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About Globalex


By Yemisi Dina, John Akintayo & Funke Ekundayo
Update by Yemisi
Dina and John Akintayo

Yemisi Dina  B.A, M.A, LL.B, MLS is Head of Public Services at the Osgoode Hall Law Library, York University, Ontario, Canada. She was formerly Manager of Adult Services at the Central Library, Richmond Hill Public Library, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada; Law Librarian at The College of The Bahamas Law Library, Nassau, The Bahamas; Law Librarian at the Adeola Odutola Law Library, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and Principal Librarian at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus, Nigeria. Her areas of research include law librarianship, legal research methods and information technology and law. 

John Oluwole A. Akintayo LL.B (Ibadan), LL.M (Lagos) B.L., is a law teacher at the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and a member of the Nigerian Bar. His areas of research include jurisprudence, private international law, constitutional law and administrative law. 

Funke Ekundayo BSc, MLS, LL.B, LL.M, B.L. teaches law at the University of Ibadan and is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association. She worked as Librarian at the Federal Court of Appeal, Ibadan. Her areas of research include family law, legal research methods and international law.

Published March 2013
(Updated previously on January/February 2010)
See the Archive Version!


Legal System
Government Bodies
Primary & Secondary Sources of Information
Legal Education
Legal Profession
Federal Government Agencies & Other Useful Websites



The Federal Republic of Nigeria is located in the Western part of Africa. It became an independent state on October 1, 1960, after about 100 years under British colonization, and attained a republican status within the British Commonwealth three years after in 1963. Since independence, Nigeria has come under both military and civil administrations. On May 29, 1999, after a general election, which ushered in the present democratic dispensation, popularly referred to as "the Fourth Republic", Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a retired Army General and a one-time military Head of State, became the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. President Olusegun Obasanjo's ruling party, the People's Democratic Party, also won the second term after another general election in April 2003.  On April 21, 2007, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Governor of Katsina State in Northwestern Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, and the flag bearer of the People's Democratic Party, was declared winner of the presidential election and he was subsequently sworn into office as President on May 29, 2007. The current President and Head of State is President Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice-President and Governor of Bayelsa state. He was sworn on May 6, 2010 as the 14th post-Independence Head of Government after the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He began his first full term in office on 29th May 2011 after he won the presidential election held in April 2011 as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party. In view of the fact that 28 of Nigeria's post independence years were spent under the Military, the country may rightly be said to be experiencing its tender years of democracy.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria – is made up of 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory located in Abuja. The states are as follows: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.

At independence, Nigeria consisted of three regions, namely, the Northern Region, the Eastern Region and the Western Region. Apart from the Mid-Western Region which was carved out of the Western Region in 1964 through the process laid down by the 1963 Republican Constitution, the other five subsequent exercises of creation of states were undertaken by the Military. Because of the multiplicity of these states, they are as a matter of convenience and political expediency grouped into the six geo-political zones of North East, North West, North Central, South East, South West and South. This grouping has not been accorded any constitutional recognition.

 There are close to 400 linguistic groups in Nigeria, but the three major languages are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, while English is the official language.


The Nigerian legal system is based on the English common law legal tradition by virtue of colonization and the attendant incidence of reception of English law through the process of legal transplant. According to Obilade (1979) English law has a tremendous influence on the Nigerian legal system, and "English law forms a substantial part of Nigerian law". The sources of Nigerian law are:

  • The Constitution
  • Legislation
  • English law
  • Customary law
  • Islamic law, and
  • Judicial precedents.


The current constitution is the 1  Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. The 1999 Nigerian Constitution came into effect on May 29, 1999. The 1999 Constitution has been amended three times. The first two amendments deal largely with political issues while the Third Alteration makes provisions for the establishment of the National Industrial Court as a superior court of record. Efforts are on going to further amend the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. The 1999 Nigerian Constitution provides the framework for the administration of both the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as the states. No state may therefore adopt its own constitution unlike what obtained until the incursion of the military in government in Nigeria in 1966. The Constitution is supreme and its provisions have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.



The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, regulates the distribution of legislative business between the National Assembly, which has power to make laws for the Federation and the House of Assembly for each State of the Federation. The current legislation in force at the federal level is largely contained in the 16 volume Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (LFN). The Laws of the Federation of Nigeria is printed in loose-leaf in-binder format and it is also available in CD-ROM. The Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 contains the federal laws including subsidiary legislation in force on the 31st day of December 2002. Before the law revision exercise that culminated in the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the laws in force at the federal level were found in the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 (LFN) and the Annual Volumes of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1990 to 2002.  Federal laws enacted since January 2003 are contained in the Annual Volumes of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They are also incorporated into the subsequent issues of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria published from time to time In May 2007 the National Assembly enacted the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act, 2007 to give effect and approval to the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria compiled and published under the authority of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

Each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja has its own laws. These include laws on residual matters, which are within the exclusive legislative competence of states and matters on the concurrent legislative list. Some states have undertaken in recent times law revision exercises to present their laws in a compact and comprehensive form to guarantee easy access.  

