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February 24, 2017

Bill to establish Christian court scales second reading

The House of Representatives on Tuesday December 6, in Abuja passed a bill to set up the Ecclesiastical Court of Appeal in the country, through a second reading.

The bill is sponsored by Gyang Dung (PDP-Plateau) and eight others.

Presenting the bill during plenary, Mr. Dung said the Ecclesiastical courts, when established, would complement the regular courts in adjudicating in matters relating to the tenets of the Christian faith.

According to him, this shall be between individuals and groups that yield and submit to its jurisdiction.

Mr. Dung explained that the Ecclesiastical court shall exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Ecclesiastical law and Christian personal law.

According to him, the bill will no doubt widen the scope of jurisprudence, adjudication and legal practice in our nation.

“It will bring to reality the administration of Ecclesiastical Christian tenets and law in adjudicating matters of personal Christian law and civil matters.

Mr. Dung emphasised that the amendment would activate section 37 (1) of the 1999 constitution which guarantees the right of every citizen to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

“It will also entail freedom to propagate one’s religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance,’’ Dung said.

He said that Cardinals who will serve as judges of the Ecclesiastical court shall be drawn from those learned in law.

They shall be required to administer justice in accordance with the Christian faith and the law of the nation.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, referred the bill to the Special ad hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 constitution. (NAN)

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