Nigeria and an administrator for the Lagos colony. 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 16(1) Evidence Act 2011 provides that a Custom may be adopted as part of the Law governing a particular set of circumstances if that Custom can be Judicially noticed or can be proved to exist by evidence. 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. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic tribes and this means that the pattern of inheritance under customary law will vary according to each ethnic group. L. Y.B. THE IBO CUSTOMARY LAW OF SUCCESSION Customary succession among the Ibos is predominantly patrilineal. This law is the same as the Islamic law, which predominates in the northern part of Nigeria and it had been in use since 1959. The law which can hardly be defined in respect of various subjects such Despite how beautiful and educative this write up is, the writer seems to be bias. 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. There is no uniformity in customary law among Nigerian communities. This is due to the colonization factor. This is caused by the diversity of the people of Nigeria. Expert opinion: Section 68 Evidence Act 2011 provides for the opinion of persons specially skilled and highly knowledgeable in Customary Law to be admissible when the Court has to form an opinion upon a point of 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. Also see: Exceptions to Nemo dat quod non habet rule. 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 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. Nigerian Law Teachers & Librarians; Law Publications. Why not talk of Culturalization of Nigeria when other regions are including their own cultures too. 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. A. The Plaintiff contended that he was not a member of the age grade association because his religion forbids him from joining it. Generally, the English Common Law forms part of the foundation on which the Nigerian legal system is built. 131, 132 (1996). Be that as it may, it must be stated that the English law is divided into two aspects, which are: • Those English laws handed over to Nigeria during the colonial era and • Those English laws adopted newly by Nigeria on independence. For a Custom to qualify as a Customary Law, it must fulfill the validity test of Customary Law. These methods are: By Judicial notice and By Evidence. 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. This article is good, but I have a problem with it. 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. 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. 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 … 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 Act, divest any claimant of radical title and limits his claims to a Right of Occupancy. 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 non-Muslim laws are referred to as the indigenous laws and these laws are derived from the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. Also see: Characteristics of customary law. 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. 3. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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 doesn’t have a formal status but is still recognized in court. CUSTOMARY COURT LAW OF LAGOS STATE. In Nigeria, customary law may be divided in terms of nature into two classes, namely, ethnic or non-Moslem customary law and Moslem law. Nigeria. 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. Ethnic customary law in Nigeria is indigenous. Save or instantly send your ready documents. 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. Hence, diversity in people implies diversity of customs. (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… 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. 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. Customary law varies from place to place and there may be as many customary laws as there are independent communities in the country. In this Its diverse nature calls for special studies. Rape against women is a significant ill plaguing the Nigerian society, and one of the least reported crimes in Nigeria. 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. Also see: Differences between Cross-offers and counter-offers. In Nigeria, it is not indigenous law; it is … 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. NATURE OF CUSTOMARY LAND TENURE SYSTEM. The court belongs to the lowest among the courts in Nigeria and non-legally trained individuals do preside over the court. 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. On this same ground, I think is is unjust to talk of “Islamizing Nigeria” because some of the Northerners also advocated for the inclusion of Sharia laws in the Nigerian legal system. Another adherent of the above view is Obilade  who maintained that customary law in Nigeria may be divided in terms of nature, into two classes, namely, ethnic or non-Moslem customary law and Moslem law. 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. DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS UNDER CUSTOMARY LAW INTRODUCTION The native law and customs, nowadays referred to simply as Customary Law, pervaded the entire Nigerian Society even in the areas where Islamic law exists. As such, where a custom is against Public policy, it will not be enforced by the Court nor relied as an evidence. Public Policy Test: Section 18(3) Evidence Act provides that any Custom relied upon shall not be enforced as Law if it is contrary to Public Policy. Comprehensive Analysis of Customary Law Arbitration in Nigeria. Customary law is an important source of Nigerian law. Moslem law is religious law based on the Moslem faith and applicable to members of the faith. 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. Aside the tribal/ethnic diversity in each of these regions, there is also the religious diversity. A rule of Customary Law must not be repugnant to Natural Justice, Equity and Good conscience. 