know (including some senior lawyers) compete with the ignorant elements in attacking the Hon. CJN. Since this second category are not ignorant, the only reasonable explanation is that their action is mischievous.

Their mischief is manifest because some of them are among those arguing that persons that called for the destruction of the country or its government are only exercising their freedom of speech. They insist  that the statements of those seeking to destroy the country and its unity cannot amount to treason because the statements are just an expression of opinion. So, the law  guarantees freedom of speech for their “clients” and denies it to the Hon. CJN who only called for an amendment to the Constitution?

This mischievous elements know or ought to know that  the Constitution has provisions for its amendment. Nevertheless, they mislead the public by painting the Hon. CJN black and even calling for his removal because they claimed that he was overheating the polity. There is nothing wrong in calling for  amendment of the  Constitution. It is the civilized way of improving the democratic process. I can call for amendment of a provision of the Constitution.  I can also call for introduction of a new provision in the Constitution. For example, I can call for a provision that  any person elected into any legislative house shall  serve for life. I can call for Nigeria to discard the bicameral legislature.

Other people may not like such an opinion. But it is just a call and an expression of  opinion. They can counter it in a civilized manner. I can make the  call one thousand times. But I cannot force any person or authority to act on it. It cannot have effect until the amendment undergoes the constitutional procedure. We know that the procedure for amending a rigid Constitution like ours  is very cumbersome. How can a person that knows this procedure  take  a mere call for amendment of the Constitution as  overheating the polity?

The mischievous elements also know that there are several provisions on Sharia in the Constitution.  Even the colonial invaders met some parts of the Country applying Sharia in judicial proceedings.  The colonial authorities did not abolish Sharia. What is the big deal about Sharia now?

I saw one of the senior lawyers on a television programme. The presenter asked him about provisions on Sharia in the Constitution as they relate to the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution. He knew the implications of the question. He, therefore, evaded the question. He ended up discussing corruption, insecurity and pilgrimage.

These selective critics should leave the Hon. CJN alone. If they must criticize him, they should be courteous. Our profession has taught us how to say no while smiling.  If they want to  oppose any provision on Sharia in the Constitution, they know what to do. They can attack the Hon CJN one thousand times. That will not change anything.

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attahiribrahim8@gmail.com

Gombe

21/12/2019

The CJN has recently been under attack by some disgruntled elements.  He was reported to call for an amendment of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) “the Constitution” on Sharia. I understand that the Hon  CJN was represented by the Hon. Grand Kadi of Niger State at the occasion of Annual Judges Conference organised by Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. However, I  am not in a position to know whether the Hon. CJN gave the person that representd him a prepared speech or he told him what to say or the man spoke his own mind.  In any event, whatever he said is an expression of opinion.

I see the criticism on the Hon. CJN coming from either ignorant or mischievous elements. Those who are ignorant do not know that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, etc.   Even where they know about the said  rights, they may not know the nitty-gritty of their application. Therefore, their attack on the Hon. CJN is understandable because they acted out of  ignorance.

The ignorant elements did not only criticize  the Hon. CJN. They criticized him in a  rude,  disrespectful and abusive manner.  They referred to him in unprintable words.There is a world of difference between disagreeing with the Hon. CJN or any important personality or  criticizing him on one hand, and disrespecting him and his office on the other.

Their uncultured behavior is a sad reality of our existence in a plural society. Some people come from a culture that does not see anything bad in disrespecting elders and constituted authorities. Therefore, their parents could not teach them civilized norms and values. They do not know decorum and courtesy in public discourse.

However, it is surprising that  those who know or ought to know (including some senior lawyers) compete with the ignorant elements in attacking the Hon. CJN. Since this second category are not ignorant, the only reasonable explanation is that their action is mischievous.

Their mischief is manifest because some of them are among those arguing that persons that called for the destruction of the country or its government are only exercising their freedom of speech. They insist  that the statements of those seeking to destroy the country and its unity cannot amount to treason because the statements are just an expression of opinion. So, the law  guarantees freedom of speech for their “clients” and denies it to the Hon. CJN who only called for an amendment to the Constitution?

