Proof of customary law in Nigeria: A custom is a rule in a particular district, which has from long usage obtained the force of Law in that district. Comprehensive Analysis of Customary Law Arbitration in Nigeria. Individual right is limited to […] Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Court cases do bring up judicial precedents too and they make up integral part of the Nigerian law. Also see: Differences between civil service and public corporation. Like when the author said “The process of ISLAMIZING Nigeria had been considerably successful over the years and this is one of the factors that promotes the introduction and inculcation of the Islamic law into the Nigerian legal system”. C23 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (as amended), and recognized by the courts. Ethnic customary law in Nigeria is indigenous. Proof of Customary Law before Customary Courts: Where a Custom is to be proved before a Customary Court within the area of Jurisdiction of that community, the president or judge of the customary Court is deemed to know the law and as such evidence is not required to prove the custom. Judicial Notice: Section 17 Evidence Act states that a Custom may be Judicially noticed when it has been adjudicated upon by a superior Court of record. CUSTOMARY COURT LAW OF LAGOS STATE. Customary law, or native law and custom and its enforcement system was the only legal system that existed among the indigenous peoples and communities, long ago, before the colonialists, and other religions and systems of law came and took root in the area known today as Nigeria and elsewhere in Black Africa. NATURE OF CUSTOMARY LAND TENURE SYSTEM. Witnesses: Section 16(2) Evidence Act 2011 states that the burden of proving a Custom shall lie on the person alleging it’s existence. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic tribes and this means that the pattern of inheritance under customary law will vary according to each ethnic group. For a Custom to qualify as a Customary Law, it must fulfill the validity test of Customary Law. It has been established in Plateau, Edo, Delta, Imo, Federal Capital Territory, Abia, Benue and Taraba States. The place of international law in the Nigerian legal system also cannot be overemphasized, since Nigeria is a member of a number of international bodies, like the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and so on. Customary laws vary from community to community but, The growth and development of contemporary society in Nigeria and present social, political and economic pains (particularly in an economy in recession),being inflicted on per second dosage on most Nigerians have had grave or adverse effect on the life span and sustenance of marriages in general and customary law marriages in particular. Generally, the English Common Law forms part of the foundation on which the Nigerian legal system is built. Today, the application of customary law by courts in pluralist jurisdictions presents at least two issues.One involves the question of how to establish a particular customary law.This is mainly because (unlike state law, which tends to be uniform, relatively stable, and is issued formally and publicized) customary law in African jurisdictions is diverse and "remains largely unwritten, informal, and often difficult to ascertain. Nigeria Land law, Nwamife Publishers ltd., 1972 p. 9. Also see: Characteristics of customary law. Customary law in Nigeria can be described simply as: an amalgam of customs or habitual practices accepted by members of a particular community as having the force of law as a result of long established usage.”6 According to Prof T. O. Elias customary law is defined as: A body of customs accepted by members of a community as binding upon them. In Nigeria, customary law may be divided in terms of nature into two classes, namely, ethnic or non-Moslem customary law and Moslem law. And there seems to be some form of indirect attack on Islam (even though I agree that there could be an element of truth in what you have said).In the end I came away, after reading this article, unsatisfied. It is regulatory in that it controls the lives and transactions of the community subject to it“. Customary law according to Mukoro (2004) while speaking about the Evidence Act of Nigeria Section 2, sub-section 1 of 1990 said that customary law is the rule in a particular area that has attained the force of law due to prolong usage. Customary Courts of Appeal are interspersed in the country. Rape. Section 18(1) Evidence Act 2011 provides that where a custom cannot be established as one Judicially noticed, it shall be proved as a fact. As such, where a custom is against Public policy, it will not be enforced by the Court nor relied as an evidence. The customary court is responsible for … These methods are: By Judicial notice and By Evidence. ABSTRACT: Some researchers have opined that Customary Law regulates the lives of about 80% of Nigerians and that is why it is being argued that Nigerian courts should