Law and Justice in Post-British Nigeria: Conflicts and Interactions between Native and Foreign Systems of Social Control in Igbo

Law and Justice in Post-British Nigeria: Conflicts and Interactions between Native and Foreign Systems of Social Control in Igbo

Law and Justice in Post-British Nigeria: Conflicts and Interactions between Native and Foreign Systems of Social Control in Igbo

Law and Justice in Post-British Nigeria: Conflicts and Interactions between Native and Foreign Systems of Social Control in Igbo

Synopsis

The roles of the native and the foreign English-style justice systems in the administration of law and justice in Nigeria, based on data from Nigeria's Igbo, are examined here. Okereafoezeke uses case studies to look at the nature of colonially imposed justice and the relationship between informal and formal justice. He concludes that the imposed English-style justice system is incapable of dealing with Nigeria's social control problems because it does not anticipate and manage the wide range of issues that the native systems do.

Excerpt

Maka ọdị n’ihu omenala na iwu Igbo, ya na ndị n’ile asụsụ,
omenala, na iwu Igbo na adị mma–omenala nne nne na nna
nna anyị ha ji wee bikaa nka.

[For the future of Igbo traditions, customs, and laws, as well
as all those who appreciate the Igbo language, traditions, cus
toms, and laws–the traditions and customs according to which
our parents, grandparents, and their forebears lived and grew
old.]

Law and Justice in Post-British Nigeria explores the relationship between Nigeria’s native and foreign justice systems. This book critically examines the promises and contradictions of Nigeria’s native, foreign, plural, hierarchical, unofficial and official justice systems, as well as the origins and sources of the different justice models, and offers suggestions for reconciling the existing plural–often multi–systems or methods of justice in Nigeria. The Igbo system is used to illustrate the confused justice situation in Nigeria. The plurality resulting from a mix of native and foreign justice systems often leads to confused, inadequate, and unsatisfactory justice. This book advocates strategies for advancing the cause of justice in Nigeria’s pluralistic setting through the effective and efficient utilization of the existing justice systems.

Nigeria is an enormously complex country with some 120 million citizens, over 250 nations and ethnic groups, diverse religions, cultures, social lifestyles, languages, and native justice systems, among other differences. Nigeria-a British colony until October 1, 1960–continues to struggle with the additional elements of plural justice injected into the country’s life by its former colonizer. Plural justice refers to a condition in which there are two or more . . .

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