This mischievous elements know or ought to know that  the Constitution has provisions for its amendment. Nevertheless, they mislead the public by painting the Hon. CJN black and even calling for his removal because they claimed that he was overheating the polity. There is nothing wrong in calling for  amendment of the  Constitution. It is the civilized way of improving the democratic process. I can call for amendment of a provision of the Constitution.  I can also call for introduction of a new provision in the Constitution. For example, I can call for a provision that  any person elected into any legislative house shall  serve for life. I can call for Nigeria to discard the bicameral legislature.

Other people may not like such an opinion. But it is just a call and an expression of  opinion. They can counter it in a civilized manner. I can make the  call one thousand times. But I cannot force any person or authority to act on it. It cannot have effect until the amendment undergoes the constitutional procedure. We know that the procedure for amending a rigid Constitution like ours  is very cumbersome. How can a person that knows this procedure  take  a mere call for amendment of the Constitution as  overheating the polity?

The mischievous elements also know that there are several provisions on Sharia in the Constitution.  Even the colonial invaders met some parts of the Country applying Sharia in judicial proceedings.  The colonial authorities did not abolish Sharia. What is the big deal about Sharia now?

I saw one of the senior lawyers on a television programme. The presenter asked him about provisions on Sharia in the Constitution as they relate to the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution. He knew the implications of the question. He, therefore, evaded the question. He ended up discussing corruption, insecurity and pilgrimage.

These selective critics should leave the Hon. CJN alone. If they must criticize him, they should be courteous. Our profession has taught us how to say no while smiling.  If they want to  oppose any provision on Sharia in the Constitution, they know what to do. They can attack the Hon CJN one thousand times. That will not change anything.

attahiribrahim8@gmail.com

Gombe

21/12/2019

The CJN has recently been under attack by some disgruntled elements.  He was reported to call for an amendment of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) “the Constitution” on Sharia. I understand that the Hon  CJN was represented by the Hon. Grand Kadi of Niger State at the occasion of Annual Judges Conference organised by Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. However, I  am not in a position to know whether the Hon. CJN gave the person that representd him a prepared speech or he told him what to say or the man spoke his own mind.  In any event, whatever he said is an expression of opinion.

I see the criticism on the Hon. CJN coming from either ignorant or mischievous elements. Those who are ignorant do not know that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, etc.   Even where they know about the said  rights, they may not know the nitty-gritty of their application. Therefore, their attack on the Hon. CJN is understandable because they acted out of  ignorance.

The ignorant elements did not only criticize  the Hon. CJN. They criticized him in a  rude,  disrespectful and abusive manner.  They referred to him in unprintable words.There is a world of difference between disagreeing with the Hon. CJN or any important personality or  criticizing him on one hand, and disrespecting him and his office on the other.

Their uncultured behavior is a sad reality of our existence in a plural society. Some people come from a culture that does not see anything bad in disrespecting elders and constituted authorities. Therefore, their parents could not teach them civilized norms and values. They do not know decorum and courtesy in public discourse.

However, it is surprising that  those who know or ought to know (including some senior lawyers) compete with the ignorant elements in attacking the Hon. CJN. Since this second category are not ignorant, the only reasonable explanation is that their action is mischievous.

Their mischief is manifest because some of them are among those arguing that persons that called for the destruction of the country or its government are only exercising their freedom of speech. They insist  that the statements of those seeking to destroy the country and its unity cannot amount to treason because the statements are just an expression of opinion. So, the law  guarantees freedom of speech for their “clients” and denies it to the Hon. CJN who only called for an amendment to the Constitution?

This mischievous elements know or ought to know that  the Constitution has provisions for its amendment. Nevertheless, they mislead the public by painting the Hon. CJN black and even calling for his removal because they claimed that he was overheating the polity. There is nothing wrong in calling for  amendment of the  Constitution. It is the civilized way of improving the democratic process. I can call for amendment of a provision of the Constitution.  I can also call for introduction of a new provision in the Constitution. For example, I can call for a provision that  any person elected into any legislative house shall  serve for life. I can call for Nigeria to discard the bicameral legislature.

Other people may not like such an opinion. But it is just a call and an expression of  opinion. They can counter it in a civilized manner. I can make the  call one thousand times. But I cannot force any person or authority to act on it. It cannot have effect until the amendment undergoes the constitutional procedure. We know that the procedure for amending a rigid Constitution like ours  is very cumbersome. How can a person that knows this procedure  take  a mere call for amendment of the Constitution as  overheating the polity?

The mischievous elements also know that there are several provisions on Sharia in the Constitution.  Even the colonial invaders met some parts of the Country applying Sharia in judicial proceedings.  The colonial authorities did not abolish Sharia. What is the big deal about Sharia now?

I saw one of the senior lawyers on a television programme. The presenter asked him about provisions on Sharia in the Constitution as they relate to the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution. He knew the implications of the question. He, therefore, evaded the question. He ended up discussing corruption, insecurity and pilgrimage.

These selective critics should leave the Hon. CJN alone. If they must criticize him, they should be courteous. Our profession has taught us how to say no while smiling.  If they want to  oppose any provision on Sharia in the Constitution, they know what to do. They can attack the Hon CJN one thousand times. That will not change anything.

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attahiribrahim8@gmail.com

Gombe

21/12/2019

The CJN has recently been under attack by some disgruntled elements.  He was reported to call for an amendment of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) “the Constitution” on Sharia. I understand that the Hon  CJN was represented by the Hon. Grand Kadi of Niger State at the occasion of Annual Judges Conference organised by Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. However, I  am not in a position to know whether the Hon. CJN gave the person that representd him a prepared speech or he told him what to say or the man spoke his own mind.  In any event, whatever he said is an expression of opinion.

I see the criticism on the Hon. CJN coming from either ignorant or mischievous elements. Those who are ignorant do not know that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, etc.   Even where they know about the said  rights, they may not know the nitty-gritty of their application. Therefore, their attack on the Hon. CJN is understandable because they acted out of  ignorance.

The ignorant elements did not only criticize  the Hon. CJN. They criticized him in a  rude,  disrespectful and abusive manner.  They referred to him in unprintable words.There is a world of difference between disagreeing with the Hon. CJN or any important personality or  criticizing him on one hand, and disrespecting him and his office on the other.

Their uncultured behavior is a sad reality of our existence in a plural society. Some people come from a culture that does not see anything bad in disrespecting elders and constituted authorities. Therefore, their parents could not teach them civilized norms and values. They do not know decorum and courtesy in public discourse.

However, it is surprising that  those who know or ought to know (including some senior lawyers) compete with the ignorant elements in attacking the Hon. CJN. Since this second category are not ignorant, the only reasonable explanation is that their action is mischievous.

Their mischief is manifest because some of them are among those arguing that persons that called for the destruction of the country or its government are only exercising their freedom of speech. They insist  that the statements of those seeking to destroy the country and its unity cannot amount to treason because the statements are just an expression of opinion. So, the law  guarantees freedom of speech for their “clients” and denies it to the Hon. CJN who only called for an amendment to the Constitution?

This mischievous elements know or ought to know that  the Constitution has provisions for its amendment. Nevertheless, they mislead the public by painting the Hon. CJN black and even calling for his removal because they claimed that he was overheating the polity. There is nothing wrong in calling for  amendment of the  Constitution. It is the civilized way of improving the democratic process. I can call for amendment of a provision of the Constitution.  I can also call for introduction of a new provision in the Constitution. For example, I can call for a provision that  any person elected into any legislative house shall  serve for life. I can call for Nigeria to discard the bicameral legislature.

