Law of Nigeria

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There are four distinct legal systems in Nigeria:

  • English law which is derived from its colonial past with Britain;
  • Common law, a development of its post colonial independence;
  • Customary law which is derived from indigenous traditional norms and practice, including the dispute resolution meetings of pre-colonial Yorubaland secret societies and the Èkpè and Okónkò of Igboland and Ibibioland;
  • Sharia law, used only in the predominantly Muslim north of the country. It is an Islamic legal system which had been used long before the colonial administration in Nigeria but recently politicised and spearheaded in Zamfara in late 1999 and eleven other states followed suit. These states are Kano, Katsina, Niger, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Gombe, Sokoto, Jigawa, Yobe, and Kebbi.[1]

The country has a judicial branch, the highest court of which is the Supreme Court of Nigeria.[2]


See Constitution of Nigeria

List of legislation[edit]

Acts of the National Assembly[edit]

  • The Acts Authentication Act [1] (1962)
  • The Anatomy Act [2] (1933)
  • The Arbitration and Conciliation Act [3] (1998)
  • The Bankruptcy Act [4] (1979)
  • The Bills of Exchange Act [5] (1917)
  • The Criminal Code Act [6]
  • The Penal Code
  • The Child Right act 2003
  • The 1999 Constitution

Decrees of the Federal Military Government[edit]

  • The Administration of Justice Commission Decree 1991 (No 55) [7]
  • The Admiralty Jurisdiction Decree 1991 (No 59) [8]
  • The Banks and Other Financial Institutions Decree 1991 [9]
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria Decree 1991 [10] (No 24)

Legal training[edit]

See Nigerian Law School.



External links[edit]