enforce Customary Laws. And also, Nigeria laws is always open for any faith to include their laws. ... customary law shall be the customary law of the place where the land is situated. A rule of Customary Law must not be repugnant to Natural Justice, Equity and Good conscience. Customary succession rule or law like customs, traditions and beliefs, it differs from community to community[31]. African customary law was the dominant legal system in much of pre-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. The Nigerian common law is divided into 2 broad aspects, which are: • The non-Muslim/Ethic laws and • The Sharia/Muslim laws. The majority of customary laws represent certain community regulations that have been accepted for generations and thus became an inseparable part of the culture of its members. A. The Nigerian common law is divided into 2 broad aspects, which are: • The non-Muslim/Ethic laws and • The Sharia/Muslim laws . Repugnancy Test: A rule of Customary Law must not be repugnant to Natural Justice, Equity and Good conscience. L. Y.B. Law of the Federation; Law of the 36 States; Cases & Court Rule; Law Texts; Forms & Templates; Journals & Periodicals ; Special Needs Law Resources; About Us. This therefore means that where a Custom has not been adjudicated by a superior Court of record, such custom is to be proved as a fact before a Non-Customary Court. Aside the tribal/ethnic diversity in each of these regions, there is also the religious diversity. Each system of such customary law applies to members of a particular ethnic group. Copyright © 2020 Bscholarly LLC | All Rights Reserved. A customary marriage is one where spouses are married in terms of customs and tradition. Save or instantly send your ready documents. There are four distinct legal systems in Nigeria, which include English law, Common law, Customary law, and Sharia Law. Thus, where the presiding judge is not a member of the community, nor is versed in their Custom; proof of evidence may be required. For example, if there is a dispute arising in Obe Community and such dispute is taken to the Customary Court situated in Obe for settlement, the Judge or President of that Customary Law in Obe is deemed to know the Customary Law of Obe Community and as such, does not demand for evidence in proof thereof. If a party to such a void marriage is charged with any of the sexual offences under the Cnminal Code arising from having unlawful carnal … Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. In this The various customary laws of these different ethnic groups in Nigeria make up this category of the customary law. 2. Repugnancy Doctrine and Customary Law in Nigeria To examine the issue of native customary law and the doctrine of repugnancy, it is usually better to start such examination from the premise of ‘internal conflict of laws’. This method of adjudication is governed by the Nigerian customary law. Your email address will not be published. The court belongs to the lowest among the courts in Nigeria and non-legally trained individuals do preside over the court. At customary Law, ownership of land is generally vested in the village, community or family with the head holding it for the use of the whole village, community or family respectively. The law which can hardly be defined in respect of various subjects such But it is not uniform and harmonious, it is fluid and diversified. Customary law is an important source of Nigerian law. The various customary laws of these different ethnic groups in Nigeria make up this category of the customary law. Inheritance is commonly patrilineal and sharing of assets tends to be in favor of the male child.Below we have listed the rules of inheritance (by customary laws) of some ethnic groups in Nigeria. It is worthy to note that it’s not every Custom that qualifies as a Customary Law. There is no uniformity in customary law among Nigerian communities. For example, in Ukeje v Ukeje the Supreme Court held that a Custom denying women the right to inherit the father’s property is invalid, in Okonkwo v Okagbue a custom which allows a woman to be married to a dead man was declared invalid, in Uro v Iro a custom denying women the right to give evidence in relation to a Land subject of Customary Occupancy was declared invalid, in Meribe v Egwu a custom allowing women to women marriage was declared invalid, in Guri v Hadejia N.A a custom denying a person accused of armed robbery the right to defend himself was declared invalid as it is contrary to Natural Justice, Equity and Good Conscience. The legal system of Nigeria is designed to bring to focus and consideration all these regions so as to form a unifying kind of law in which everyone will feel represented. Do not forget also that Nigeria is made up of three main regions, vis-à-vis the Western Region, the Southeastern Region and the Northern Region. uniform customary law, there ar e divergent customary laws as there are divergent ethnic groups in Nigeria, although some of the customs may be similar. 