Primary and subordinate legislation in force on the coming into operation of the Constitution are treated by the Constitution as existing laws and deemed to have been made by the appropriate legislative body with competence to do so under the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. Legislation has been described as the most important source of Nigerian law after the Constitution. This is partly because all other sources of Nigerian law are considered as such by virtue of a piece of legislation or the other.

English Law

This consists of:

(a) the received English law comprising:

  • the common law;
  • the doctrines of equity;
  • statutes of general application in force in England on January 1, 1900;
  • statutes and subsidiary legislation on specified matters and

(b) English law (statutes) made before October 1, 1960 and extending to Nigeria which are not yet repealed. Laws made by the local colonial legislature are treated as part of Nigerian legislation. The failure to review most of these laws especially in the field of criminal law has occasioned the existence of what may be described as impracticable laws or legal provisions which are honored more in breach than in observance. Despite the influence of English Law, the Nigerian legal system is very complex because of legal pluralism.

Customary Law

The traditional classification of customary law is into the following categories:

  • Ethnic / Non-Moslem
  • Moslem law/ Sharia

In the states in the Southern part of the country, Moslem/Islamic law, where it exists, is integrated into and has always been treated as an aspect of the customary law. Since 1956, however, Islamic law has been administered in the Northern states as a separate and distinct system. Even then, until recently, it has only been in relation to Muslim personal law.  However, it is better to accord Islamic law its distinct status as a separate source of law because of its peculiarities in terms of origin, nature and territorial and personal scope of application.

Ethnic / Non-Moslem Law

The ethnic customary law is the indigenous law that applies to the members of the different ethnic groups. Nigeria is made up of several ethnic groups each with its own variety of customary law. Customary law is a system of law that reflects the culture, customs, values and habits of the people whose activities it regulates. It has been described as a mirror of accepted usage. Customary law is particularly dominant in the area of personal and family relations like marriage, divorce, guardianship and custody of children and succession. Naturally, differences in the customary laws of different ethnic groups do exist and this must be taken for granted. Even within an ethnic group, instances of pockets of differences in aspects of customary law are noticeable. For example, the marriage customs and inheritance rules of the Ibos of the South Eastern Nigeria are different from those of the Yorubas of the South Western Nigeria. Beyond this, the customary values and systems of various Yoruba sub-ethnic groups are bound to be different even if they are in the same State. Unfortunately, ethnic customary law is unwritten, uncertain and difficult to ascertain. It is flexible and has the capacity to adapt to social and economic changes without losing its character. There have been instances of legislative interventions to modify and at times abrogate rules of customary law. Customary law is usually enforced in customary courts, the courts at the lowest rung of the hierarchy of courts, which in most cases are presided over by non-legally trained personnel, though higher courts are equally permitted to observe and to enforce the observance of rules of customary law by their enabling laws. It is to be noted the bulk of causes on the Cause List of customary courts, especially in South Western Nigeria, are matters relating to the dissolution of traditional marriages.

Islamic Law / Sharia / Moslem Law

Islamic law, unlike ethnic customary law, is written. Its principles are clearly defined and articulated. This system of law has worked with detailed thoroughness and incisive precision. It is based on the Islamic religion and was introduced into Nigeria by its practitioners as a consequence of a successful process of Islamization. This system of law is based on the Holy Koran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. In some areas, Islamic law after its introduction completely supplanted the pre-existing system of customary laws whereas in other areas, it became incorporated with customary law and the two systems have become fused and are jointly administered. Islamic law is being enforced in some states of Nigeria especially in the Northern part where populations are predominantly Moslem. The scope of operation of Islamic law has broadened since the introduction of the Sharia legal system in the present democratic dispensation in a number of Northern states such as Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, and Sokoto among others. The principal feature of this new development is the introduction of religious based criminal offences, especially on matters of morality and the introduction of punishments sanctioned by the Koran. The apex court, the Supreme Court of Nigeria, has not had the opportunity to pronounce on the constitutionality of punishments like amputation and stoning of a person to death, which the Sharia prescribes for certain offences.

Judicial Precedents

The Supreme Court is the highest court of the land. It replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1963 as the final court of appeal. The Court of Appeal (originally known as the Federal Court of Appeal) was established in 1976 as a national penultimate court to entertain appeals from the High Courts, which are the trial courts of general jurisdiction. The Court of Appeal sits in Judicial Divisions scattered throughout the country but it is still a single court and is ordinarily bound by its own decisions. The Court of Appeal and all lower courts are bound by the decisions of this Supreme Court. The High Courts and other courts of coordinate and subordinate jurisdiction are equally bound by the decisions of the Court of Appeal. The doctrine of judicial precedents does not apply rigidly to certain courts like the customary/area courts and the Sharia courts in Nigeria.

Supreme Court

Court of Appeal

High Court (Federal High Court, High Court of FCT and High Courts of States); National Industrial Court, Sharia Court of Appeal, (FCT and State); Customary Court of Appeal (FCT and State).

Magistrates'/District Courts

Customary Courts/Area Courts/Sharia Courts

Notwithstanding the federal status of Nigeria, the federal and the state court systems are not in two parallel lines. It is only to a limited extent that it may be asserted that each state has its own legal system, as it will be shown below.


