CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF TA’AZIR PUNISHMENTS UNDER THE KATSINA STATE SHARI’A PENAL CODE LAW, 2001

CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF TA’AZIR PUNISHMENTS UNDER THE KATSINA STATE SHARI’A PENAL CODE LAW, 2001

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ABSTRACT

The topic “Critical Appraisal of Ta’azir Punishments under the Katsina State Shari’a Penal Code Law, 2001” is considered a topic worth writing-on, especially with the implementation of Shari’a in most of the Northern States and Katsina State in particular.

For convenience and clarity, the research work has been divided                   into     chapters;     touching     on     the     historical background of Shari’a implementation in Katsina State.

It has been pointed out in the work that even before the advent of the colonial period, people in Northern Nigeria have their own legal system based on the Qur’an, Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), Ijma’s and Qiyas; some aspect of which were partially dislodged by the colonial masters.

The work also attempted to distinguish between Ta’azir offences and their punishments related to Hadd offences, thereby citing examples of some Ta’azir offences as reflected in the Shari’a Penal Code Law, 2001 of Katsina State.

A highlight was made on the re-adoption of Shari’a Legal System in Katsina State which was mainly due to the yearning of the populace living in the State.

Re-adoption of Shari’a is indeed a welcomed development. However, this writer attempted to point out some problems in relation to the codification of the Shari’a Penal Code Law, 2001. And conclude the work by making some observations and recommendations which we believe, if implemented will bring about good administrations which we believe, if implemented will bring about good administration of Justice in the State.

CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION

A work like this is at its primary stage because not much, if any, has written on the aspect of Ta’azir punishments under the Katsina State Shari’a Penal Code. And even Penal Codes of other States that recently implement the Shari’a Legal System. The first State to re-introduce Shari’a Criminal Law was Zamfara State on 27th     January, 2000; followed by Niger State in May, 2000. Other Northern States like Jigawa (also 2000), Kano (November 2000), Kebbi (December 2000), Sokoto (January 2001), Yobe (April 2001) and Bauchi (June 2001)1.

The study will therefore serve as a pointer to the

Government and people of Katsina State as to whether the system is being implemented in accordance to the letter and spirit of the law and the areas requiring the attention of the policy or decision makers, or serve as a guide to source of information for other research on this topic or any other topic related to Islamic Criminal Justice System by law students or those formulating policies on the Islamic Criminal law.

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To introduce the work on the general basis, it is meant to highlight on the meaning and nature of Ta’azir offences and their punishments as distinct from Hudud offences under the Shari’a Legal System. And the rationale for Ta’azir punishments is being deterrent in nature as it affects the human society. The work will also highlight on how, some judges and Ulamas interpret some laws regarding Ta’azir punishment to suit their interest for the simple reason that it is not codified.

Therefore the people must have a codified law which they understand and which they respect i.e Islamic Law.2 That is why anybody learned in the Shari’a will submit that it is a law                                              which, If understood and applied property will      remedy most of the social problems haunting nations of the world3.

Thus, since the law making body does make law in the

interest     of    the    citizens,     in    making    such    laws consideration is given to their relevance to the society.

In considering the various issues surrounding the

shari’a, the Katsina State Government have come to the conclusion that they must provide for those who wish to come under the jurisdiction of the Shari’a Courts,

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and who strongly believe that they can get justice only from Shari’a courts because they believe denying them Shari’a courts will be denying them justice.

And recently in this millennium, the Shari’a Legal System was introduced and implemented by some Northern States including Katsina State. A Shari’a Penal Code was enacted for the State where offences and     their                punishments           were    prescribed         having established the Shari’a Court earlier4.

Ta’azir Punishment has been reflected in the Katsina State Shari’a Penal Code for offences not attracting hadd punishment and these, among others includes:

vBuying or Selling minor or unsound minded persons for immoral purposes.

vTrafficking in Women vLesbianism (Sihaq) vBestiality (Watal Bahimah)

vGross indecency: here the write intends to focus on what amount to indecency in Islamic Society vis-à-vis the concept in the Western World.

vDefamation

vPraise-Singing and Drumming

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vUnlawful gathering of male and female adults specified under chapter X5 


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