House Steps Down Bill Enhancing Powers of FCT Sharia Courts

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• Backs appointment of ministers, commissioners within one month
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives has stepped down a bill seeking to enhance the powers of Sharia Court of Appeal in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to include jurisdiction over criminal matters.

The bill had earlier passed through second reading and had caused controversy within national polity, leading to rumours that Sharia law was being introduced in the country.

A group of lawmakers on Tuesday had also proposed a bill seeking the establishment of  Ecclesiastical Court of Appeal.

The Sharia Bill was stood down despite being listed on the order paper.
It was stepped down as the sponsor was not at plenary.

The implication however is that the bill, which is one of those scheduled for consideration at the constitutional review retreat happening in Abeokuta, Ogun State, this weekend, would be temporarily discarded.

Meanwhile, the House also passed through second reading, a bill seeking to mandate presidents and governors to appoint their cabinets within a month of their inauguration.

Sponsored by Hon. Solomon Adaelu (Abia PDP), seeks to amend sections 147 and 192 of the 1999 Constitution to provide that the nomination for appointment of ministers and commissioners shall be made not later that 30 days from the date the president or governor takes the oath of office.