Independent Clearing House for
Nigeria's Justice Sector
|PROFILE AND LEGAL SYSTEM|
Delta State, with capital at Asaba, was
created on 27th August, 1991 out of the defunct Bendel
State under the military dictatorship led by General
Ibrahim Babangida. Bendel State, itself, was an
offshoot of the defunct Mid-Western state which
existed between 1963 to 1976.
The State which takes its name from the delta filled lower region of Nigeria's largest river, the River Niger, is located in the South-south Geo-political zone. It’s 16,842km2 lies roughly between longitudes 5o00 and 6o45l E and latitudes 5o00 and 6o30lN. The total land area of the State is 16,842km2.
The state is bounded by Edo and Ondo States to the north-west, Imo and Anambra to the north-east, Rivers and Bayelsa States to the southeast while its 160 km of south-western and far-south coastline is bounded by the Bight of Benin in the Atlantic Ocean.
The population of the State according to the National Population Commission is about 4,112,445 (Males: 2,069,309 Females: 2,043,136). The State is notable for its abundant oil deposit, ranking second to Rivers State as a major oil producing state in Nigeria. In fact, the State supplies about 35 percent of Nigeria’s oil and some considerable amount of Natural gas. The Nation’s second refinery as well as petrochemical plant is located in the State at Warri town.
Agriculture also remains a major economic mainstay of Delta's people as the State is notable for the production of root crops such as cassava, cocoyam, yam and potatoes. The fishery industry also thrives in the State. There are also some notable industries in the State like the African Timber and Plywood, AT$T, Asaba Textile Mill, and Ughelli Glass Factory.
Currently, the Delta 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;
2. a 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 energies;
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. and maintain of the Local Government level of governance. Presently, the Nigerian Constitution prescribes 25 local Local Government Areas for the State.
The Delta State legal system comprises;
1. The compendium of Constitutional provisions applicable to the State as one of the 36 States that constitute the Nigerian Federation;
2. Laws made by the Federal Legislature applicable throughout the entire federation or specifically to Delta 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;
8. 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 Delta 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 Delta State;
4. Legislations of the State House of Assembly;
5. Recognized customs of the people of Delta State;
6. Judicial precedents of courts with judicial authority over Delta State;
7. Local Government edicts.
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