Two years after reserving ruling in a case on the Regulation of Religious Preaching bill, a Kaduna High Court judge has informed the parties that ruling would be delivered tomorrow, Wednesday, 19 June 2019.
The extended delay in the ruling is contrary to the 90-day limit set by the Constitution.
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria had two years ago filed the case to challenge the Regulation of Religious Preaching Bill that was then being considered by the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
Arguments were taken from the parties to the case on July 12, 2017. Thereafter, Justice Hajara Gwadah reserved ruling for October 4, 2017.
Legal experts are surprised that the ruling is coming almost two years after the conclusion of arguments in the case. What the Constitution provides is that rulings are to be delivered within three months of the conclusion of arguments by parties.
The outcome of another case at the Federal High Court further deepened surprise that Justice Gwadah entertained a case that sought to stop the Kaduna State House of Assembly from performing its statutory function.
On April 26, 2018, the Federal High Court dismissed a suit filed by Kajit Bagu on the Regulation of Religious Preaching Bill.
The court held that it cannot interfere with the law-making process of the legislature and therefore cannot restrain the Kaduna State House of Assembly from considering the bill.
In plain terms, the court said it could not entertain a challenge to a law that had not been enacted. It also ruled that it could not stop a bill from being considered or passed into law.
Recall that the Kaduna State House of Assembly passed the amended Regulation of Religious Preaching Law about two weeks ago.
The law has been in existence in the state since August 14, 1984 when Edict No. 7 was enacted by the then Military Governor of Kaduna State, Usman Muazu (then an air commodore).