Court bars El-Rufai from licensing Pastors in Kaduna

By Umar Salam.

The Religious Bill recently passed by the 8th Kaduna House of Assembly–shortly before its dissolution, has been declared illegal by a state High Court.

The Court ruled against the decision of the Kaduna State government to issue licences to the pastors of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) using the Religious Regulatory Bill; stating that the plan of the government is a gross violation of their fundamental human rights, which guarantees freedom of association and freedom of religion.

The Court maintained that the passage of the religious bill is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

In his judgment, Hon Justice D. Gwadah, added that, “the actions of the Kaduna State House of Assembly in proceeding to pass the bill into law despite the pending court proceedings and the subsisting court injunction restraining the action, is an affront to this honourable court.”

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Kaduna chapter, filed the case in 2016, challenging Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna State House of Assembly and the Attorney General of Kaduna State over the Kaduna State Religious Regulatory Bill.

The Kaduna State government is reportedly keen on appealing the judgment.

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