Monday, December 11, 2017


11th December, 2017

The Lagos Court of Appeal today ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not have powers to investigate or prosecute serving judges until after they have been dismissed by the National Judicial Council.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects this ruling. It is strange and unheard of in law. It is a travesty of justice.

We are of the humble opinion that this decision is designed to frustrate the Federal Government’s war against corruption. It is well known that except in a military setting, no anti-corruption war can succeed in a democracy without the cooperation of the judiciary and anti-graft fight will remain a sham so long as corrupt judges are treated as sacred cows.

How can a corrupt judge be free from prosecution by anti-graft agencies until the National Judicial Council (NJC) dismisses him? It is as simple as granting corrupt judges immunity. We are greatly disappointed. We are disappointed because the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. Yet the same judiciary has let us down.

Corruption has been responsible for depriving the hoi polloi of the dividends of democracy. It has been responsible for bad governance, insecurity, epileptic power supply, poor health facilities, bad roads, decayed infrastructure, etc and judges who collude with corrupt elements in society have worsened the situation. Such judges deserve to be exposed and punished in order to serve as deterrents to others. But the Appeal Court’s decision of today has deflated the hope of the jamaahiir.   

It is an open secret that corrupt government officials are prosecuted while in service. In fact their dismissal is always premised upon the pronouncement of guilt by the court. It is not the other way round. We beg to disagree. Nigerians are of the opinion that the judiciary is out to protect its own. Sentiment has been allowed to creep into hallowed chambers. It is a miscarriage of justice. Nigerians reject this camaraderie abracadabra.

It is an attempt to turn serving judges who are suspected of foul play into sacred cows and the Alpha and Omega in judicial matters. The Appeal Court’s ruling of today seeks to make a judge eat his cake and have it. The bench seeks to procure immunity for judges who violate their oath of office. It is judicial conspiracy. Those who interpret the law should not be above it. This is the understanding of the principle of equality before the law in civilized societies.

Will it be right for us to ask a court of competent jurisdiction to wait while a committee of school principals determine the fate of a school principal who is suspected of professional misconduct? Is he not one of them? Didn’t they rise through the ranks together? Couldn’t he be keeping the secrets of some members of the committee probing him? To that extent we may assume that the Appeal Court is allowing judges suspected of corrupt enrichment to take liberty for license.

It is like saying teachers who commit atrocities in their schools cannot be arraigned until the National Union of Teachers have investigated and indicted them. Or that medical practitioners found wanting in the line of duty should not be arraigned until the Medical Council sacks them. Where in the world is this allowed?

Judge Huang Songyou, former vice president of the Supreme People's Court of China was dismissed in 2009 for misusing his power to seek profits for concerned people in return for a huge amount of bribes, accepting money as presents illegally and living a corrupt life. The Chinese Judicial Council was not allowed to intervene. Twenty judges were sacked in Ghana in December 2015 over corruption while thirteen lower court judges were sacked in Pakistan in April 2017 over corruption related cases.

To round up, we express Gibraltar Rock solidarity with the EFCC in its battle against corruption. We charge the anti-graft agency to pursue this particular case to the highest court in the land. We urge Nigerians to stand up to be counted in the fight against corruption if indeed they want to be liberated from the shackles of socio-economic oppression.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Thursday, December 7, 2017


7th December, 2017

The American president, Donald Trump, yesterday gave official recognition to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.   

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns this latest move by Trump. It is arrogant and provocative.

Israel is being built on the blood of thousands of innocent Palestinians, including women and children. How can we be talking of peace where there is no justice? The Zionist state has carried out more than nineteen (19) massacres since its controversial and forceful establishment in 1948. Yet a world super power that prides itself in the principles of democracy, liberty and rule of law is the same country giving Israel all the backing it needs.

Israel’s atrocities are uncountable. The first was the Yehida Massacre on 13th December 1947 where more than 15 unarmed Arab civilians were brutally killed. Khisas massacre which occurred on 18th December, 1947 claimed the lives of 10 Arab civilians while Sharafat Massacre of 7th February 1951 also claimed 10 lives, just to mention a few. But the worst massacre of Palestinians in history was that of Deir Yassin where 250 unarmed Palestinians were killed. 25 pregnant women were bayoneted alive in the stomach thereby brutally killing both the mothers and their unborn children. 52 children were maimed.

Israel and its leaders have been unrepentant and belligerent even in recent times. We recall the unprovoked destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osilak in June 1981, Netanyahu’s desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the constant defilement of same by Israeli settlers. Palestinian homes are bulldozed at will while Israeli soldiers continue to kill vulnerable and unarmed women and children unchallenged.

Trumps latest pronouncement has merely poured salt on open wounds and confirmed the world’s suspicion that he does not want peace in the Middle East or elsewhere for that matter except in his personal bedroom. All the promises made to Palestinians have always ended unfulfilled and the actions of the super powers tend to deflate hopes and aspirations. The world seems unprepared for peace as justice has become a very scarce commodity.

MURIC appeals to the Federal Government to withdraw the Israeli security company training Nigerian troops on the protection of our waterways immediately. Those who bayonet pregnant women and shoot young children can only transfer a mentality of brutality to our own soldiers if they are allowed to train them. You can only give what you have. What Israeli soldiers have is tyranny and barbarism. In addition, both the Federal and state governments should avoid entering into any bilateral agreement with Israel until the Zionist state stops its infringements on Allah-given fundamental human rights of the Palestinians.

We charge individual Nigerian Muslims and Islamic organisations to boycott all American programmes scheduled to take place in Nigeria in protest against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Nonetheless, we urge Muslims to eschew any feeling of bitterness against American citizens. Trump must be recognized for what he is: an uncommon American leader whose action should not be used to judge the average American official. Neither should we judge the average American citizen by the actions of the American government as represented by Trump.

