by Usman Alabi
The lower chamber of the National Assembly, House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the bill to the committee stage. The bill which is to provide for the establishment of the Ecclesiastical Court of Appeal in the country thus passed the second reading.
The bill was sponsored by Gyang Dung (PDP-Plateau) and eight others.
Dung while presenting the bill said that the Ecclesiastical courts when established would complement the regular courts in adjudicating in matters to the tenets of the Christian faith. He said that this would only be between individuals and groups that yield and submit to its jurisdiction.
The lawmaker explained that the Ecclesiastical court shall exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Ecclesiastical law and Christian personal law.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara referred the bill to the Special ad hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 constitution.
It would probably take a long time before we understand the Nature of our secular social contract if there is any. The reason being that if Nigeria is a secular state, the state should not then be sponsoring proposals such as this. The fact still remains that our law makers need to look beyond personal interest and sentiments, and begin to address issues of national importance.
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