Nigerian Legal System

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NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA

COURSE CODE:-LAW 212

COURSE TITLE:-

Nigerian Legal System II

LAW 212

NIGERIAN LEGAL SYSTEM II

Course Code Course Title Course Developer/Writer Course Editor

Law 212 Nigerian Legal System II G. I. Oyakhiromen Ph.D, BL National Open University of Nigeria Professor Justus A. Sokefun National Open University of Nigeria G. I. Oyakhiromen Ph.D, BL National Open University of Nigeria Mr. Ayodeji Ige LL.B, MA, ACLS National Open University of Nigeria

Programme Leader Course Coordinator

NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA

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LAW 212

NIGERIAN LEGAL SYSTEM II

National Open University of Nigeria Headquarters 14/16 Ahmadu Bello Way Victoria Island Lagos Abuja Office 5 Dar es Salaam Street Off Aminu Kano Crescent Wuse II Abuja e-mail: centralinfo@nou.edu.ng URL: www.nou.edu.ng Published by

National Open University of Nigeria Printed 2009 ISBN: 978-058-942-7 All Rights Reserved

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LAW 212

NIGERIAN LEGAL SYSTEM II

CONTENTS
Module 1 Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Module 2 Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Module 3 Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Module 4 Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3

PAGE
1

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Historical Background …………………………..… 1 Essentials and Proof of Customary Law …………… 10 The Colonial Legal System ………………………… 15 Customary and Islamic Law Compared ……...…… 22 ………………………………………………………… 28 Historical Development of Judicial Institutions ……. 28 Judicial Institutions …………………………………. 37 The Personnel of the Nigerian Legal System ……… 43 The Personnel of the Court other than Judicial Officers.51 ……………………………………………………….. 60 Administration of Justice: Court Structure ………… 60 Administration of Justice: Civil Process …………… 66 Administration of Justice: Criminal Process ………… 74 Administration of Justice: Criminal and Civil Processes82 ………………………………………………………… 92 Inferior and Special Courts …………………………. 92 The Legal Aid …………………………………… 104 Miscellaneous Concepts …………………………… 118

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NIGERIAN LEGAL SYSTEM II

MODULE 1
Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Historical Background Essentials and Proof of Customary Law The Colonial Legal System Customary and Islamic Law Compared

UNIT 1
CONTENTS 1.0 2.0 3.0

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0

Introduction Objectives Main Content 3.1 Historical Background 3.2 Customary Law, Defined 3.3 Development of General Customs 3.4 Characteristics of Customary Law 3.5 Customary Law: Different Schools of Thought 3.6 Custom as a Source of Law Conclusion Summary Tutor-Marked Assignment References/Further Readings

1.0

INTRODUCTION

In the early times, the geographical area now known as Nigeria comprised different settlements. Among these settlements were some 350 ethnic groups and 500 dialects. Each ethnic group had its own language(s), cultures and customs. Despite the ethno – linguistic differences, the various settlements were not isolated from one another. Rather, there existed some forms of political, economic, social and cultural relations. Some of the settlements were linked to one another by rivers, creeks, or land mass or a combination of two or all of them. These links provided routes which facilitated and promoted exploration, discovery, trade and commerce. They enhanced mobility of labour, migration, and other social relations and interaction. There were also inter-tribal wars. The settlements in due course, either by conquest or by other growth processes, metamorphosed into kingdoms, empires and principalities, which by accident of history and by numerous geographical handicaps

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NIGERIAN LEGAL SYSTEM II

or fortunes (as the case might be), attained varying levels of political, social, cultural and economic development. Certain physical features influenced the occupational distribution of the early settlers, as well as their type of ancestral workshop. For example, northwards were savanna areas; the inhabitants were chiefly pastoral; they worshipped the god of the sky....
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