Towards locating the Nigerian Shari‘ah Penal Codes’ provisions for willful homicide within the Shari‘ah

  • AD Shittu
Keywords: Sharī‘ah, Sharī‘ah Penal Code, Willful Homicide, Takhayyur, Islamic Criminal Law

Abstract

The punishment for willful homicide under Islamic law is retaliation (qiṣāṣ) that is death. However, relatives of the murdered are at liberty to waive this and accept compensation money (diyah) or pardon the culprit absolutely. These provisions of the Sharī‘ah were not in force in Nigeria until1999 when Zamfara State adopted Sharī‘ah as its legal system and eleven other states later followed suit. With the creation of Sharī‘ah Courts in those states to hear among other things, matters of criminal cases and the enactment of Sharī‘ah Penal Codes to replace the long existing Northern Nigeria Penal Code in seven out of those eleven states, Islamic Criminal Law came into force in parts of northern Nigeria. This work examined the extent at which the Sharī‘ah Penal Codes adequately incorporated the provisions of the Sharī‘ah on willful homicide. Descriptive research method was adopted and data of the work were collected from printed materials and statute law. Findings of the work revealed that the Sharī‘ah Penal Codes largely adhere to the Maliki School of Law which in some cases, proves to be harsher than the provisions of others. The paper asserts that the right to waive punishment and compensation or to uphold either of the two is with relatives of the murdered and not the judge or the authority. As a result, strict adherence to a specific school of jurisprudence may not adequately represent the interests of Nigerian Muslims

Keywords: Sharī‘ah, Sharī‘ah Penal Code, Willful Homicide, Takhayyur, Islamic Criminal Law

Published
2015-07-20
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 2141-7040