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|PROFILE AND LEGAL SYSTEM|
Sokoto State, with the ancient city of Sokoto as Capital, was created on 3 February, 1976 by the military dictatorship of General Murtala Mohammed out of the defunct North-Western State.
Sokoto State is situated at the extreme north-western part of Nigeria between latitudes 12oN and 13o58’N and longitudes 4o8’E and 6o54’E. Its total land area of 25,973km2 is bounded by Zamfara State to the east, Kebbi State to the southwest and two international borders with Niger Republic and Benin Republic to the north and southwest respectively.
The population of Sokoto State according to the National Population Commission of Nigeria is 2,986,582- Male: 1,863,713; Female: 1,838,963. Over 85 percent of the State’s population is engaged in agriculture. The main crops are millet, guinea corn, sugar cane, beans and cereals sustaining revenue generating capacity of over the State is second only to Borno in livestock production N400, 000 per month. Sokoto State also has an estimated livestock population of 1.18 million cattle, nearly 2.90 million goats, 1.98 million sheep, 2 million chickens, 45,000 camels, 34,532 horses and 51,388 donkeys.
The Sokoto State government is made up of the executive led by the governor currently Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and his cabinet, the State House of Assembly comprising of 30 members led by the Speaker and the judiciary led by the State Chief judge. Sokoto State is divided into 23 local government areas.
Currently, the State owes its legal existence to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As a State, it is constitutionally mandated to establish:
1. an Executive arm of government headed by an elected Governor;
legislative arm of government which members shall be
drawn from constituencies defined in the Constitution.
Its activities are presided over by a Speaker elected
by the members of the State House of Assembly which
oversees the exercise of the State’s legislative
3. a judicial arm made up of judges, magistrates and other officers that help in the administration of justice and related activities within the State. The judicial arm is headed by the State’s Chief Justice. Nonetheless, judicial pronouncement of the State’s tribunals are subject to the appellate review of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria, in that order;
4. maintain of the
Local Government level of governance. Presently, the
Nigerian Constitution prescribes 23
Government Areas for the State; and
the powers of the State, the institutions and
resources of its arms and levels of
government in order to secure a socio-economic
environment for persons resident in the State and
its other stakeholders to pursue legitimate goals
in dignity under the State's justice
The Sokoto State legal system comprises;
1. The compendium of
Constitution provisions applicable to the State as one
of the 36 States that constitute the Nigerian
2. Laws made by the Federal Legislature applicable throughout the entire federation or specifically to Sokoto State;
3. Laws made (or deemed to have been made), by the State’s legislature;
4. Laws made by Local Government Councils in the State;
5. Customary laws or other customs of the market place applicable under the operation of Law;
6. Judicial precedents of the courts of the State and of appellate courts with jurisdictions over its tribunals like the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria;
7. Judicial precedents of
federation tribunals like the Federal High Court,
the National Industrial Court, Code of Conduct
Tribunal, Investments and Securities Tribunal and so
on to the extent to which their mandates allow.
Law enforcement institutions, law
enforcement officers, judges, legal
practitioners, judiciary workers, other
professionals and persons recognized at various
levels as part of the justice administration
complex of the State.
Sources of Law for the Sokoto State Legal System include:
1. The Constitution of Nigeria (including its amendments and other laws it refers to expressly as having the same character as provisions contained within the formal Constitutional document;
2. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria;
3. Legislations of the National Assembly applicable to Sokoto State;
4. Legislations of the State House of Assembly;
5. Recognized customs of the people of Sokoto State;
6. Judicial precedents of courts with judicial authority over Sokoto State;
7. Local Government edicts.
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