You Can’t License Preachers, Court Tells El-Rufai

A Kaduna State High Court on Wednesday held that the state lacked the right to screen and licence preachers, but conceded it could regulate religious activities in the state.

Justice Hajaratu Gwadah, delivering the judgment in the suit filed by the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, challenging the constitutionality of a bill by the Kaduna State Government seeking the regulation of religious activities in the state, said Sections 6 and 9 of the bill, which seek to screen and licence preachers “violate the constitutional rights of the applicant.”

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The PFN in 2016 had challenged the constitutionality of the bill praying the to stop the bill among others.

Reacting to the judgment, PFN’s, counsel, Sunny Akanni, expressed satisfaction with the judge’s decision.

“Our argument is that you cannot licence pastors because they are already licences. In Christianity, not only ordained pastors preach. Every Christian is commanded to preach the gospel.”