The system of government in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is modeled after the American presidential system with the following arms of government:

  • The Legislature
  • The Executive
  • The Judiciary


The Federal Legislature, referred to as the National Assembly,  is responsible for law making and it follows law making procedures as specified in Sections 58 and 59 of the 1999 Constitution. The legislature is bicameral and made up of the:


  • Senate
  • House of Representatives

The Senate consists  of 109 elected members while the House of Representatives has 360 members. The membership of the Senate is on the basis of equality of states with each state having three Senators. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is represented by one senator. The number of Representatives elected by each State is determined on the basis of population.

Each state also has its own law-making organ known as the House of Assembly. The members elected into the Houses of Assembly represent the various state constituencies usually delineated on the basis of population.

All legislators are elected for a 4-year term, though the electorates reserve the power to recall any legislator.


The executive power of the Federation is vested in the President by virtue of Section 5(1) (a) of the 1999 Constitution. Such powers can be administered directly or through the Vice-President or Ministers or officers of the Government. Similarly, in the states, the executive power of a state is vested in the Governor and may be exercised directly by the Governor or through the Deputy Governor, Commissioners or other public officers.

See the Nigerian constitution for the functions of the Executive.


By virtue of Section 6 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999, as amended, the following courts are established in the Federal Republic of Nigeria:

  1. the Supreme Court of Nigeria;
  2. the Court of Appeal;
  3. the Federal High Court;
  4. the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;
  5. a High Court of a State
  6.  the National Industrial Court
  7. the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;
  8. a Sharia Court of Appeal of a State;
  9. the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;
  10. a Customary Court of Appeal of a State

The courts established by the Constitution are the only superior courts of record in Nigeria. The Constitution empowers the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly to establish courts with subordinate jurisdiction to the High Courts. Courts established pursuant to the Constitution are invariably inferior courts of record notwithstanding the status of the officer presiding in the courts.

The Supreme Court is the highest court and all decisions from the court are binding on all other courts. In Nigeria, the state court structure dovetails into the federal court structure at the level of the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal entertains appeals from the decisions of the High Courts, the Sharia Courts of Appeal and the Customary Courts of Appeal. Appeals from the decisions of the Court of Appeal go to the Supreme Court.  In effect the Supreme Court is not only a Supreme Court on federal matters, it is also the final court in respect of state laws.

However, in terms of administrative responsibility, State High Courts are the most important courts in each state. This assertion is strengthened because whereas the Constitution has established a High Court for each State directly, each state has an option to establish a Sharia Court of Appeal or a Customary Court of Appeal. The inferior courts, which are established pursuant to constitutional provisions, include Magistrate Courts, District Courts, Area/Sharia Courts, and Customary Courts. By and large, these courts are established by State Laws, except for the Federal Capital Territory and the judicial hierarchy and the nomenclatures of inferior courts are dissimilar. The High Courts and other specialized courts exercise supervisory and appellate jurisdiction over the inferior courts.


Like all jurisdictions of the world, legal literature of the Nigeria is made up of primary and secondary sources. The list of these materials is exhaustive but we will attempt to mention a few. Copies of some of these materials are available in the Library of Congress and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London.


Primary Sources

There are many law reports that have been published over the years. There is no government organ solely responsible for law reporting. However, individual law reports published on a commercial basis are thriving, even though the life span of some of these publications is epileptic because of the high cost of production.  The following is a list of law reports that have been published over the years:

