The prospect of having a court to adjudicate on matters
of Christian jurisprudence gained ground as the House of Representatives
passed for second reading, a bill to provide for the establishment of the
Ecclesiastical Court of Appeal in the country.
The bill sponsored by Mr. Gyang Dung (PDP, Plateau) and eight others,
sailed through on Tuesday at plenary.
It is a constitutional amendment bill which Speaker Yakubu Dogara swiftly
referred to the Special ad hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999
In his lead debate, Mr. Dung argued that the Ecclesiastical courts when
established would focus on matters relating to the tenets of the Christian
faith and would serve as complement to the regular courts.
He stressed that submission to its jurisdiction of the court would be
voluntary and that the proposed 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 would widen the scope of jurisprudence,
adjudication and legal practice in our nation.
He said: “It will bring to reality the administration of Ecclesiastical
Christian tenets and law in adjudicating matters of personal Christian law
and civil matters. These shall be prescribed in the rule of practice and
procedure of the Ecclesiastical courts.’’
Dung noted that the bill would activate section 37 (1) of the 1999
constitution which guarantees the right of every citizen to freedom of
thought, conscience and religion and “it will also entails freedom to
propagate one’s religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and