Archbishop Anthony Olubunmi Okogie of Lagos, Nigeria
offered to die in place of a woman condemned to death by stoning for committing
adultery. An Islamic court imposed the sentence. Amnesty International and human
rights groups around the world were against the sentence. On 14 October, 2001,
Safiya, a divorcee with a five month-old baby, was charged with, and convicted
of, adultery. Under Shari’ah Law, adultery is a capital offence when the
individual is married. Amnesty said that different standards were applied to
Safiya and to the married man involved in the case who was released because of
lack of evidence.
Shari’ah Law was introduced in Nigeria in 1999. At that
time, Archbishop Okogie warned of the dangers of having Shari’ah and civil laws
together since Nigeria is a secular state. The Christian Elders Forum of
Northern Nigeria called on the federal government to "either withdraw Shari’ah
courts in the country or Christian Canon Law and other religious courts should
also be adopted and financed by the government."