We assure all Western citizens in the country of the good conduct of Muslims towards them. Aggression is not in MURIC’s character. Neither do we encourage its transfer. No foreigner should therefore be made to taste Trump’s pudding.  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, December 4, 2017


4th December, 2017

The office of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has been inundated with complaints of religious persecution in Christian private universities. Despite the humongous amount being charged as school fees and other miscellaneous charges in those private tertiary institutions, Muslim students are marked for stigmatization, contemptuous treatment and forceful conversion.

MURIC strongly condemns these neo-colonialist propensities. Tyranny is least expected in cassock. It is quite demeaning, totally unbecoming and outrightly preposterous. Conscienceless power is subjugating powerless conscience.

This ugly development is a dangerous dimension at this stage of Nigeria’s history. By subjecting Muslim students to such mental and spiritual torture, Christian private universities in Nigeria are reminding us of the sad experience encountered by Nigerian Muslims at the advent of colonialism when Western education was used as a weapon to forcefully convert Muslims to Christianity. It is neo-colonialism per se. Such repression of Muslim students in Christian institutions gives anti-Western education ideologues like Boko Haram a good excuse to justify their stand.

Muslim students in various Christian private universities have reported how they are forced to attend church on Sunday. They are compelled to go to the chapel for various Christian-oriented programmes. A leading Christian private university rusticated a Muslim student who happened to be the president of the students’ union on a flimsy excuse. Female Muslim students who have been using hijab before they were admitted are disallowed from using it the moment they pay their school fees and conclude other registration formalities whereas such rules are not rolled out earlier.

This failure to stipulate the anti-Muslim rules before admitting candidates amounts to deliberate entrapment of Muslim youths, deception and gross failure to fulfill a social contract. It is morally deficient. Christian private universities are being used by Christian organizations to seize by the bends what they could not get by the straights. The Nigerian public is being taken for a wild ride and, for Muslim parents and their children and wards, it is like taking a ‘one-chance’ bus.

Although the owners of Christian private universities can only be blamed for oppressing Muslim students and seeking conversions by both fair and foul means, we single out Muslim parents, their children and wards who go out of their way to enroll in Christian private universities. What exactly do they expect? Why didn’t they choose Islamic private universities where their freedom of religion can be guaranteed? Was there any force majeure? 

Christian institutions in Nigeria have not been known to respect the fundamental human rights of Muslims. This is a big minus on the part of Nigerian Christendom. God is a God of justice and fairness. Those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The use of foul means to serve God runs counter to this ideal. It is ungodly to ‘trick’ fellow homo sapiens into an educational institution where they will be subjected to spiritual enslavement for at least four years or more. It is spiritual corruption to give unto God what was immorally and unjustly obtained. It is shameful.

MURIC charges the National Universities Commission (NUC) to investigate this serious allegation made against Christian private universities in Nigeria. NUC cannot afford to stand akimbo while thousands of Muslim students are spiritually raped. Were those universities licenced to forcefully convert Muslim students to Christianity?

NUC must protect those innocent students more so since denial of religious right under any guise is a breach of Section 38 (i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. NUC has a duty to call universities to order when they roll out Draconian rules. MURIC is in possession of documents and data spelling out the atrocities committed by Christian private universities and we are ready to supply them if NUC has the political will to perform its duty.

We also invite the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to take a critical look at these allegations which boarder on infringement on fundamental human rights. MURIC will soon forward incriminating documents in its possession to the commission. Although we have refrained from naming the implicated Christian universities in this press statement, such details will be unveiled when we submit our evidence.

We appeal to the Federal Government not only to establish more universities but also to increase its funding of existing ones to enable them to admit more students and provide qualitative education. State universities are implored to make adequate funding of those institutions established by them a major priority. We call for the establishment of more Islamic universities. Nigerian Muslims are reminded that proceeds from the annual hajj exercise can be used to establish Islamic universities in all the six geo-political zones.

In our concluding remarks, we warn Muslim parents and guardians to stop seeking admission for their children and wards in Christian private universities. We jog the consciences of the authorities of Christian universities who suppress the religious rights of Muslim students to open the gates of Babylon and ‘Let My People Go’.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


30th November, 2017

The  Federal Government (FG) has declared tomorrow Friday 1st December, 2017 as a holiday to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). 

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR, mni on this auspicious occasion. We also congratulate the Nigerian Muslim Ummah and the entire Nigerian citizenry for witnessing another birthday of the greatest man that ever lived.

According to the Glorious Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad was the seal of all prophets (Qur’an 33:40) and an exemplary leader (Qur’an 33:21). He was sent to the whole world (Qur’an 34:28) as a compassion to Muslims and non-Muslims alike (Qur’an 21:107 wa ma arsalnaaka ilaa rahmatan lil‘aalamiin وما ارسلناك الا رحمة للعالمين).

The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday is therefore the recognition of Compassion. It is the day of mercy, a day that deserves being declared as Compassion Day by world organizations like the United Nations.

A fortiori, MURIC reminds President Muhammadu Buhari of the plight of the 54 soldiers who were imprisoned for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents with poor weapons. FG may not realize it, but the 54 soldiers actually exposed the $2.1 billion arms fraud. They are whistle-blowers, not criminals.

Paradoxically, while other whistle-blowers are being rewarded, the 54 soldiers are languishing in jail. This casts a shadow on our war against corruption. It is very disheartening.

In the spirit of the Compassion Day which the Prophet’s birthday signifies, MURIC appeals to Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to grant presidential pardon to the 54 soldiers.

We call on civil society, particularly anti-corruption crusaders to speak out for the 54 soldiers. We also appeal to state governors and chief judges to use the occasion to visit prisons in their states with a view to setting free a large number of inmates particularly those awaiting trial.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)