  • All Federation Weekly Law Reports
  • All Nigeria Law Reports
  • Appellate Courts Landmark Cases (Published by St. Paul's Publishing House, 5 Dalag Way, Idi-Mango, Off Soka Junction, Off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan) Commercial Law Reports (Published by Ajumogobia & Okeke, Lagos)
  • Constitutional Law Classicus (Published by St. Paul's Publishing House, 5 Dalag Way, Idi-Mango, Off Soka Junction, Off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan) Criminal Appeal Cases (Published by St. Paul's Publishing House, 5 Dalag Way, Idi-Mango, Off Soka Junction, Off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan) Customary Law in Nigeria through the cases
  • Eastern Region of Nigeria Law Reports (Defunct)
  • Election Petition Reports (Published by Funmi Quadri & Co., 91, Iwo Road, P.O.Box 1171, Gate, Ibadan)
  • Failed Banks Tribunal of Nigeria Law Reports (Published by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Plot 447/448 Central District, Airport Road, Garki- Abuja)
  • Federal Reporter(Published by Funmi Quadri & Co., 91, Iwo Road, P.O.Box 1171, Gate, Ibadan)
  • Federation of Nigeria Law Reports (Published by Evans Brothers (Nigerian Publishers) Limited)
  • Federation Weekly Law Reports (Published by New Century Law Publishers Limited, 2 Obanle Aro  Avenue, Ilupeju, Lagos)
  • Investment & Securities Law Reports (Published by Mark Anthony Publications Ltd, City Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki II, Abuja, FCT)
  • Judgments of Nigerian Superior Courts (JNSC) (Published by Finlay Lawtext Publishers Ltd., No. 9 Kade Street, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 4, Abuja, FCT.)
  • Land Law Appeal Cases (Published by St. Paul's Publishing House,  5 Dalag Way, Idi-Mango, Off Soka Junction, Off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan)
  • Law Reports of Nigeria
  • Monthly Judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (Published by Florence & Lambert (Nig) Limited, 202/204 Ikorodu Road, Palmgrove, Lagos)
  • Nigeria Law Report
  • Nigerian Commercial Law Cases
  • Nigerian Constitutional Law Reports (Published by Nigerian Law Publications Ltd,  Lagos)
  • Nigerian Monthly Law Reports
  • Nigerian Revenue Law Reports
  • Nigerian Supreme Court Cases (Published by Deji Sasegbon & Co., 203 Ikorodu Road, Lagos)
  • Nigerian Supreme Court Quarterly Law Reports (Published by Funmi Quadri & Co., 91, Iwo Road, P. O. Box 1171, Gate, Ibadan)
  • Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (Published by Nigerian Law Publications Ltd, Lewis Street, Lagos)
  • Northern Region of Nigeria Law Reports (Defunct)
  • Quarterly Law Reports of Nigeria (Published by University Press Ltd., Ibadan)
  • Selected Judgments of the West African Court of Appeal (WACA)
  • Sharia Law reports of Nigeria
  • Supreme Court Monthly (Published by St. Paul's Publishing House 221, 5 Dalag Way, Idi-Mango, Off Soka Junction, Off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan) Supreme Court of Nigeria Judgments (Published by Liberty Publishers, Kaduna)
  • Supreme Court Reports (Published by Law Breed & Co Ltd)
  • Telecommunications Law Reports (Published by Mark Anthony Publications Ltd, City Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki II, Abuja, FCT)
  • Weekly Reports of Nigeria (Published by Legal Text Publishing Co. Ltd, Ikeja, Lagos)
  • Western Region of Nigeria Law Reports (Defunct)
  • Toma Micro Publishers  – Online subscription service

Some Nigerian daily newspapers have a comprehensive section for law reporting and other legal matters (especially unreported judgments) as listed below:

The International Centre for Nigerian Law, a private organization, has a comprehensive link with access to some Nigerian legislation and cases.

Secondary Sources

Members of Nigerian academia, the bench, and the bar have written a lot of legal textbooks.  This list is not exhaustive but we will attempt to mention a few of them.

Adesanya, M.O. and Oloyede E.O., Business Law in Nigeria, Lagos & London: University of Lagos & Evans Brothers Limited, 1972

Adesanya, S.A., Laws of Matrimonial Causes. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, 1973.

Adesiyan, D.O., An accused person's rights in Nigerian criminal law.  Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria), 1996. 

Agbede, I. O., Themes on Conflict of Laws.  Ibadan: Shaneson, 1989

Agbede, I. O. Legal Pluralism. Ibadan: Shaneson, 1991.

Aguda, T. A. The Criminal Law and Procedure of the Southern States of Nigeria. 3rd ed., London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1982.   

Aguda, T. A. The Law of Evidence. 3rd ed., Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 1989.

Akande, J., Miscellany at Law and Gender Relations Lagos: MIJ Professional Publishers, 2000.

Akande, J.O. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 with annotations. Lagos: MIJ Professional Publishers, 1999.

Akanki, E.O. Commercial Law in Nigeria Lagos: University of Lagos Press. 2005.

Amokaye, G. Oludayo, Environmental Law and Practice in Nigeria. Lagos: University of Lagos Press, 2004

Animashaun and Oyeniyi’s Law of Succession, Wills and Probate in Nigeria. Lagos: MIJ Publishers, 2002

Anyebe, A.P. Customary law: the war without arms. Enugu, Nigeria: Fourth Dimension Publishers, 1985

Asein, J. O. Introduction to the Nigerian Legal System. 2nd ed., Lagos: Ababa Press, 2005

Asein, J.O. Nigerian Copyright Law and Practice. 2nd ed., Nigeria: Gavel Publishing, 2012

Atsegbua, L. Oil and Gas Law in Nigeria: Theory and Practice 2nd ed., Benin & Lagos: New Era Publications, 2004

Babalola, Afe  Injunctions and Enforcement of Orders Ile-Ife: Obafemi Awolowo University Press, 2000.

Babalola, Afe Enforcement of Judgments.  Ibadan: Afe Babalola, 2003

Babalola, Afe Election Law and Practice Ibadan: Afe Babalola, 2003

Babalola Afe et al, Law and Practice of Evidence in Nigeria. Ibadan: Sibon Books Limited, 2001.

Bambale, Y. Crimes and punishments under Islamic law. Ibadan: Malthouse Press, 2003.

Chinwo, C.A.J., Principles and Practice of Constitutional Law in Nigeria. Vol. I.  Port Harcourt: Davis Printing & Packaging Co. Ltd for Life, Law and Grace Book house, Chi Amazing Grace Ltd, in association with The Amazing Grace Partners, 2006

Chinwo, C.A.J. Studying Law in Nigeria.  Port Harcourt: Davis Printing & Packaging Co. Ltd for Life, Law and Grace Book house, Chi Amazing Grace Ltd, in association with The Amazing Grace Partners, 2006.