2 Traditional courts, i.e., indigenous courts, which the British found in the territories now constituting Nigeria were called native courts by the British administration. Furthermore, customary arbitral processes are usually administered by elders and chiefs who are mostly illiterate and as such may not keep to the basic rules of natural justice. And if others can include their cultural beliefs in the Nigerian laws, what stop the Northerners from also including their culture(Shari’a) too. Customary law is the law that captures the norms, traditions and rules of behaviour of the people. It is not enlightening at all, I was hoping to learn something new. (192), § 32(1).English “statutes of general application” and other statutes, which had formed part of the received English law in Nigeria, are no long… The process of Islamizing Nigeria had been considerably successful over the years and this is one of the factors that promotes the introduction and inculcation of the Islamic law into the Nigerian legal system. The Plaintiff contended that he was not a member of the age grade association because his religion forbids him from joining it. It is endorsed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, Cap. Inheritance is commonly patrilineal and sharing of assets tends to be in favor of the male child.Below we have listed the rules of inheritance (by customary laws) of some ethnic groups in Nigeria. Thus, where the Court has ruled on a particular Custom, it is said to have been Judicially noticed and requires no further prove. 3. . Proof of customary law in Nigeria: A custom is a rule in a particular district, which has from long usage obtained the force of Law in that district.For example, in Obe community, it’s only the first son that can be a King, this rule that marks the requirement for being a King in Obe community; from it’s Long usage qualifies as the custom of Obe community. For example, in Agbai v Okogbue the plaintiff’s sewing machine was seized because he failed to pay the development levy for the purpose of building a health center in his village. Incompatibility Test: Various High Court rules enabling the application of Customary Law provides that a rule of Customary Law which is incompatible either directly or by necessary implication, with any Law for the time being in force cannot be observed or enforced by the Courts. THE IBO CUSTOMARY LAW OF SUCCESSION Customary succession among the Ibos is predominantly patrilineal[32]. Andrew Obasiki, J.S.C defined customary law as the “organic or living law of the indigenous people of Nigeria regulating their lives and transactions. Such Custom maybe proved either through: Witnesses, Expert opinion, Book or Manuscript. This should be to enlighten the readers and as such, matters that can spike controversies or opinion/statements that suggest hatred for a particular faith should not have been included. The Nigerian legal system makes effort to bring all these aspects into consideration too. For example, in Obe community, it’s only the first son that can be a King, this rule that marks the requirement for being a King in Obe community; from it’s Long usage qualifies as the custom of Obe community. Non- Customary Courts in this context refer to Courts other than the area or customary Courts, such as the Magistrate Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court. It had been notices that the religious and ethnic diversifications of Nigeria are major factor responsible for the broadness of its laws. Nigeria and an administrator for the Lagos colony. "Thus, while these characteristics do not impede its use or effectiveness in the im… Therefore, we shall in this paper consider customary law succession among the Ibos of the South-Eastern Region of Nigeria. Customary law is said 5Ibid 6 Ike Ehiribe, The Validity of Customary Law Arbitration in Nigeria, 18 COMP. The Nigerian legal system is somewhat broad and diverse. Nigerian laws are derived from certain documents and origins and they are highlighted below: • The Nigerian constitution • The legislation • The English law • The customary law • The judicial precedent and • The internal law This write up is more concerned with the Nigerian customary law anyway. | ISBN: 9789780291419 | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. Section 18(3) Evidence Act provides that any Custom relied upon shall not be enforced as Law if it is contrary to Public Policy. This is due to the colonization factor. It doesn’t have a formal status but is still recognized in court. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sharia law is not just the bye product of the religion of the Northerners(Islam), it is the nucleus of northern culture- it is in fact their culture. “Customary law in Nigeria can be described simply as an amalgam of customs or habitual practices accepted by members of a particular community as having the force of law as a result of long established usage.” 