Welcome, Guest: Join Nigeria Student Forum / Login / Trending Now / Recent Topics

Stats: 25,109 Members, 79,193 Topics, 16,284 Comments. Date: May 30 2020, 4:13 pm

SPECIAL: Gain Admission Into 200 Level To Study In Any University Via IJMB | CAMBRIDGE | JUPEB | NO JAMB | LOW FEES | Call 07063085343, 08086347092 To Register!
NSF Banner Ads NSF Banner Ads NSF Banner Ads

QUESTION: What Are Sources Of Nigeria Legal System? [Solved]

Nigeria Student Forum / Questions / law / What Are Sources Of Nigeria Legal System?

(Go Down)
Answered: What Are Sources Of Nigeria Legal System? 8:55am on January 17
Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
Graduate, Nigeria.
Majorly, there are five sources of Nigerian Law namely: Customary and Islamic law, Received English Law, Nigerian Local Legislation including Delegated Legislation, Judicial Precedents, Law reports and Textbooks. These sources are further classified into primary and secondary sources of Law. Laws made by Nigerian Legislature form primary sources.

Customary and Islamic law are rules and regulations recognized by the indigenous people to whom they relate as regulating their conducts in specific areas. Such areas may include marriage, divorce, succession and inheritance, land and chieftaincy matters. For any customary or Islamic rule to have the force of law, it must not be repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. Secondly such rule must not be incompatible either directly or by implication with any law for the time being in force. Finally, it must be the existing native law or custom and not the native law and custom of ancient time. For confirmation,See the following cases:
=> Lewis v. Bankole (1908) 1 NLR & 81 at p. 83.
=>Dawodu v. Danmole (1962) 1 WLR 1053.)

Customary law must be proven of existence in any Nigerian society before non- customary courts either through the testimony of witnesses who are considered versed in that area or through the use of books and manuscripts. Proof of a particular custom by evidence can be dispensed with if judicial notice has been taken of it in such circumstances stated in the Evidence Act.

By virtue of being a British colony, English Law became a source of Nigerian law and thus applicable in the country through the mechanism of local legislation called DOMESTICATION. The English laws so received in the country consist of:

1. The Common Law of England
2. The doctrines of Equity
3. The Statute of General Application in force in England on the 1st of January 1900
4. Statute and Subsidiary Legislation on specified matters.

Osborne C. J in A. G v. John Holt (1910, 2 NLR 1 at p 21) laid down two criteria for determining Statute of General Application. These are:

( a ) By what court is the statute applied in England,
(b) To what classes of the community in England does it apply. There are instances where statues do not meet the above tests but are still accepted as Statute of General Application.
See the case of IGP v. Kamara (1943) 2 WACA 185.

Again a statute may be of general application and yet courts may not apply it in Nigeria if convinced that local circumstances would not permit such to be in force. This could be so if its application would produce manifestly unreasonable results contrary to the intent of the statute.

Nigerian legislation refers to the laws made by any legislative authority in Nigeria. Under a military regime, they are known as Decrees and Edicts (for federal and states respectively). On the other hand, under a civilian regime, federal laws are known as Acts of National Assembly or Acts of Parliament (depending on whether the system referred to is presidential or cabinet system). State laws are simply called law while laws made at the Local Government level are called bye-Laws. In the colonial period they are known as Ordinances.

Judicial precedent is the idea that the principle of law on which a court based its decision in relation to the material fact before it must be followed by a court below it in the judicial hierarchy. But a lower court can only follow a judgment of a higher court if that judgment has not been overruled by a court higher in the hierarchy of courts or by the court that gave the judgment. It follows therefore that the decision of the highest court will bind all other courts and until changed by statute, it remained the law in respect of the matter covered.

Specifically what constitute a precedent for later judgment is the ratio decidendi, that is, the reason for the decision. Such statement made by the judge in passing or by the way in the course of delivering his judgment and which is not strictly relevant to the issue before him is an obiter dictum. This has no binding effect but may be of persuasive authority. And where a decision or judgment of a court of law is arrived at by mistake or oversight of the law, such decision or judgment is said to be given per incuriam

Law reporting is essential for the growth of case law system. There have been private, governments imitative in this direction. The Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (NWLR) by Chief Gani Fawehinmi and the All Nigerian Law Reports by the Federal Ministry of Justice amongst others are some of the well compiled and edited series.

Finally on points of law, especially where such points have not been previously decided in the court or where the position of the law on the point is not clear, courts may turn to textbooks by notable authors for assistance and guidance. But their books are merely persuasive. The Evidence Act specifically provides as regards customary laws that any book or manuscript recognized by natives as a legal authority is relevant. Especially books written Seasoned legal Icons.

1 UpVote

Don't have an account? Use the form below to signup for a Nigeria Student Forum Account and start Asking questions and get answers on this category

Full Name:
Username: E.g Seuncoded
Confirm Password:

I agree to the terms of service

Viewing this question:
1 guest viewing this topic
NSF Banner Ads
Download the Ngstudentforum app for Android Devices

Disclaimer: Every Nigeria Student Forum member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nigeria Student Forum.
- Copyright © 2016 - 2020. All rights reserved.