Lawyers Condemn Muslim Group’s Disruption of Multi-Religious Worship Centre in Ilorin

Lawyers have condemned the actions of a Muslim group that disrupted a worship centre in the Alalubosa area of Ilorin, Kwara State, where Christian and Islamic services are held. The group, allegedly acting on instructions from the Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, argued that the mosque should not accommodate worshippers from other religions.

“We are here because of the report that the mosque in Alubosa, Ilorin, where Christians, Muslims, and even traditionalists worship. We observe this practice which should not happen in this town,” declared the group leader in a video that surfaced on Facebook and was reviewed by our correspondent on Thursday.

Legal experts, however, have labeled the group’s actions unconstitutional. Bimpe Adelowo, a lawyer, stated, “It is very wrong under the 1999 constitution as amended for anyone, even the government that has overriding power, to stop anyone from practising any kind of religion.”

Adelowo emphasized that the Nigerian constitution guarantees the fundamental right to religion. “Under the Nigerian constitution, the right to religion is the fundamental right of every citizen. Irrespective of the religion you belong to or how you practise, it is between you and your deity,” he said. He also referenced Supreme Court rulings affirming the right to religious expression, including the use of hijabs, underscoring the constitution’s support for religious freedom.

Adeyemi Fowosere, another legal practitioner, echoed these sentiments, calling the group’s actions unconstitutional. “No matter what the act of the said group might have looked in the face of a particular sect, it is not in their power and duty to go and shut it down. It is unlawful,” Fowosere stated, noting that the constitution protects the right to freedom of association and religion.

Oriloye Fuad also defended the right to religious expression, explaining, “The only excuse you can give for this is if they are operating a Sharia law and if that Sharia law is recognised by the constitution. Even at that, any other law that contravenes the Constitution is null and void.” Fuad emphasized that Section 38 of the constitution provides for freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, suggesting that the matter should be resolved through dialogue rather than unilateral actions.

The lawyers collectively asserted that those affected by the disruption have the right to seek legal redress for the violation of their fundamental human rights. Adelowo advised that instead of taking matters into their own hands, members of the Muslim group should have approached the court for an injunction, though he expressed doubt that any court would support their claims.


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