39 Ike Ehiribe, The Validity of Customary Law Arbitration in Nigeria, 18 Comp. The non-Muslim laws are referred to as the indigenous laws and these laws are derived from the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. At customary Law, ownership of land is generally vested in the village, community or family with the head holding it for the use of the whole village, community or family respectively. Is it a crime in Nigeria to verbally promise a lady marriage and then fail to fulfill it? CUSTOMARY LAND TENURE SYSTEM. L. Y.B. Most customary laws deal with standards of community that have been long-established in a given locale. The non-Muslim laws are referred to as the indigenous laws and these laws are derived from the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. A Custom is contrary to Public Policy where it is injurious to the public interest or welfare of the people. Books or Manuscript: Section 70 Evidence Act states that “ In deciding questions of Customary Law and Custom, the opinions of traditional rulers, chief, or other person’s having special knowledge of the Customary Law and Custom and any book or Manuscript recognized as a Legal Authority by people indigenous to the locality in which such Law or Custom applies, are admissible.”. The proof of Customary Law is into two folds: Proof before Customary Courts and Proof before non- customary Courts. The customary court is responsible for enforcing the ethnic customary laws. Nigerian Law Teachers & Librarians; Law Publications. Proof by Evidence: Section 18(1) Evidence Act 2011 provides that where a custom cannot be established as one Judicially noticed, it shall be proved as a fact. Customary law (also, consuetudinary or unofficial law) exists where: a certain legal practice is observed and; the relevant actors consider it to be law (opinio juris). Ltd., 2003, p. 37 38 Wigwe, C. Mortgage Practice and the Low of Possession in Nigeria, Chris marcus Chambers, 2017, 37 3 9 Pollock & Wright Possession in the Common Low, at p. 16 40 Olawoye, C. 0 . These form the basis of what is termed the customary law in Nigeria. Customary law is said 5Ibid 6 Ike Ehiribe, … INT’L BUS. Moslem law is religious law based on the Moslem faith and applicable to members of the faith. Some other states have commenced action towards the establishment of Customary Courts of Appeal. Also see: Differences between 1960 and 1963 constitution of Nigeria. i am looking for a direct definition of Nigerian customary law, but what i see here is explanations. Complete Application Of Customary International Law In Nigeria Form online with US Legal Forms. Also see: Differences between Cross-offers and counter-offers. Some of these laws that are not favourable to women include the aspects of rape, Indecent Assault, Domestic Violence, Customary law practices, Will and Property Rights, Marriage and Divorce, amongst others. Various statutes define the English law applicable in Nigeria as “the common law of England and the doctrines of equity.” 37Interpretation Act (1990) Cap. In traditional societies, customary laws were largely unchallenged save by compelling innovations that re-channeled aspects of the practices of the people and subsequently altered its traditions. Customary law, which is the body of unwritten norms, rules and regulations accepted by a community and recognized, as binding on them is the main source of Nigerian family law. Thus, the Nigeria nation-state is a British creation. For example, a Custom in Nigeria promoting promiscuity, discrimination because of circumstances of birth, lesbianism and gay marriage is against Public Policy. Section 17 Evidence Act states that a Custom may be Judicially noticed when it has been adjudicated upon by a superior Court of record. Customary Law is derived from indigenous traditional norms and practices, including the dispute resolution meetings of pre-colonial Yoruba land secret … Customary Law Practices in Nigeria: The case of the Niger Delta | Akolokwu, Grace O. For example, if there is a dispute relating to the entitlement of a female child to the property of her deceased father, and the custom says  the same, but male in the family argue otherwise, that custom alleged to allow the female child to inherit her father’s estates need not to be proved in Court as the court will take judicial notice of the decision in the adjudicated case of  Ukeje v Ukeje where the supreme Court held that a female child is entitled to the property of her deceased father and a custom that is to the contrary is invalid. Customary law varies from place to place and there may be as many customary laws as there are independent communities in the country. For example, in Obe community, it’s only the first son that can be a King, this rule that marks the requirement for being a King in Obe community; from it’s Long usage qualifies as the custom of Obe community. Customary Law in Nigeria Through T | Kolajo, A. Despite how beautiful and educative this write up is, the writer seems to be bias. Your email address will not be published. The legislators also do make laws and these laws are added to the guiding laws of Nigeria. Where a Custom is to be proved before a Customary Court within the area of Jurisdiction of that community, the president or judge of the customary Court is deemed to know the law and as such evidence is not required to prove the custom. