• African Charter
  • Human Rights
  • Appraisal
  • Freedom to Practice
  • Religion
  • Nigeria

African Charter On Human And People’s Rights: An Appraisal Of The Freedom To Practise Any Religion In Nigeria

Article by Tayewo A. Adewumi & Oluwayemi O. Ogunkorode


On 5 April 2022, a Kano State High Court sentenced Mubarak Bala, to twenty-four years’ imprisonment for blasphemy. Nigeria is a multi-religious society consisting of Christians, Muslims, and the traditionally religious people of Nigeria. This article seeks to examine the relationship existing between society, the law, and religion. It analyses the study of society, the law, and religion putting into consideration the provisions of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and that of the Nigerian Constitution. The question to be answered in this article is whether there is true freedom of religion in Nigeria considering the provisions of our criminal law on blasphemy. A further question that begs for an answer is who is the victim of the offence of blasphemy in Nigeria and why are there different sets of laws operating in Nigeria? This article observes that provisions of the Nigerian Criminal Code, the Penal Code, and the Northern Nigeria Sharia law on blasphemy negate the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the freedom of religion. It concluded that religious tolerance is the major factor needed to ensure true freedom of religion in Nigeria.

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