ChukkoL, K. S.  Defences to criminal liability in Nigerian law: a critical appraisal.  Zaria: Printed by Ahmadu Bello University Press, [between 1980 and 1988]
Chukkol, K. S. The law of crimes in Nigeria.  Zaria: Ahmadu Bello University Press, 1988

Coker, G.B.A. Family Property among the Yorubas.  2nd ed., London, Sweet & Maxwell, 1966

Dambazau, A. B. Law and criminality in Nigeria: an analytical discourse.  Ibadan : University Press Plc, 1994

 Dean, W. H. Evidence in Nigerian criminal law. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1964

Doherty, O.   Criminal procedure in Nigeria: law and practice.  London: Blackstone, 1990

Doherty, O. Legal practice and management in Nigeria. London: Cavendish Publishing, 1998.

Edeko, S.E. Fundamental Issues in Nigerian Constitutional Law.  Benin City: Anointed Tesa Printing Press, 2002

Elegido, J. M. Jurisprudence.  Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 1994.

Elias, T.O. Nigerian Land Law.  4th ed., London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1971.

Elias, T.O.  The Nature of African Customary Law. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1956

Emiola, A. Nigerian Labour Law. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, 1979.

Emiola, A.  The Principles of African Customary Law. 2nd. ed., Ogbomoso: Emiola (Publishers) Limited, 2005

Essays on company law edited by J.O. Akanki Lagos: University of Lagos Press, 1992.

Etikerentse, G.  Nigerian Petroleum Law. London: Macmillan, 1985

Ezejiofor, G. The Law of Arbitration in Nigeria.  Ikeja: Longman Nigeria Plc, 1997

Fawehinmi, G., Courts' system in Nigeria: a guide.  Lagos: Nigerian Law Publications, 1992.

Fundamentals of Nigerian Law edited by M. Ayo Ajomo Lagos: Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 1989.

Harvey, B. The Law and Practice of Nigerian Wills, Probate and Succession 1968

Human rights and the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria.  edited by  M.A., Ajomo, and Isabella Okagbue,  Lagos : Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 1991.
Ijalaye, D. The extension of corporate personality in international law. Dobbs Ferry, New York: Oceana Publications, 1978.

Introduction to Nigerian Legal Method.  2nd ed., edited by Abiola Sanni, Ile-Ife: Obafemi Awolowo University Press Limited, 2006

James, R.W. Modern Land Law of Nigeria.  University of Ife Press: Ile-Ife, 1973.

Jegede, M.I. Law of Trusts, Bankruptcy and Administration of Estates Lagos: MIJ Professional Publishers, 1999.

Jegede, M.I. Principles of Equity.  Benin City: Ethiope Publishing Corp., 1981.

Jegede, O. Bibliography of Nigerian Law Reports.  Lagos: Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 1995.

Jegede, O. Nigerian Legal Bibliography: a classified list of materials related to Nigerian Law. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Published for the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos by Oceana Publications, 1983.

Karibi-Whyte,  A. G.,  Criminal policy : traditional & modern trends. Lagos, Nigeria : Nigerian Law Publications, 1988
 Karibi-Whyte, A. G. Groundwork of Nigerian criminal law. Lagos: Nigerian Law Publications, 1986

Karibi - Whyte, A.G. History and Sources of Nigerian Criminal Law. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 1993.

Kodilinye, G. An Introduction to the Law of Equity in Nigeria.  Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited.

Kodilinye, G.  & Aluko, O. Nigerian Law of Torts. 2nd ed., Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 1999.

Law of Wills in Nigeria edited by A.A.Utuama and G.M. Ibru, 2001

Legal Practice Skills and Ethics in Nigeria: Essays in honour of Chief Babatunde Ibironke.  edited by Kevin Nwosu Lagos: Dcon Consulting, 2004.

Lloyd, P.C. Yoruba Land Law.  Ibadan: Oxford University Press, 1972

Madarikan C.O. and Aguda, T. A. Brett and McLean's The criminal law and procedure of the six southern states of Nigeria.  London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1982. 

Nigerian Press Law. edited by T.O. Elias, London & Lagos: Evans Brothers & University of Lagos, 1979.

Mowoe, Kehinde M. Constitutional Law in Nigeria, Lagos,: Malthouse, 2008.

Nigerian Law of Evidence: A Book of Readings in honour of Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu SAN edited by A. L. Akintola and A.A. Adedeji, Ibadan: University Press, 2006.

Nwabueze, B. Constitutional Democracy in Africa Vol. 1-5, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2004

Nwabueze, B. O. Nigerian Land Law. Enugu: Nwamife Publishers, 1972 .

Nwabueze, B. O. Ideas and Facts in Constitution-Making.  Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 1993.

Nwabueze, B. O. The Machinery of Justice in Nigeria. London: Butterworths, 1963.