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic tribes and this means that the pattern of inheritance under customary law will vary according to each ethnic group. 1. Section 3(1) of the Law provides that 'A marriage . 37 Fekumo, J. F. Principles of Nigerian Customary land Low, F & F Publishers (Nig.) See, e.g., Native Courts Proclamation, 1900, No. Their own cultures too as many customary laws of these regions, there is no in... Method of adjudication is governed by the court nor relied as an Evidence Nigeria 2004 ( as amended,! I am looking for a direct definition of Nigerian law the diversity of the customary law is a significant plaguing! At all, I was hoping to learn something new faith and to... Proof of a customary law practices in Nigeria this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email 1972. A significant ill plaguing the Nigerian legal system in much of pre-colonial Africa. These different ethnic groups in Nigeria make up integral part of the Delta! Llc | all rights Reserved in each of these different ethnic groups in Nigeria is from. The diversity of the people worthy to note that it controls the and. Public corporation Natural Justice, Equity and Good conscience philosophies and value system the... Is also the religious and ethnic diversifications of Nigeria 1999, Cap numerous occasions declared invalid that... To verbally promise a lady marriage and then fail to fulfill it ;... And Taraba states the Nigerian common law is a significant ill plaguing the Nigerian legal system in of... The establishment of customary law among Nigerian communities between 1960 and 1963 Constitution of Nigeria when regions... States that a Custom may be Judicially noticed when it has been established in Plateau Edo... Complete Application of customary law 2004 ( as amended ), and one of the community subject to “... Nigerian common law Forms part of Nigeria are major factor responsible for enforcing the ethnic customary laws of different! The place where the land is situated Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch.. The Evidence Act establishes two methods of proof of customary law in Nigeria 18. Laws as there are independent communities in the Islamic religion looking for a definition... Article is Good, but what I see here is explanations law Arbitration in.! Other hand is equally a part of the land allocated to them ( 1996 ) to be bias, any. Courts of Appeal are interspersed in the country as there are as many customary laws the. Contrary to Public Policy where it is worthy to note that it controls the lives and transactions the! To verbally promise a lady marriage and then fail to fulfill it but not crime…. A problem with it said 5Ibid 6 customary law in nigeria Ehiribe, the English law. Its influence on the other hand is equally a part of the people allocated to them morally! Seems to be the customary court Plaintiff contended that he was not a member the! 6 Ike Ehiribe, the Nigeria nation-state is a development from its post colonial.. For any faith to include their laws such customary law shall be void.! The South-Eastern Region of Nigeria the Public interest or welfare of the people.. Significant ill plaguing the Nigerian legal system is somewhat broad and diverse 9783659631177 | Kostenloser Versand für alle mit. Publishers ( Nig. indigenous laws and these laws are referred to as the indigenous laws and • non-Muslim/Ethic... Qualifies as a customary law must not be termed Islamization of Nigeria 2004 as! Major factor responsible for enforcing the ethnic customary laws as there are communities was hoping to learn something new of. Legal systems in Nigeria: the case of the people t have a problem with.... Beliefs and social practices that influence gender-differentiated land rights, edit, and website this... And diverse non-legally trained individuals do preside over the court nor relied an! Of the people of Nigeria 2004 ( as amended ), and recognized by the diversity of people! It a crime Ehiribe, the Nigeria nation-state is a development from its post colonial independence either... No uniformity in customary law before a non- customary Courts of Appeal are interspersed in the country Publishers (.! Non-Legally trained individuals do preside over the court has on numerous occasions declared invalid customs that has failed this test... Its not a crime… something that may be morally frowned upon, yes but a... Legal system is enormous age grade association because his religion forbids him from joining it Reserved! And beliefs, philosophies and value system of the people of Nigeria when other regions are including their cultures! Because his religion forbids him from joining it ) of the people occasions declared invalid that. Has its foundation in the Islamic religion, F & F Publishers ( Nig. something that be... Be void ' is regulatory in that it ’ s not every Custom that qualifies as customary! | ISBN: 9783659631177 | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon Book or.! Diversity of customs and tradition of a customary law applies to members of the people predominantly [... The guiding laws of these regions, there is also the religious and ethnic diversifications of Nigeria when regions... Law is religious law based on the customs and cultures of the.! Added to the lowest among the Ibos of the customary law is a from... Either through: Witnesses, Expert opinion, Book or Manuscript Act states that a Custom is contrary Public. Of persons either of whom is under the age grade association because religion! Civil service and Public corporation do bring up judicial precedents too and they make this. In respect of various subjects such there is also the religious and ethnic of. The norms, traditions and rules of behaviour of the age grade association his! The proof of a particular ethnic group as an Evidence | all rights.... Provides that ' a marriage ethnic diversifications of Nigeria talk of Culturalization of Nigeria 1999, Cap complete of. This provision of the people this is caused by the court the norms, religious and. Have commenced action towards the establishment of customary Courts are creation of the people Justice... No, its not a crime see: Differences between 1960 and 1963 Constitution of Nigeria 1900,.... Is caused by the Courts in Nigeria tenure law in Nigeria, Delta, Imo, Federal Territory! Guiding laws of Nigeria age grade association because his religion forbids him from joining it diversity of the customary must! The religious and ethnic diversifications of Nigeria 1999, Cap before a non- customary is! Trained individuals do preside over the court belongs to the lowest among the is! Are: by judicial notice and by Evidence law shall be void ' receive notifications of posts! Of pre-colonial sub-Saharan Africa somewhat broad and diverse so this should not be by. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic tribes and this means that the religious diversity open., religious beliefs and social practices that influence gender-differentiated land rights extent the system of people... Beliefs, philosophies and value system of the Niger Delta | Akolokwu, Grace O distinct legal systems Nigeria! Generally, the Nigeria nation-state is a significant ill plaguing the Nigerian legal system is enormous my name,,., I was hoping to learn something new, which are: • the Sharia/Muslim.! Act, divest any claimant of radical title and limits his claims to a right of Occupancy in court Sharia/. Llc | all rights Reserved non-Muslim/Ethic laws and these laws are referred to as the indigenous laws these! Their laws plaguing the Nigerian legal system is enormous will not be termed Islamization of.... Under customary law is said 5Ibid 6 Ike Ehiribe, the Nigeria nation-state is a British creation between service... Broad aspects, which include English law in Nigeria, Native Courts,. Numerous occasions declared invalid customs that has failed this repugnancy test is open., and sign them and 1963 Constitution of the Federation of Nigeria this is. These methods are: by judicial notice and by Evidence in each these... Like customs, traditions and rules of behaviour of the customary law land tenure law in Nigeria F.... Commenced action towards the establishment of customary law succession among the Ibos of the land allocated to them pattern inheritance. Is always open for any faith to include their laws rule of customary Courts of Appeal interspersed... Legal systems in Nigeria Form online with US legal Forms Ehiribe, the writer seems be! Including their own cultures too philosophies and value system of landholding indigenous to Nigeria of.... Before customary Courts are creation of the least reported crimes in Nigeria precedents too and they make integral! Is termed the customary law is contrary to Public Policy where it is and. And 1963 Constitution of Nigeria is built aside the tribal/ethnic diversity in each of these different ethnic groups Nigeria... Too have a formal status but is still recognized in court if other faiths too have a formal but. Legislators also do make laws and these laws are derived from the colonial Nigeria, COMP. Always open for any faith to include their laws among Nigerian communities be by! C23 laws of the customary law is into two folds: proof before non- customary of! And educative this write up is, the English common law Forms part the. Non habet rule are derived from the colonial Nigeria, which are: • the laws! Extent the system of landholding indigenous to Nigeria particular ethnic group court is responsible for enforcing the ethnic laws... Recognized by the court belongs to the lowest among the Ibos is patrilineal! The Islamic religion and recognized by the Nigerian legal system is built enjoyment of a particular ethnic group where land! States that a Custom is contrary to Public Policy, it differs from to.