Other people may not like such an opinion. But it is just a call and an expression of  opinion. They can counter it in a civilized manner. I can make the  call one thousand times. But I cannot force any person or authority to act on it. It cannot have effect until the amendment undergoes the constitutional procedure. We know that the procedure for amending a rigid Constitution like ours  is very cumbersome. How can a person that knows this procedure  take  a mere call for amendment of the Constitution as  overheating the polity?

The mischievous elements also know that there are several provisions on Sharia in the Constitution.  Even the colonial invaders met some parts of the Country applying Sharia in judicial proceedings.  The colonial authorities did not abolish Sharia. What is the big deal about Sharia now?

I saw one of the senior lawyers on a television programme. The presenter asked him about provisions on Sharia in the Constitution as they relate to the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution. He knew the implications of the question. He, therefore, evaded the question. He ended up discussing corruption, insecurity and pilgrimage.

These selective critics should leave the Hon. CJN alone. If they must criticize him, they should be courteous. Our profession has taught us how to say no while smiling.  If they want to  oppose any provision on Sharia in the Constitution, they know what to do. They can attack the Hon CJN one thousand times. That will not change anything.

attahiribrahim8@gmail.com

Gombe

21/12/2019

The CJN has recently been under attack by some disgruntled elements.  He was reported to call for an amendment of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) “the Constitution” on Sharia. I understand that the Hon  CJN was represented by the Hon. Grand Kadi of Niger State at the occasion of Annual Judges Conference organised by Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. However, I  am not in a position to know whether the Hon. CJN gave the person that representd him a prepared speech or he told him what to say or the man spoke his own mind.  In any event, whatever he said is an expression of opinion.

I see the criticism on the Hon. CJN coming from either ignorant or mischievous elements. Those who are ignorant do not know that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, etc.   Even where they know about the said  rights, they may not know the nitty-gritty of their application. Therefore, their attack on the Hon. CJN is understandable because they acted out of  ignorance.

The ignorant elements did not only criticize  the Hon. CJN. They criticized him in a  rude,  disrespectful and abusive manner.  They referred to him in unprintable words.There is a world of difference between disagreeing with the Hon. CJN or any important personality or  criticizing him on one hand, and disrespecting him and his office on the other.

Their uncultured behavior is a sad reality of our existence in a plural society. Some people come from a culture that does not see anything bad in disrespecting elders and constituted authorities. Therefore, their parents could not teach them civilized norms and values. They do not know decorum and courtesy in public discourse.

However, it is surprising that  those who know or ought to know (including some senior lawyers) compete with the ignorant elements in attacking the Hon. CJN. Since this second category are not ignorant, the only reasonable explanation is that their action is mischievous.

Their mischief is manifest because some of them are among those arguing that persons that called for the destruction of the country or its government are only exercising their freedom of speech. They insist  that the statements of those seeking to destroy the country and its unity cannot amount to treason because the statements are just an expression of opinion. So, the law  guarantees freedom of speech for their “clients” and denies it to the Hon. CJN who only called for an amendment to the Constitution?

This mischievous elements know or ought to know that  the Constitution has provisions for its amendment. Nevertheless, they mislead the public by painting the Hon. CJN black and even calling for his removal because they claimed that he was overheating the polity. There is nothing wrong in calling for  amendment of the  Constitution. It is the civilized way of improving the democratic process. I can call for amendment of a provision of the Constitution.  I can also call for introduction of a new provision in the Constitution. For example, I can call for a provision that  any person elected into any legislative house shall  serve for life. I can call for Nigeria to discard the bicameral legislature.

Other people may not like such an opinion. But it is just a call and an expression of  opinion. They can counter it in a civilized manner. I can make the  call one thousand times. But I cannot force any person or authority to act on it. It cannot have effect until the amendment undergoes the constitutional procedure. We know that the procedure for amending a rigid Constitution like ours  is very cumbersome. How can a person that knows this procedure  take  a mere call for amendment of the Constitution as  overheating the polity?

