An Anatomy of Part 10 & 55 of The 1999 Structure As Amended; As Regard The Declare of The Lagos- Primarily based Lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo That The Arabic Inscriptions On Naira Notes Portrays Nigeria As An Islamic State -By Rilwan Saidu Salihu
Recall that Chief Malcolm Omirhobo approached the Federal Excessive Court docket Lagos division in search of for the willpower of whether or not the Arabic inscriptions on Naira Notes doesn’t portrays Nigeria an Islamic State.
The author finds it troublesome to bear the burden of this declare, therefore, shall be addressing similar within the mild of regulation, cause and logic because the case perhaps.
The wordings of part 10 & 55 of the 1999 structure usually are not imprecise or nebulous.
In any case, similar shall be reproduced beneath for make clear of thought and movement of logic, thus:
Part 10 of the 1999 structure offers;
” the Authorities of the Federation or of a state shall not undertake any faith as state faith.”
Whereas decoding the purports of the above part, the court docket of Attraction by way of Ogunwumiju JCA in Okafor & Ors Vs Ntoka &Ors (2017) LPELR – 427 94(CA) ; cited part 38 of the 1999 structure to corroborate the import of part 10 of the structure, thus:
” part 38, by the supply of this part, each particular person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and faith, together with freedom to alter his faith or perception and freedom both alone or in neighborhood with others and in public or in personal to manifest and propagate his faith or perception in worship , instructing, follow and observance. Whereas the federal government of the Federation or of a state shall not undertake any faith as a state faith “.
It as to be inferred from the above interpretation that Nigeria is a secular state and one can’t by any stretch of creativeness conclude that Arabic inscription on Naira Notes was contemplated to have been forbidden by the dint of the above place.
The logical query that nevertheless, involves thoughts, is, how does an Arabic inscription on a Naira Observe quantity to adoption of state faith?
Has it by its mere inscription gained affect to discourage or function a clog to different faith? I feel not!
In addition to, the inscriptions usually are not Arabic phrases per se, although bearing some Arabic options, wanting merely from the context.
They’re actually known as ‘ajami’ meant to change communications amongst merchants within the historic Hausa/ Fulani neighborhood. This being so, on account of the predominance of Hausa-Fulani merchants who have been much less literate in western schooling as of then.
Turning to part 55 of the structure, it offers:
” the enterprise of the Nationwide Meeting shall be carried out in English, and in Hausa , Ibo , and Yoruba when satisfactory preparations have been made due to this fact. ”
The wordings of part 55 above clearly pertains to enterprise of the Nationwide Meeting making an allowance for the key languages in Nigeria, to wit:
English, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. This place is kind of settled. The query right here is, does the mere Arabic inscriptions on the Naira Notes have an effect on the import of the above provision?
If sure, how? I don’t appears to logically infer any infraction flowing from the inscriptions.
The enterprise of the Nationwide Meeting has not in anyway been affected by the Arabic inscriptions or has the Arabic inscriptions logically influenced or known as for adoption of state faith. Probably not!!
What then is the competition?
Assuming however not conceding that the competition is Arabic language didn’t fall beneath the purports of part 55 of the structure making it amongst the key languages, meant for enterprise within the Nationwide Meeting, therefore, similar can’t stand!!
It’s to be famous that the inscription isn’t an Arabic language per se, it’s known as “ajami or Hausa ajami” which means that it’s an inscription/ communication finest conveyed in Hausa language. A median Arabian man although can learn similar however wouldn’t perceive and respect the message as a result of the spirit and intent of the message is conveyed in Hausa.
It might safely, be concluded that these Arabic inscriptions are considerably written in Hausa solely the physique of the language that bears Arabic inscriptions which ought to not be the topic of controversy.
It’s even the regulation that the shape doesn’t defeat the intent. The age-long equitable doctrine which presupposes that ” fairness appears to be like on the intent moderately than the shape ” ought to be dropped at bear.
Down the road of historical past, the inscriptions on the Naira Notes dated again to the colonial period they usually don’t suggest Arabic as a proper language in Nigeria. The Nigerian Notes retained the ajami inscriptions since 1973 when the identify of Nigerian foreign money was modified to Naira from kilos, it was inscribed on the nation’s foreign money by the colonialists to help these with out western schooling in sure components of the nation, who then constituted a bigger a part of the populace.
Try to take away the Arabic inscriptions as claimed will deprive Nigeria of her literacy, development and scholarly heritage.
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