The C.E.O. of House of Justice and Principal partner MIVE Legals, Gloria Mabeiam Ballason Esq, has described as being in contempt of Court, the Kaduna State controversial Preaching Law.
Ballason who noted that a Kaduna state High Court presided by Honourable Justice Hajaratu Gwadah had issued an order restraining the Kaduna State House of Assembly from acting in any manner on the bill pending the final determination of the case said that the House and governor were in contempt for seeking to sign it into law.
‘The law seeks to regulate preaching by issuing license to preachers. The question is what and who empowers a political authority to determine who is competent to preach?’ she quizzed.
The argument by the government that the law is to prevent religious crisis from hate preaching or to prevent noise pollution or obstruction of roads also does not hold water as these acts have been taken care of by existing laws.
The Penal Code, for instance, has a whole chapter devoted to offences related to religion and there are laws against environmental disturbances as well as other infractions that fall under Torts.
She said that the application of the law is likely to violate the right to freedom of association (or not associate), the right to freedom of thought conscience and religion which entail the freedom to alone or in community with others and in public or private ,manifest religion or belief in worship and the right to freedom of expression which takes into cognizance freedom to receive and impart ideas without interference.
‘The Law is also high handed as it prescribes a punishment of imprisonment of 2years, fine of N200,000 or both for any person found guilty under the law,’ she noted.