International Journal of Law


International Journal of Law
International Journal of Law
Vol. 2, Issue 1 (2016)

Shari’ah Hudud and Northern Nigerian Penal Code


Dr. Sulaiman Olayiwola Rabi’u

The administration of Justice in accordance with Shari’ah was given highest priority in all Islamic emirates of Northern Nigeria. As a result, Islamic Law gradually became a pervasive feature and the widely enforced legal system within Northern States. The Maliki school of Law is applied generally whenever a case is brought before Alkali Courts. A wider recognition and enforcement of Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria can safely be said to have started from the nineteenth century Jihad of Sheikh Usmanu Danfodiyo. In 1805 there were about 25 metropolitan Alkali within the states, an indication of the operation of Shari’ah in its totality in the Northern part of this Country. When the British conquered Nigeria, they introduced for their administrative convenience, series of measures that would earn them effective control of the country. One of these measures was designed to give them control of the country’s legal system. The first step towards this was that, the British government in 1863 introduced into this country its common law including common law of crime which was put into practice in Lagos colony as an experiment and it continued to operate in Lagos for nearly forty-one years before it was introduced to the Northern part of the Country. This paper focuses on the investigation about the rise and disintegration of Islamic Law with special reference to hudud before and during the invasion of Nigeria by the British imperialists.
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