The Basic Structure of Nigeria’s Legal System

In Law & Policy by Africa Music Law™3 Comments

Nigeria‘s Legal System
An important thing to know for all una olodos 🙂 out there is Nigeria’s court system and legal structure, especially now that you might graduate into another level of success once you sign your contract with a label or vice versa.

Nigeria‘s Legal Structure
1. Federal Law & Courts– Like the USA, there is a federal law of the land and federal system that applies throughout the country.
2. State Law & Courts- Also like the USA, each state has its own state laws and courts that hear matters.
3. Customary Laws – Unique to Nigeria’s court system is the dual existence of its English and Customary laws. Islamic and Sharia laws are examples of customary law.

Where Does Nigerian law come from?
Nigeria’s constitution
Nigerian statutes (law) through its legislature
English laws (i.e. common law, doctrines of equity etc)
Customary law (Islamic and Sharia laws included)
Judicial precedent – This is usually a judgment of a court of law cited as an authority for deciding a similar set of facts. It is typically binding.

How Does Nigeria’s Court System Look in Order of Importance?
1. The Supreme Court of Nigeria – highest court of the land. Compare it to the United States Supreme Court. All decisions are binding on the land.
2. The Court of Appeals – Hears Appeals from the high courts, Sharia and customary court of appeals.
3. Federal High Courts and High Courts of States
4. Sharia Court of Appeals and Customary Court of Appeals
5. Magistrates and District Courts
6. Customary, Area and Sharia Courts

Alright, a lot to digest but you can do it! Print this out, bookmark it and when you are done, GO MAKE IT happen! Have a great week ahead.

For more info./reference on Nigerian Legal System visit NYU Law Global. http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/nigeria.htm

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  1. A customary law is a body of customs and tradition, which are recognised and accepted by members of a community to regulate thier affairs.

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