Nwadialo, F. The Criminal Procedure of the Southern States of Nigeria. 2nd ed., Lagos: MIJ Professional Publishers Limited, 1987

Nwogugu, E.O.  Family Law in Nigeria.  Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria), 1990.

Obi, S.N.C.  Modern Family Law in Southern Nigeria.  London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1966.

Obilade, A. O. The Nigerian Legal System.  London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1979.

Ogunniyi, O. Nigerian Labour and Employment Law in Perspective. 2nd ed., Ikeja: Folio Publishers Ltd, 2004

Ojo, A. Constitutional Law and Military Rule in Nigeria.  Ibadan: Evans Brothers Ltd., 1987.

Ojo, J.D.  Law and University Administration in Nigeria. Lagos: Malthouse Press, 1990.

Okany, C. O. Nigerian Law of Real Property. 2nd ed., Enugu: Fourth Dimensions Publishers, 1986.

Okany, M.C. The Role of Customary Courts in Nigeria. Enugu: Fourth Dimensions Publishers, 1984

Okekeifere, A.I. Circumstantial Evidence in Nigerian Law. Port Harcourt: Lawhouse Books, 2000.

Okonkwo, C. O. Okonkwo and Naish: Criminal Law in Nigeria . 2nd ed., Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 1990.

Okorodudu-Fubara, M.T. Law of Environmental Protection: Materials and Text.  Ibadan: Caltop Publication, 1998.

Ola, C.S. Criminal Responsibilities and Defences under the Nigerian Law Lagos: CSS Ltd., 2001.

Ola, C.S. Company law in Nigeria.  Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books (Nig.), 2002.

Ola, C.S. Income Tax Law and Practice in Nigeria. Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books (Nig), 1999.

Ola, C.S. Mens rea in Statutory Offences in Nigeria.  Lagos: Malthouse Press, 1990.

Ola, C.S. Town and Country Planning and Environmental Laws in Nigeria Ibadan: Evans Brothers Ltd., 1987.

Olong, Adefi. Administrative Law in Nigeria. Lagos: Malthouse Law Books. 2007

Olong, Adefi. The Nigerian Legal System. 2nd ed, Lagos: Malthouse Law Books. 2007.

Omorogbe, Y. The Oil and Gas Industry: Exploration and Production Contracts Lagos: Malthouse, 1997

Olawoye, Title to Land in Nigeria. Ibadan: Evans Brothers, 1974.

Oluyede, P.A.O., Modern Nigerian Land Law.  Ibadan: Evans Brothers, 1989.

Oluyede, P.A.O and Aihe, D.O. Cases and Materials on Constitutional Law in Nigeria.  Ibadan: University Press, 2003.

Orojo, J.O. Company Law and Practice in Nigeria. 3rd ed, Lagos: Mbeyi & Associates, 1992.

Osinbajo, Y and Fogam, K. Nigerian Media Law. Lagos: Gravitas Publications, 1991.

Osinbajo, Y. Cases and Materials on Nigerian Law of Evidence.  Lagos: Macmillan, 1992.

 Owoade, M. A.  Law of homicide in Nigeria.  Ile-Ife, Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo University Press, 1990.

Oyewo, A.T. The Law of Local Government in Nigeria.  Ibadan: Jator Publishing Company, 1991

Park, A.E.W.  The Sources of Nigerian Law.  Lagos & London: African Universities Press and Sweet & Maxwell, 1963

 Peters, R. Islamic criminal law in Nigeria. Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 2003.

Principles of Criminal Liability in Nigerian Law.  2nd ed., edited by T. Akinola Aguda  and Isabella Okagbue, Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books Nigeria PLC, 1990

Sagay, I. Nigerian Law of Contract Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 2000.

Sagay, I. Nigerian Law of Succession: Principles, Cases, Statutes and Commentaries.  Lagos: Malthouse Press, 2007.

Sagay, I., Nigerian Family Law: Principles, Cases, Statutes and Commentaries Ikeja: Malthouse Press Ltd, 1999.

Shyllon. F. Intellectual Property Law in Nigeria.  Munich: Verlag C.H. Beck, 2003.

Smith, I. O., Nigerian Law of Secured Credit.  Lagos: Ecowatch Publications (Nigeria) Limited, 2001.

Tobi, N. Cases and Materials on Nigerian Land Law.  Lagos: Mabrochi Books, 1997.

Tobi, N. Sources of Nigerian law.  Lagos: MIJ Professional Publishers Ltd., 1996

Udombana, N.J. Human Rights and Contemporary Issues in Africa. Ikeja: Malthouse Press Limited, 2003.

Umozurike, U.O.  Introduction to International Law.  Ibadan; Spectrum Books Limited, 1993.

Utuama, A.A. Nigerian Law of Real Property.  Ibadan: Shaneson, 1989.

Uvieghara, E.E. (ed.) Essays on Copyright Law and Administration in Nigeria. Ibadan: Y-Books, 1992.

Uvieghara, E.E. Labour Law in Nigeria. Lagos: Malthouse Press, 2001.

Uvieghara, E.E. Sale of Goods (and hire-purchase) Law in Nigeria.  Lagos: Malthouse Press, 1996.

