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Muslim Attorney Cites Confusion Over Sharia In Nigeria - 2002-08-20

A Nigerian Muslim lawyer says an intriguing aspect of the legal case involving Amina Lawal is that the strict Islamic law, Sharia, is being applied only against Ms. Lawal and not against the father of her son. Ms. Lawal's stoning sentence was upheld by a Sharia Court Monday. However, she is expected to appeal.

Ajibike Oshodi blames the confusion in the interpretation of Sharia – and its relationship with the federal constitution – on the last military government.

She says the 1999 constitution – which the military government authored – is full of flaws, and meant to ensure that democracy doesn’t succeed in Nigeria.

The Nigerian lawyer says the ongoing controversy surrounding Sharia -- and the conflict between state and federal rights -- is another by-product of what she calls a faulty document. Ms. Oshodi spoke from Lagos with English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje .