Abia was created on 27th August, 1991, out of the old Imo state by the military dictatorship of General Ibrahim Babangida. Its capital is in Umuahia.
Abia state is geographically located in the southeast region of Nigeria. It lies within approximate latitudes 4o 40’ and 6o 14’ north, and longitudes 7o 10’ and 8o east.
The state covers a geographical area of about 5243.7sqkm which is approximately 5.8 per cent of the total land area of Nigeria.
Abia state is strategically sandwiched among four major oil producing states and two agriculture-rich but non-oil producing but agro-based states. It shares its boundaries to the north with Ebonyi, to the south and southwest with Rivers and to the east and southeast with Cross River and Akwa Ibom States respectively.
The population of Abia state according to the National Population Commission of Nigeria is about 2,881,380- Male: 1,430,298; Female: 1,451,082. 70 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture which accounts for more than 50 percent of the GDP. Abia state is possessed of rich arable lands that support the growing of yams, maize, potatoes, rice, cashews, plantains and cassava. Aside from agriculture, the state has a fair deposit of crude oil and gas which production accounts for about 39 percent of the GDP. The manufacturing industry in the state contributes about 2 percent of the state’s GDP.
The State currently owes its existence to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which mandate the establishment:
1. of 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. maintain the Local Government level of governance. Presently, the Nigerian Constitution prescribes 17 Local Government Areas for the State; and
5. mobilize 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 administration umbrella
The Abia 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 Abia State;
3. Laws made (or deemed to have been made), by the State’s legislature;
4. Customary laws or other customs of the market place applicable under the operation of Law;
5. Laws made by Local Government Legislative Councils within the State;
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 law for Abia 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 Abia State;
4. Legislations of the State House of Assembly;
5. Recognized customs of the people of Abia State;
6. Judicial precedents of courts with judicial authority over Abia State;
7. Edicts of Local Government Councils within the State.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS IN ABIA STATE
|Isiala Ngwa North