BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY —THE President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Edo State , Justice Joseph Olubor, yesterday, asked all relevant agencies to strengthen the indigenous legal administration, saying that though the English law is more popular today, but the customary/sharia legal system affected more lives in the country than any other law.
Justice Olubor who spoke while declaring open a Workshop sponsored by the Australian government in conjunction with Human Assistance Initiative, with the theme, “Integrating Human Rights in the System of Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria for Customary/Sharia Court Judged,” regretted that the so much emphasis being placed on English law tends to undermine the importance of the customary law in our society where “every one of us came from one background or the other”.
According to him, “You know that the emphasis here in Nigeria has been on the English law but we all are governed by customary law which is the most practiced aspect of our law in this country. These grassroots courts are the courts people run to, because they are closer and at their door steps. Therefore there is every need to strengthen it”.
Commending the role of the Australian government, in furtherance of its Aid Programme, he noted that, “it is in this regard that the Australian government must be commended for using their resources to expand and highlight the importance of customary courts in our society.”
In his welcome address, the National Coordinator of HUMAI, Mr. Ernest Amadasu, pointed out that the “practice of customary law cannot be divorced from who we are, therefore there is serious need for us to marry it with modern realities, including the issue of the rights of man”.