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. Thus, where the presiding judge is not a member of the community, nor is versed in their Custom; proof of evidence may be required. INT’L BUS. The various customary laws of these different ethnic groups in Nigeria make up this category of the 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. Also, in Oyelowo v Oyelowo (1987) 2 NWLR, Pt 56 p. 239, the Court relied on the Nigerian Land Law book by Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN). Easily fill out PDF blank, edit, and sign them. The Nigerian legal system makes effort to bring all these aspects into consideration too. Witnesses: Section 16(2) Evidence Act 2011 states that the burden of proving a Custom shall lie on the person alleging it’s existence. It is the law propelled by the worldview, beliefs, philosophies and value system of the people. This definition was given in … Customary norms, religious beliefs and social practices that influence gender-differentiated land rights. Required fields are marked *. Customary law is said 5Ibid 6 Ike Ehiribe, … Therefore, we shall in this paper consider customary law succession among the Ibos of the South-Eastern Region of Nigeria. Is it a crime in Nigeria to verbally promise a lady marriage and then fail to fulfill it? Some other states have commenced action towards the establishment of Customary Courts of Appeal. 131,132 (1996) to be the law which is generated by custom. The non-Muslim laws are referred to as the indigenous laws and these laws are derived from the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. "Thus, while these characteristics do not impede its use or effectiveness in the im… Court cases do bring up judicial precedents too and they make up integral part of the Nigerian law. Section 3(1) of the Law provides that 'A marriage . i am looking for a direct definition of Nigerian customary law, but what i see here is explanations. It has been established in Plateau, Edo, Delta, Imo, Federal Capital Territory, Abia, Benue and Taraba States. In the communal legal system, which obtained before the advent of modern legal system, … 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 … Section 18(3) Evidence Act 2011 states that “In any Judicial proceedings where a Custom is relied upon, it shall not be enforced as Law if it’s contrary to Public Policy, or is not in accordance with Natural Justice, equity and good conscience.”. The age of marriage under customary law is governed in the three Eastern States of Nigeria by the Age of Marriage Law 1956. The author, after indicating that Nigeria is a multi-cultural and multi-religion state, tries to justify the inculcation of cultural laws in the Nigerian legal system. 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. 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. 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. A customary marriage is one where spouses are married in terms of customs and tradition. It has been established in Plateau, Edo, Delta, Imo, Federal Capital Territory, Abia, Benue and Taraba States. 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. 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. In the case of Ababio v Nsemfo (1947) 12 W. A.C.A 137 where the Court held that in a Customary Court, proof of Customary Law is not necessary where the person presiding over the Court is member of that community and he is versed in Knowledge of the Customs of the Land. For example, in Ibrahim v Barde, the Court held admissible a book, which according to some witnesses is regarded in Suleja as an authentic account of the history and culture of the people of the area. It is not enlightening at all, I was hoping to learn something new. . The proof of Customary Law is into two folds: Proof before Customary Courts and Proof before non- customary Courts. 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. 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 . 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. 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. 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 is the system of landholding indigenous to Nigeria. NATURE OF CUSTOMARY LAND TENURE SYSTEM. divide Nigeria into districts, for the purposes of this Act, and may, from time to time, by like order, alter the districts. ... 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. Various statutes define the English law applicable in Nigeria as “the common law of England and the doctrines of equity.” 37Interpretation Act (1990) Cap. The customary court is responsible for … The court has on numerous occasions declared invalid Customs that has failed this repugnancy test. Customary Courts of Appeal are interspersed in the country. Such expert opinion may include: the evidence or opinion of Native Chiefs, historians, Book authors, Traditional Ruler and any other person having special knowledge of the Customary Law and Custom. Customary law is said 5Ibid 6 Ike Ehiribe, The Validity of Customary Law Arbitration in Nigeria, 18 COMP. If other faiths too have a strong legal base, let them also include it. 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.”. Most customary laws deal with standards of community that have been long-established in a given locale. But it is not uniform and harmonious, it is fluid and diversified. Section 18(3) Evidence Act provides that any Custom relied upon shall not be enforced as Law if it is contrary to Public Policy. Customary Law Practices in Nigeria: The case of the Niger Delta | Akolokwu, Grace O. However, where a custom fulfills this Public policy test, incompatibility test, and Repugnancy test, such custom qualifies as a customary law and may be relied upon as an evidence or proof in 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. This method of adjudication is governed by the Nigerian customary law. Thus, the Nigeria nation-state is a British creation. Nigeria Land law, Nwamife Publishers ltd., 1972 p. 9. And if others can include their cultural beliefs in the Nigerian laws, what stop the Northerners from also including their culture(Shari’a) too. 1. 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. Each system of such customary law applies to members of a particular ethnic group. 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