Uvieghara, E.E. Trade Union Law in Nigeria. Benin-City: Ethiope Pub. Co., 1976.

Worika, I.L. Environmental Law and Policy of Petroleum Development: Strategies and Mechanisms for Sustainable Development in Africa. Port Harcourt: Anpez Centre for Environment and Development, 2002

Yakubu, J. A. International Contracts: Evolution and Theory. Ikeja: Malthouse Press Ltd, 1999.Zalman, M. Cases and materials on the law of criminal procedure in the northern states of Nigeria, with a chapter on confessions by Greta Zalman.  Zaria : Ahmadu Bello University, 1969,



Nigerian Law Journal (Journal of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers)

Nigerian Law and Practice Journal (Journal of the Nigerian Law School)

Nigerian Current Law Journal (Published by Current Law Publications Limited, Lagos)

Nigerian Current Law Review (Journal of the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies)

Ahmadu Bello University Law Journal

Obafemi Awolowo University Law Journal

Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) Reports on State of Human Rights in Nigeria. CLO, Lagos.

The Nigerian Journal of Contemporary Law (Journal of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos)

Ibadan University Law Review

Ife Law Juris (Journal of the Department of Jurisprudence and Private Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)

The Calabar Law Journal (Journal of the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, Nigeria)

The Commercial and Industrial Law Review

Nasarawa State University Law Journal (Journal of the Faculty of Law, Nasarawa State University, Keffi)

Nigerian Bar Journal (Journal of the Nigerian Bar Association)

Ibadan Bar Journal (Journal of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch)

Nigeria Journal of Education Law

The Journal of Private and Property Law (Journal of the Department of Private & Property Law, University of Lagos)

University of Ibadan Journal of Business and Private Law (Journal of the Department of Business and Private Law, University of Ibadan)

University of Ibadan Law Journal

University of Maiduguri Law Journal (Journal of the Faculty of Law, University of Maiduguri)

University of Benin Law Journal.

Obafemi Awolowo University Law Journal.

Ahmadu Bello University Law Journal.

Human Rights Review, An International Human Rights Journal (Published by the Department of Public Law, Ahmadu Bello University and the National Human Rights Commission)

Nigerian Journal of Petroleum, Natural Resources and Environmental Law


Legal Publishers

The following are prominent legal publishers in Nigeria:

·       MIJ Professional Publishers

·       Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

·       Nigerian Law Publications

·       Spectrum Books Ltd

·       Odade Publishers

Government Publications

There is the Federal Government Press Department, which is responsible for the publication and sale of Gazettes and other government notices. The Federal Government Press is located in Lagos and Abuja. Each state has a government press, which is also responsible for state government publications.




International Law

Nigeria is a signatory to many international instruments. Nigeria is a member of the United Nations, The Commonwealth among others. It is also important to note that several Nigerian judges have served and are still serving on a number of international tribunals and courts.



The Council of Legal Education is the supervisory body responsible for the accreditation, control and management of legal education in Nigeria. The Council established under the Legal Education (Consolidation) Act, Cap L10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 is in charge of the Nigerian Law School, a vocational institution responsible for the education and training of prospective legal practitioners in Nigeria. The Nigerian Law School's headquarters is located in Abuja and there are other 5 campuses of the Nigerian Law School in Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Yenagoa and Yola.  Persons wishing to study law in Nigeria must first undergo undergraduate training in Nigerian universities for the award of an LL.B degree after which they proceed to the Nigerian Law School for practical training in any of its campuses. Successful candidates in the Bar Final examinations are called to the Nigerian Bar if they satisfy the Benchers that they are of good character. The Council of Legal Education also recognizes some foreign degree holders from accredited overseas institutions for purposes of admission. In order to qualify to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria, a person called to the Nigerian Bar must enroll as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. 



It is by virtue of enrolment at the Supreme Court that an individual can become a legal practitioner and a member of the legal profession in Nigeria. A legal practitioner is enrolled in Nigeria both as a Solicitor and Advocate (Barrister) because, unlike in England, the legal profession is fused.  The activities and conduct of members of the legal profession are regulated by statutory bodies like the General Council of the Bar and the Body of Benchers. The bodies are established by the Legal Practitioners Act, Cap. L 11, LFN 2004.


The Nigerian Bar Association

(N.B.A) is the foremost professional association in the legal profession. Though the N.B.A. is not a statutory body, it is recognized by statutes and it appoints members to supervisory bodies in the legal profession. In fact, the representatives of the N.B.A. participate in the deliberation of constitutional organs like  the National Judicial Council and the Federal Judicial Service Commission for the purpose of considering the names of persons for appointment to the superior courts of record. The N.B.A., which had been organized at national level before independence, now has 100  recognized branches organized along judicial divisions of State High Courts, with at least one Branch in each of the 36 states. It has recently approved establishment of sections along the lines of the International Bar Association. Membership of the Association is open to all legal practitioners. The Association is funded in part through the annual practicing fees payable by legal practitioners to secure right of audience in court. The N.B.A., through its Disciplinary Committee, conducts preliminary investigation into cases of professional misconduct brought against legal practitioners. Cases of persons found to be prima facie guilty are then forwarded to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee of the Body of Benchers for consideration and determination. A person aggrieved by the decision of the Disciplinary Committee has a right of appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria whose decision is final. In addition, the Supreme Court may exercise original disciplinary jurisdiction over a legal practitioner who appears to the Court to have been guilty of infamous conduct in any professional respect with regard to any matter of which a court of record in Nigeria is seized. The N.B.A nominates members into regulatory bodies established by statutes for the legal profession like the Body of Benchers, the General Council of the Bar, and the Council of Legal Education.  



