Akwa Ibom State, with capital at Uyo, derived its name from the Qua Iboe River. It was created on September 23, 1987 out of the old Cross River State by General Ibrahim Babangida’s military dictatorship.
Akwa Ibom State is located in the coastal south-east part of Nigeria, lying between latitudes 40321 and 5o331 north, and longitudes 7o251 and 8o251 east. The state is bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by Rivers State and Abia State, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. It encompasses the Uyo, Eket and Abak divisions of the defunct Calabar province. Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Eket, Ibeno are other prominent cities in the State.
Whereas Akwa Ibom is credited with a resident population of about 5 million, it is also reputed to have about 10 million persons indigenous to it in the Diaspora. Majority of the state’s resident population are engaged in agricultural activities. The climate of the state is favourable to the cultivation and extraction of agricultural and forest products such as palm produce, rubber, cocoa, rice, cassava, yam, plantain, banana, maize, and timber.
Akwa Ibom is also endowed with natural resources. In fact it is one of the top three producers of crude oil in Nigeria. Other natural resources found in the State include limestone, clay, natural gas, salt, coal, giver nitrate, and glass sand.
Currently, the State currently 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:
- an Executive arm of government headed by an elected Governor;
- 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;
- 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;
- maintain the Local Government level of governance. Presently, the Nigerian Constitution prescribes 31 Local Government Areas for the State; and
- 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 Akwa Ibom State legal system comprises;
- The compendium of Constitutional provisions applicable to the State as one of the 36 States that constitute the Nigerian Federation;
- Laws made by the Federal Legislature applicable throughout the entire federation or specifically to Akwa Ibom State;
- Laws made (or deemed to have been made), by the State’s legislature;
- Laws made by Local Government Councils in the State;
- Customary laws or other customs of the market place applicable under the operations of Law;
- 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;
- 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; and
- 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 Akwa Ibom State Legal System include:
- 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;
- Laws of the Federation of Nigeria;
- Legislations of the National Assembly applicable to Akwa Ibom State;
- Legislations of the State House of Assembly;
- Recognized customs of the people of Akwa Ibom State;
- Judicial precedents of courts with judicial authority over Akwa Ibom State;
- Local Government edicts.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS IN AKWA IBOM STATE
LEGAL SYSTEMS OF THE FEDERATING UNITS OF NIGERIA – 37 STATES/FCT