Court Declares Islamic Bank Illegal and Unconstitutional

A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday declared the non-interest financial institution operating under the principles of Islamic jurisprudence as illegal and unconstitutional.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that had it not been that the plaintiff, Godwin Sunday Ogboji lacked the locus standi to institute the action, he would have nullified the licence issued to Jaiz International Bank PLC to carry out Islamic banking in the country.

He said: “There are no provisions in the CBN Act and the Banks provided for in the Banks and other financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) that empowers the CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to issue license for non-interest financial institution to operate under the principles of Islamic jurisprudence without the approval of the head of state through the minister of finance.

“Unlike the other specialized banks, the Jaiz International Bank PLC can only be established in the country with the intervention of the National Assembly by amending the BOFIA Act.

“If not that the plaintiff has no locus standi to maintain this action, I would have nullified the illegal license issued to the Jaiz International Bank PLC by the CBN to operate non-interest banking under the principles of Islamic jurisprudence.

“This case is hereby struck out for lack of locus standi, but the AGF should take steps to remedy the situation, and further ensure that the CBN  carries out its duties within the provisions of the law establishing it”.

Ogboji, a legal practitioner asked the court to hold that the CBN’s guidelines for the regulation and supervision of institution offering non-interest financial services in Nigeria under Islamic commercial jurisprudence is ultra vires, illegal, null and void.

But the CBN and its governor had asked the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the plaintiff had failed to disclose how the license and issuance of the guidelines had adversely affected him.

He cited Section 10 of the constitution which says government should not adopt any religion.

“CBN does not have the power to designate Islamic Bank as specialize bank”, Justice Kolawole held.



  1. Thank God that the suit was dismiss becouse CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is blackmailing Nigeria wth his self fish interest. I think he shud also be dismiss from office.

  2. Na wa wo, we wey start they enjoy 0% interest with little returns and much profit how we go do. JESUS this our leaders and rulers done want us to benefit from any good in this country

  3. Islamic bank is a very good idea of it should be welcome bcos it does not have any negative effect on the public and it is another means of being pious.interest on money is wrong and God forbid it.let try to do the right thing afterall no one is force over it.

  4. How does islamic bank affect those who are against it. I think that there is a religious undertone to the whole of this. Those who want to have islamic bank, let them have it, those who don’t wantit then let them not have it.

  5. See,all of u who is asking hw dose Islamic backing affect someone or not,let me tel u all that theres law governing this country and anyhin that is not in line with the law is ultra vires,null and void,illigal and unconstitutional no matter what purpose for which it was set,u stop asking how dose it affect anyone in this country bcos if is lik that,i will one day come up with my own law and tel u that it dose not in anywhere affect u.okay?

  6. Why on this earth people think one way, they should let it stay and allow everybody to Bank with A̶̲̥̅ bank of his choice. But whether they like it or not it will still stay.

  7. Nigeria is not an Islamic state and so should not in any case allow such sectional institution as Islamic Banking. Infact the name alone does not appeal to the already existing dichotomy in the country…Nice work justice Kolawole!..we need matured minds like yours in this nation, don’t get it twisted!!!

  8. God wh created dis nation,wl nt allw d wcked 2 rule ova d righeous,hw cn a grat nation wit grat men,leadaz tink of
    sch idea of cratin an religion of bankin,pls tin of d ppl,wit religion nd xters 4 peace makin let it be ruled off 4 peac makin nd d law sak.God bliss Nigeria.

  9. u see this muslems, they are authors of confusion, they dont like to stay at peace, see d entire world, they are d ones fighting, pls tel sanusi to resign, since he became cbn gov. dola has never come down from 160, i no one day God wil pull him down frm that seat.

  10. Jane, do not say what you have little or no knowledge of. What do you understand by independence, freedom, or democracy? Why can’t Americans who claimed to be world power allow islamic countries be? They invaded in their countries with confusions and killing of their leaders unjustly. Sadam Husein, Gadafi, etc were killed by Americans. Iran, Iraq, Syria, pakista, etc were put into confusion and social unrest by Americans with their selfish interest. Justice kolawale should also know that electoral malpractices, massive rigging, corruption, etc are not in Nigeria constitution. What are you doing about them? Nobody can stop what is good for the poor masses inshaAllah.

  11. We need that bank seriously. By the grace of Almighty God it will be strongly established in this country. Let the Christians have their own type if they like.


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