The heat notwithstanding, the courtroom was filled to capacity and there was no power to work the rickety fans that hung loosely from the ceiling. The presiding judge had to make do with a locally made hand fan, which seemingly distracted him.
This was the scenario at one of the Upper Sharia Courts at Kofar Kudu in the heart of Kano City. Indeed many people troop in daily with various cases, criminal and civil; ranging from theft, divorce to inheritance.
The Kofar Kudu judge, it was gathered, like many other judges, shuffles between two courts. He, unlike others, is lucky to have his other courtroom adjacent to his main courtroom.
In late March 2021, when Daily Trust visited another courtroom, the chairs were dusty and the floor was unkempt, an indication it had not been put to use over a long period.
The judge of the dusty courtroom, it was gathered, had proceeded on study leave; as such, the burden of the court had to be borne by another, who already had a congested docket.
The registrar of the dusty courtroom told Daily Trust that the court recorded an average of 20 cases on his list every day.
Justice Abdullateef Kamaldeen of the Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal, in a paper presented at a workshop for Area/Sharia and Customary court judges, had explained that the Sharia Court Laws of the Northern States (Sharia Judicial System) conferred original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal matters in Sharia courts; so also is the jurisdiction to hear and determine civil matters and cases where all the parties are Muslims.