Below is a list of some important website addresses:

Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) - An organization responsible for the privatization and commercialization of enterprises. A list of privatized companies can be accessed on their site.

Central Bank of Nigeria - The Central Bank of Nigeria is the apex bank in Nigeria. It was first established by the Central Bank Act of 1958, which was amended many times before it was repealed and replaced by the Central Bank of Nigeria Act No. 24 of 1991. The current law regulating the operation of the bank is the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, Cap C4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria  (Act 2007 No. 63) which commenced on 25th May 2007.The 1991 Act has subsequently been amended by the Amendment Acts No. 79 of 1993 and No. 3 of 1997. The bank has overall control of the monetary and financial sector policies of the Federal Government. There is a list of the official contacts of the bank available on this site.

Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) - The Commission was established by the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap. 59 LFN 1990, (now Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to regulate the formation, management, and winding up of companies in Nigeria. Information on the regulations and requirements and official contacts are available here. 

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission - This Commission was originally set up by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act of 2003. This Act has been replaced by a new Act enacted in 2004 (the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, Etc) Cap. E1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Act 2004 No. 1). The new Act came into operation on 4th June 2004. The Commission is one of the institutions set up by the Administration of President Obasanjo t  to reform the economic sector in Nigeria. It serves as the Financial Intelligence Unit to combat money laundering and other economic and financial crimes. A list of official contacts is also available on this site.

Federal Ministry of Information s – A Federal Government Department. This link contains information about past Nigerian leaders and other information about the country and its resources.

Independent Corrupt Practices Commission: This is Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption Commission established in 2000 by the Obasanjo’s Administration. The enabling law is the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2003 No. 6 that repealed the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act No. 5 of 2000. The Act prohibits and prescribes punishment for corrupt practices and other related offences

Independent National Election Commission (INEC) - The Commission was established according to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution to conduct, organize and monitor elections (among other duties) in the country.

National Judicial Institute – This Institute is established under the National Judicial Institute Act Cap N55 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. This Act was originally enacted as Decree No. 28 of 1991 and it came into force on 27th June 1991. The institute is to serve as the focal point of judicial activities relating to the promotion of efficiency, uniformity and improvement in the quality of judicial services in the superior and inferior courts in Nigeria.

National Planning Commission  - The Commission is established to, among other things, determine and advise on policies that will best promote national unity and integration and sustain the Nigerian nation.  The Commission is regulated by the National Planning Commission Act Cap. N66 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. The current law was promulgated as Decree No. 71 of 1993 and it repealed the National Planning Commission Decree No 12 of 1992. The Commission is one of the agencies of government responsible for economic planning.

National Universities Commission – This Commission established by the National Universities Commission Act, Cap N81, Laws of the federation of Nigerian 2004 is charged with the responsibility of advising the Federal and State Governments of all aspects of university education and the general development of universities in Nigeria. The present law was enacted in 1974 but amended last in 1993.  The Commission is the government parastatal that grants approval for all academic programmes in Nigerian universities and licenses to all new universities.  

Nigerian Army – The Nigerian Army is one of the three branches of the Armed Forces established by section 217 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended. Detailed provisions on the establishment, command, maintenance and administration of the Nigerian Army and the other two branches (the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force) contained in the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. The Act, which came into operation on 6th July 1994, has been a number of times.

Nigeria Police Force – The Nigeria Police Force is established pursuant to section 214 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended The Force, whose history dates back to the colonial era, is responsible for national security. Detailed provisions on the organization, powers and duties of the Nigeria Police Force and the discipline of its personnel are contained in the Police Act, Cap P19 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, which was first enacted in 1943. A list of contacts can be found on their website.

Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies – The Institute established pursuant to the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Act Cap N112, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, is responsible, among other things, for the conduct of research into any branch of law with a view to applying the result in the nearest of Nigeria and to provide information, supervision, guidance and advice to post-graduate students and other researchers in the field of law and law-related subjects.

Wikipedia – Politics of Nigeria

A list of contacts can be found on their website.


Akeredolu, Alero (ed.) The Supreme Court Legacy.  Ibadan: St. Paul’s Publishing House, 2006

Asein, J. O., Introduction to the Nigerian Legal System.  2nd ed., Lagos: Ababa Press, 2005

Park, A.E.W. The Sources of Nigerian Law.  Lagos & London: African Universities Press and Sweet & Maxwell, 1963

Obilade, A. O. The Nigerian Legal System.  London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1979.