Lagos State Confers Criminal Jurisdiction on Customary Courts

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New Presidents of Lagos Customary Court at their Swearing in

Chief Judge of Lagos State Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke  has given  an insight into the type of matters that the Customary Court Presidents and Members can entertain in their courts under the newly amended Lagos State Customary Law 2018.
Justice Oke was speaking during the swearing in of Magistrates and Customary Court Presidents and members during the week.

She said: “Customary Courts in Lagos State have jurisdiction to entertain matrimonial matters arising from marriages solemnized under native law and custom, issues of inheritance not exceeding N500,000.00 and civil bye-laws.

“On criminal matters, the Lagos State Customary Court Law of Lagos State 2015 (as amended) expanded the criminal jurisdiction of the Customary Court.

“It now includes offences created under a bye-law of a Local Government and criminal causes and matters set out in Part Two of the First Schedule to the Law.
“Customary Courts have also been empowered to impose a fine which shall not exceed N50,000 in the case of an individual and N500,000 in the case of a corporate offender.

“Without an iota of doubt, the recently amended law has ushered in greater responsibilities to be discharged by Presidents of the Customary Court.”

Earlier, in her address of welcome, Olufunmilayo Salami, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission, hailed the innovations of the newly amended Lagos State Customary Court Law.

According to Salami the amended law ensures that law graduates now oversee proceedings at the Customary Court.

Salami said: “The amendment has compulsorily accommodated legal practitioners and law graduates as Presidents of the Court, and graduates as Members.

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“It has made provision for Criminal Jurisdiction in criminal causes and matters as conferred under any bye-law passed by a Local Government Area or Local Council Development in the State.”

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