Religious Bill: Pentecostal Churches Drag Kaduna Government To Court

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has instituted a case before Justice Hajara Gwadah of Kaduna State High Court against Governor Nasir El-Rufai and two others asking the court to declare as null and void an executive bill before Kaduna State House of Assembly (KDHA) which sought to strengthen the 1984 Kaduna State law that regulates preaching in the state.

The case which was filed as, Suit No: KDH/KAD/ 2016, by President of PFN, Professor (Rev) Femi Ehinmidu, through the Counsel of PFN, Sunday A Akani (Esq), joined the Kaduna State House of Assembly and Attorney General of the State.

The PFN filed the case on the 12th August 2016, and it came up for hearing yesterday.

In the suit, the PFN, made up of all Pentecostal churches in Nigeria, is seeking for the enforcement of its Fundamental Rights “as guaranteed under sections 38(1), 39(1), 40(1), and 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and under the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights.”

It wants the courts to declare that: “the Bill for a Law to Substitute the Kaduna State Religious Preaching Law 1984, sent to the House of Assembly of Kaduna State by the Executive Governor of Kaduna State is a violation of the Applicant’s Fundamental Rights of freedom of religion, Association and discriminatory as guaranteed by s.38, 39, 40&42 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“A declaration that “the Regulation of Religious Preaching law cap 130 of the Kaduna state law of 17th July 1984 is a violation of the Applicant’s Right to Religious Freedom as guaranteed by s.38, 39, 40 & 42 of the 1999 constitution as amended.

“An order setting aside the said Regulations of Religious Preaching Law of 17th July 1984 as a violation of the constitutional rights of the Applicant.

“An order prohibiting the Kaduna State House of Assembly from passing into law the said Bill as it offends the United Nations Organization and the African Union agreement and protocol of which Nigeria is a signatory to particularly Article 8 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.”

The lead Counsel to the Defendants, Barrister Sanusi Usman, Director Civil Litigation, Ministry of Justice, submitted his defence to the court and served the Counsel of the Plaintive, Sunday Akani (Esq).

Akani, told the Court that he will study the submission of the defendant and submit his response to the Court next week.

The Judge has adjourned till 30th January, 2017 as the date when the substantive hearing of the case would start. There was no objection from both sides.‎