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ABSTRACT

Customary law is an important source of Nigerian law. Its influence on the Nigerian legal system is enormous. It is indigenous and reflects on the customs and cultures of the people. But it is not uniform and harmonious, it is fluid and diversified. Besides, it is not necessarily in full conformity with the fast pace of Western civilization being forced on the entire mankind by globalization. It is inundated with multiplicity of customs complicated by superstitions. Hence, it is difficult to take judicial notice of it without conditionality. Although the issue of subjecting these customary laws to the validity test if they must be relied on as a source of law in Nigeria emanates from the biased views of our colonial masters of the Nigerian customs being barbaric, and superstitious. It is still worthy to note that the nature of customary law demands that it is been so tested so as to remove some of the superstitious elements and harsh nature. The question has been why subject our Customary Law to a test of validity? Could it be to remove superstitious and harsh elements inherent in them? Or could it be that they lack exactness because of non-codification? Why do courts have difficulty in taking judicial notice of them? This is the crux of our discourse: the validity of customary law as a source of Nigerian law. The validity test which stems from the received English Laws is used as a parameter for which customary law would be declared null and void. The reality of the applicability of customary law within the Nigerian legal landscape shall be the major preoccupation of this work. This research adopted both the doctrinal and empirical methods. The doctrinal method was analytical cum socio legal whereas the empirical method was library based both the primary and secondary sources of law were employed. The primary sources were drawn from statutes, legislative enactments and case law. The secondary sources were drawn from textbooks, journals, scholarly writings and opinions of legal authors. The research proffered recommendations which shall be viable if adopted and/or entrenched.      


                                                TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER                                                                                                            PAGE

Cover Page                  -                       -                       i

Title Page                    -                       -                        ii                    

Declaration                  -                       -                         iii                 

Certification                -                       -                       iv                 

Dedication                  -                       -                        v

Acknowledgements    -                       -                        vi

Abstract                      -                       -                        viii

Table of Contents       -                       -                       ix

Table of Cases             -                      -                        xii

Table of Statutes         -                       -                        xv

Abbreviations              -                       -                        xvii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study       -                       -                       -                        1

1.2       Statement of the Problem       -                       -                       -                        3

1.3       Research Questions                 -                       -                       -                        6

1.4       Objectives of the Study          -                       -                       -                        6

1.5       Significance of the Study       -                       -                       -                        6

1.6       Research Methodology           -                       -                       -                        7

1.7       Scope of the Study                 -                       -                       -                        7

1.8       Organization of the Study      -                       -                       -                        7

1.9       Definition of Key Concepts   -                       -                       -                        8

1.9.1    Customary Law                      -                       -                       -                       8

1.9.2    Law                 -                       -                       -                       -                       8

1.9.3    Application     -                       -                       -                       -                       8

1.9.4    Nigeria                        -                       -                       ­-                       -                       9

1.10    Review of Related Literature  -                       -                       -                       9

CHAPTER TWO:   AN EXAMINATION OF PROOF OF

                                 CUSTOMARY LAW IN NIGERIA

2.1       Nature of Customary Law      -                       -                       -                       11

2.2       Judicial Notices as Proof of Customary Law                         -                       14

2.3       Evidence of Customs as Proof of Customary Law                -                       14

2.4       Relevance of Proof of Customary Law          -                       -                      18

CHAPTER THREE:   VALIDITY TESTS AND

   THE APPLICATION OF CUSTOMARY LAW

                                       IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL.

3.1       The Repugnancy Test             -                       -                       -                       21

3.2       The Incompatibility Test         -                       -                       -                       22

3.3       The Public Policy Test            -                       -                       -                       23

3.4       A Critique of the Validity Test                       -                       -                       24

CHAPTER FOUR:   ATTITUDE OF THE COURTS TOWARDS

THE APPLICATION OF CUSTOMARY

 LAW IN NIGERIA: AN EXAMINATION

 OF SOME RECENT JUDICIAL AUTHORITIES.

4.1        Isaac Jitte v Dickson Okpulor (2016) 2 NWLR

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY,CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1       Summary         -                      -                       -                       -                       36

5.2       Conclusion      -                       -                       -                       -                       36

5.3       Recommendations                  -                       -                       -                       37

            REFERENCES

 
TABLE OF CASES

CASES                                                                                               PAGE

Ababio v Nsemfoo (1947) 12 WACA 127     -           -           -           -         -             11   

Adedibu v Adewoyin (1951) 13 NWCA 191                        -           -           -           -           17

Adeseye v Taiwo (1956) 1 FSC 84     -          -           -           -           -           -           17

Adesobemi v Yinusa (1971) NWLR 77         -           -           -           -           -           26

Adesunbokan v Yinusa (1971) ALL WLR 227         -           -           -           -           23

Adewonyin v Adeyeye (1963) 1 ALL NLR 52         -           -           -           -           17

Agbai v Okogbue (1991) 7 NWLR p.391      -           -           -           -           -           3,23, 24

Aku v Nenku (1991) 8 NWLR (pt. 209) p. 280 at 29                        -           -           -           24           Arabe v Asanlu (1980) 5-7 SC 78        -          -           -           -           -           -           35 Alake v Pratt (1955) 15 WACA 20           -            -           -           -           -           -           24

Asogbon v Odutan (1935) 12 NLR 7    -        -           -           -           -           -           22

Angu v Attah (1921) P C 1874 1928    -        -           -           -           -           -           16

Augustine Nwafor Mojekwu v Theresa Iwuchukwu

(2004) NWLR (pt883)            -           -           -           -           -           -           -           32

Cole v Akinyele (1960) 5 FSC 84      -           -           -           -           -           -           15

Danmole v Dawodu (1958) 3 FSC 46                        -           -           -           -           -           22

Edet v Essien (1931) 11 NLR 47       -           -           -           -           -           -           22, 25

Effiong Okon Ata (1930) 10 NLR 65                        -           -           -           -           -           22

Egba Native Administration v Adeyanju (1936) NLR 77CC                        -           -           21

Ehigie v Ehigie (1961) 1 ALL NWL 871       -           -           -           -           -           11

Ekpenga v Ozogula (1962) 1 SC NLR 423    -           -           -           -           -           16

Eshugbayi v Office Administering the Government of Nigeria

(1981) AC 662 Pg. 673           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           26

Esuagbayi Eleko v Government of Nigeria (1931) AC 622 at 677    -           -           12       


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