The mischievous elements also know that there are several provisions on Sharia in the Constitution.  Even the colonial invaders met some parts of the Country applying Sharia in judicial proceedings.  The colonial authorities did not abolish Sharia. What is the big deal about Sharia now?

I saw one of the senior lawyers on a television programme. The presenter asked him about provisions on Sharia in the Constitution as they relate to the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution. He knew the implications of the question. He, therefore, evaded the question. He ended up discussing corruption, insecurity and pilgrimage.

These selective critics should leave the Hon. CJN alone. If they must criticize him, they should be courteous. Our profession has taught us how to say no while smiling.  If they want to  oppose any provision on Sharia in the Constitution, they know what to do. They can attack the Hon CJN one thousand times. That will not change anything.

attahiribrahim8@gmail.com

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Gombe

21/12/2019

The CJN has recently been under attack by some disgruntled elements.  He was reported to call for an amendment of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) “the Constitution” on Sharia. I understand that the Hon  CJN was represented by the Hon. Grand Kadi of Niger State at the occasion of Annual Judges Conference organised by Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. However, I  am not in a position to know whether the Hon. CJN gave the person that representd him a prepared speech or he told him what to say or the man spoke his own mind.  In any event, whatever he said is an expression of opinion.

I see the criticism on the Hon. CJN coming from either ignorant or mischievous elements. Those who are ignorant do not know that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, etc.   Even where they know about the said  rights, they may not know the nitty-gritty of their application. Therefore, their attack on the Hon. CJN is understandable because they acted out of  ignorance.

The ignorant elements did not only criticize  the Hon. CJN. They criticized him in a  rude,  disrespectful and abusive manner.  They referred to him in unprintable words.There is a world of difference between disagreeing with the Hon. CJN or any important personality or  criticizing him on one hand, and disrespecting him and his office on the other.

Their uncultured behavior is a sad reality of our existence in a plural society. Some people come from a culture that does not see anything bad in disrespecting elders and constituted authorities. Therefore, their parents could not teach them civilized norms and values. They do not know decorum and courtesy in public discourse.

However, it is surprising that  those who know or ought to know (including some senior lawyers) compete with the ignorant elements in attacking the Hon. CJN. Since this second category are not ignorant, the only reasonable explanation is that their action is mischievous.

Their mischief is manifest because some of them are among those arguing that persons that called for the destruction of the country or its government are only exercising their freedom of speech. They insist  that the statements of those seeking to destroy the country and its unity cannot amount to treason because the statements are just an expression of opinion. So, the law  guarantees freedom of speech for their “clients” and denies it to the Hon. CJN who only called for an amendment to the Constitution?

This mischievous elements know or ought to know that  the Constitution has provisions for its amendment. Nevertheless, they mislead the public by painting the Hon. CJN black and even calling for his removal because they claimed that he was overheating the polity. There is nothing wrong in calling for  amendment of the  Constitution. It is the civilized way of improving the democratic process. I can call for amendment of a provision of the Constitution.  I can also call for introduction of a new provision in the Constitution. For example, I can call for a provision that  any person elected into any legislative house shall  serve for life. I can call for Nigeria to discard the bicameral legislature.

Other people may not like such an opinion. But it is just a call and an expression of  opinion. They can counter it in a civilized manner. I can make the  call one thousand times. But I cannot force any person or authority to act on it. It cannot have effect until the amendment undergoes the constitutional procedure. We know that the procedure for amending a rigid Constitution like ours  is very cumbersome. How can a person that knows this procedure  take  a mere call for amendment of the Constitution as  overheating the polity?

The mischievous elements also know that there are several provisions on Sharia in the Constitution.  Even the colonial invaders met some parts of the Country applying Sharia in judicial proceedings.  The colonial authorities did not abolish Sharia. What is the big deal about Sharia now?

I saw one of the senior lawyers on a television programme. The presenter asked him about provisions on Sharia in the Constitution as they relate to the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution. He knew the implications of the question. He, therefore, evaded the question. He ended up discussing corruption, insecurity and pilgrimage.

