COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MATRIMONIAL LAW OF NORTHERN NIGERIA WITH EMPHASIS ON ISLAMIC LAW

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COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MATRIMONIAL LAW OF NORTHERN NIGERIA WITH EMPHASIS ON ISLAMIC LAW

Abstract:

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MATRIMONIAL LAW OF NORTHERN NIGERIA WITH EMPHASIS ON ISLAMIC LAW, Nigeria being a country with a dual if not triple system of Laws is largely faced with the difficult of finding the demarcating line between the rules of Islamic Law/ proper, especially in the Southern part of the country and other laws applicable into the country (Customary and English Common Laws). Legal pluralism and the conflict of Laws in Nigeria is a product of both historical circumstances and per-during systems of belief, values and social relations. In this study I shall be primarily concerned with those features of legal pluralism and conflict of Law which exists within heterogeneous environment like Nigeria. The study is a comparative study of both theory and practice of marriage laws in Nigeria. The Laws are that of Islamic Law, Customary Law and English Law, but with emphasis on the application of Islamic Law. Chapter one opens with a descriptive Sketch of the historical background of Nigeria examining the coming of Islam, the jihad of Skeikh Usmann Fodio and the coming of the European to the country. In discussing the colonial period, it will critically analyze the introduction of the English Lav; and other institutions associated with it into Nigeria. Specifically, it will critically examine the interrelationship of the introduced legal system with it indigenous counterpart. Chapter two discusses the nature and scope of Islamic Law (Shariah). The Chapter has also deals in detail with vb the sources of Islamic Law and the development of fiqh. It has also looks into the judicial and legal policy of the British administration and the legal harmonization in Nigeria. Chapter three deals with the formation of contract of 300 marriage and the concept of betrothal, its legal implications and consequences under Islamic Law. An attempt to compare this concept with the concept of engagement under both the customary and English Laws are also made. Under customary Law, the Chapter looks in to the marriage formalities of three selected communities in the Northern Part of Nigeria, these are (1) Nupe people from Niger State, (2) Ogori people from Kwara State and (3) Bachama people from Gongola State. Chapter four contains a bride account of the concept of dower in Islam, pre-Islamic Arabian customs and the customs prevent among the non-muslim communities in Nigeria. The Chapter has also discusses the rights and. duties accouraing to the spouses individually and jointly arising from the contract of marriage with particular emphasis on the doctrines of Nafaga (maintenance) and Nushuz (disobedience) and its legal consequences. Chapter Five Sketches the system of family in Nigeria, its scope and nature. This is made possible by discussing the polygamous nature of Islamic and customary Laws in comparison with the monogamous nature of the English Law, their advantages and disadvantages and the possibility and acceptability of their application in Nigeria society. Chapter six is devoted to the dissolution of marriage and the ensuring effects on the spouses and the Community at large. Special attention is a paid to divorce as the main method for terminating a marriage contract under the three legal systems in operation in Nigeria. It has also looks into the issue of legitimacy and legitimization and the law of custody under the three legal systems. Chapter seven contain an analysis of the various topics, the problems and their solutions discussed in the thesis and offers some suggestions for the future that may hopefully help in solving the problem affecting marriage institution in our society. It has also looks into possibility or impossibility of having a uniformed legal system in Nigeria

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