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 legislators also do make laws and these laws are added to the guiding laws of Nigeria. divide Nigeria into districts, for the purposes of this Act, and may, from time to time, by like order, alter the districts. Customary law, let alone customary arbitration is generally not a written law and that constitutes a weakness because the records are not kept for easy reference. Despite how beautiful and educative this write up is, the writer seems to be bias. As such, where a custom is against Public policy, it will not be enforced by the Court nor relied as an evidence. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic tribes and this means that the pattern of inheritance under customary law will vary according to each ethnic group. The court has on numerous occasions declared invalid Customs that has failed this repugnancy test. 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 … Tree &Trees JusticeMedia; Child in Law Foundation; Partnership for LawNigeria; Donate; 0. The Plaintiff contended that he was not a member of the age grade association because his religion forbids him from joining it. Nigeria Facilitator, School of Law, National Open University of Nigeria, Uyo Study Centre 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. The customary court is responsible for enforcing the ethnic customary laws. In Nigeria, customary law may be divided in terms of nature into two classes, namely, ethnic or non-Moslem customary law and Moslem law. Also see: Characteristics of customary law. It is endorsed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, Cap. Court cases do bring up judicial precedents too and they make up integral part of the Nigerian law. Nigerian Law Teachers & Librarians; Law Publications. ... customary law shall be the customary law of the place where the land is situated. It is regulatory in that it controls the lives and transactions of the community subject to it“. It is the law propelled by the worldview, beliefs, philosophies and value system of the people. 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. 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. 131,132 (1996) to be the law which is generated by custom. 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. And also, Nigeria laws is always open for any faith to include their laws. This simply means that where there is an existing legislative enactment, and there is a Custom contrary to that existing Legislative enactment, such Custom is invalid. 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. The various customary laws of these different ethnic groups in Nigeria make up this category of the customary law. C23 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (as amended), and recognized by the courts. 1. Customary Law Practices in Nigeria: The case of the Niger Delta | Akolokwu, Grace O. This provision of the Evidence Act establishes two methods of proof of a Customary Law before a Non- Customary Court. INT’L BUS. ... that neither of the parties to the intended marriage is married by customary law to any person other than the person with whom such marriage is proposed to be contracted. 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 succession rule or law like customs, traditions and beliefs, it differs from community to community. 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. 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.”. Customary law is a form of a traditional, commonly-accepted rule or practice that has the power of law, and is usually found within a particular ethnic group or location. Hence, diversity in people implies diversity of customs. This definition was given in … 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. Your email address will not be published. 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’. Customary Courts of Appeal are interspersed in the country. It is indigenous and reflects on the customs and cultures of the people. 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. The Nigerian legal system is somewhat broad and diverse. Copyright © 2020 Bscholarly LLC | All Rights Reserved. Therefore, we shall in this paper consider customary law succession among the Ibos of the South-Eastern Region of Nigeria. Various statutes define the English law applicable in Nigeria as “the common law of England and the doctrines of equity.” 37Interpretation Act (1990) Cap. Thus, where the Court has ruled on a particular Custom, it is said to have been Judicially noticed and requires no further prove. 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. Individual right is limited to […] Nigeria has over 250 ethnic tribes and this means that the pattern of inheritance under customary law will vary according to each ethnic group. 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. Why not talk of Culturalization of Nigeria when other regions are including their own cultures too. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. “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. Some other states have commenced action towards the establishment of Customary Courts of Appeal. Customary law varies from place to place and there may be as many customary laws as there are independent communities in the country. 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. These methods are: By Judicial notice and By Evidence. it’s a matter of advocacy. Customary norms, religious beliefs and social practices that influence gender-differentiated land rights. Nigeria. Customary law is said 5Ibid 6 Ike Ehiribe, … Customary law is the law that captures the norms, traditions and rules of behaviour of the people. With the advent of colonialism in Africa in the middle of the nineteenth century, customary law gradually lost its primacy to the European-style legal systems and laws brought by the colonizing nations. Most customary laws deal with standards of community that have been long-established in a given locale. It is worthy to note that it’s not every Custom that qualifies as a Customary Law. 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. The Nigerian legal system makes effort to bring all these aspects into consideration too. The Nigerian common law is divided into 2 broad aspects, which are: • The non-Muslim/Ethic laws and • The Sharia/Muslim laws. The Court held that the Plaintiff is entitled to the tenets of his religion and the Custom which translates the Plaintiff as an automatic member of the Umunkalu age grade association, without his consent is compatible directly with the provisions of Section 38 1999 Constitution which provides for right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. 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. The Sharia/ Muslim law on the other hand is equally a part of the customary law. 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. Proof of Customary Law before Non- Customary Courts: 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. WHAT IS CUSTOMARY LAW IN NIGERIA?Hon Justice Narebor (1993) gave a definition of customary law to be: … a rule of conduct which is customarily recognized adhered to and applied by the inhabitants of a particular community in their relationship with one another within or outside the particular community and which has obtained the force of law, in that non-compliance with the rule or custom in question … It is not enlightening at all, I was hoping to learn something new. There is no uniformity in customary law among Nigerian communities. Also see: Exceptions to Nemo dat quod non habet rule. 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. 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. The Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) has made adequate provisions for States, through their respective Houses of Assembly to establish Area and Customary Courts to hear and determine … These form the basis of what is termed the customary law in Nigeria. Individual right is limited to use and enjoyment of a portion of the land allocated to them. So if for instance, I am alleging that the Custom of Obe Community does not allow a female child to inherit the property of her deceased father, I have to prove that such Custom exists, and one of the ways I can prove it is by calling Witnesses who are vast with the Custom of Obe community. Nigeria and an administrator for the Lagos colony. So this should not be termed Islamization of Nigeria. Law of the Federation; Law of the 36 States; Cases & Court Rule; Law Texts; Forms & Templates; Journals & Periodicals ; Special Needs Law Resources; About Us. 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. But it is not uniform and harmonious, it is fluid and diversified. See, e.g., Native Courts Proclamation, 1900, No. In most communities, women are not entitled to land in their own right under the customary law that operates in most of the indigenous areas (21). 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. Int’l Bus. Also see: Differences between civil service and public corporation. Generally, the English Common Law forms part of the foundation on which the Nigerian legal system is built. Moslem law is religious law based on the Moslem faith and applicable to members of the faith. 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). This article is good, but I have a problem with it. 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. 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. Section 17 Evidence Act states that a Custom may be Judicially noticed when it has been adjudicated upon by a superior Court of record. If other faiths too have a strong legal base, let them also include it. Customary Law in Nigeria: All You Need To Know, Landmark University Courses & Requirements, 13 Things You Should Know About The Bank Verification Number in Nigeria (BVN), Local Government Administration in Nigeria. 37 Fekumo, J. F. Principles of Nigerian Customary land Low, F & F Publishers (Nig.) NATURE OF CUSTOMARY LAND TENURE SYSTEM. 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. Complete Application Of Customary International Law In Nigeria Form online with US Legal Forms. no, its not a crime… something that may be morally frowned upon, yes but not a crime. Thus, the customary law of a community is a body of customs and traditions that regulate various kinds of relationships between members of such community. The various customary laws of these different ethnic groups in Nigeria make up this category of the customary law. 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.