These selective critics should leave the Hon. CJN alone. If they must criticize him, they should be courteous. Our profession has taught us how to say no while smiling.  If they want to  oppose any provision on Sharia in the Constitution, they know what to do. They can attack the Hon CJN one thousand times. That will not change anything.

attahiribrahim8@gmail.com

Gombe

21/12/2019

The CJN has recently been under attack by some disgruntled elements.  He was reported to call for an amendment of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) “the Constitution” on Sharia. I understand that the Hon  CJN was represented by the Hon. Grand Kadi of Niger State at the occasion of Annual Judges Conference organised by Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. However, I  am not in a position to know whether the Hon. CJN gave the person that representd him a prepared speech or he told him what to say or the man spoke his own mind.  In any event, whatever he said is an expression of opinion.

I see the criticism on the Hon. CJN coming from either ignorant or mischievous elements. Those who are ignorant do not know that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, etc.   Even where they know about the said  rights, they may not know the nitty-gritty of their application. Therefore, their attack on the Hon. CJN is understandable because they acted out of  ignorance.

The ignorant elements did not only criticize  the Hon. CJN. They criticized him in a  rude,  disrespectful and abusive manner.  They referred to him in unprintable words.There is a world of difference between disagreeing with the Hon. CJN or any important personality or  criticizing him on one hand, and disrespecting him and his office on the other.

Their uncultured behavior is a sad reality of our existence in a plural society. Some people come from a culture that does not see anything bad in disrespecting elders and constituted authorities. Therefore, their parents could not teach them civilized norms and values. They do not know decorum and courtesy in public discourse.

However, it is surprising that  those who know or ought to know (including some senior lawyers) compete with the ignorant elements in attacking the Hon. CJN. Since this second category are not ignorant, the only reasonable explanation is that their action is mischievous.

Their mischief is manifest because some of them are among those arguing that persons that called for the destruction of the country or its government are only exercising their freedom of speech. They insist  that the statements of those seeking to destroy the country and its unity cannot amount to treason because the statements are just an expression of opinion. So, the law  guarantees freedom of speech for their “clients” and denies it to the Hon. CJN who only called for an amendment to the Constitution?

This mischievous elements know or ought to know that  the Constitution has provisions for its amendment. Nevertheless, they mislead the public by painting the Hon. CJN black and even calling for his removal because they claimed that he was overheating the polity. There is nothing wrong in calling for  amendment of the  Constitution. It is the civilized way of improving the democratic process. I can call for amendment of a provision of the Constitution.  I can also call for introduction of a new provision in the Constitution. For example, I can call for a provision that  any person elected into any legislative house shall  serve for life. I can call for Nigeria to discard the bicameral legislature.

Other people may not like such an opinion. But it is just a call and an expression of  opinion. They can counter it in a civilized manner. I can make the  call one thousand times. But I cannot force any person or authority to act on it. It cannot have effect until the amendment undergoes the constitutional procedure. We know that the procedure for amending a rigid Constitution like ours  is very cumbersome. How can a person that knows this procedure  take  a mere call for amendment of the Constitution as  overheating the polity?

The mischievous elements also know that there are several provisions on Sharia in the Constitution.  Even the colonial invaders met some parts of the Country applying Sharia in judicial proceedings.  The colonial authorities did not abolish Sharia. What is the big deal about Sharia now?

I saw one of the senior lawyers on a television programme. The presenter asked him about provisions on Sharia in the Constitution as they relate to the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution. He knew the implications of the question. He, therefore, evaded the question. He ended up discussing corruption, insecurity and pilgrimage.

These selective critics should leave the Hon. CJN alone. If they must criticize him, they should be courteous. Our profession has taught us how to say no while smiling.  If they want to  oppose any provision on Sharia in the Constitution, they know what to do. They can attack the Hon CJN one thousand times. That will not change anything.

attahiribrahim8@gmail.com

Gombe

21/12/2019

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