The Essence and Exigency of Law in Africa (A Jurisprudential Analysis)

  • JG Yalaju Esq
Keywords: Essence – Exigency – Law – Jurisprudence


In Africa, man practiced law for centuries before we embarked on theorising about it. The normative rules which governed Africans were in place from time immemorial. Prior to the advent of colonialism, during the colonial era, and since attaining statehood, laws have been made and enforced in the African Continent. However, since the advent of modern government and positive law there has been the erroneous impression that the Africans were lawless. This paper is interested in establishing the nature and necessity of law in traditional African States from the perspective of the philosophy of law and legal systems. Conceived and nurtured in colonialism, Africans still retain and are influenced by the received colonial conception of law. Could it not be that the civilian elites and others that ruled Africans since independence operate a legal system culturally foreign to Africans? If that is true, majority of Africans lack the inner feeling of moral obligation conducive to their effective and voluntary compliance with the law.

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eISSN: 1119-443X