Ebonyi State lies approximately within longitude 7o30l and 7o30lE and latitude 5o40I and 6o45lN. The total land area of the State is 5,530km2. It is bounded to the north by Benue State, to the west by Enugu State, to the east by Cross River State and to the south by Abia State.
Ebonyi was one of the six states created by the General Sani Abacha led military dictatorship in 1996. It comprises the old Abakaliki division carved out of the old Enugu State and the old Afikpo division carved out of the old Abia State. The name “Ebonyi” itself is generally attributed to the River Aboine, in the State.
The population of the Ebonyi State according a recent estimate from the National Population Commission is 2,176,947- Male: 1,064,156; Female: 1,112,791. Agriculture is the major economic base of the State with about 80 percent of the population actively engaged in it. The State is a leading producer of rice, potatoes, yams, beans, cassava, and maize. Rice and yams are predominantly cultivated in Edda.
Ebonyi State also has some solid minerals but little large scale commercial mining. Ebonyi State is popularly known as the “Salt of the Nation”, apparently because of the large deposits of salt water in the State.
Currently, the 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:
- 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; and
- maintain the Local Government level of governance. Presently, the Nigerian Constitution prescribes13 local 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 Ebonyi 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 Ebonyi 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 operation 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;
- 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 the Ebonyi 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 Ebonyi State;
- Legislations of the State House of Assembly;
- Recognized customs of the people of Ebonyi State;
- Judicial precedents of courts with judicial authority over Ebonyi State;
- Local Government edicts.
EBONYI STATE BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
LEGAL SYSTEMS OF THE FEDERATING UNITS OF NIGERIA – 37 STATES/FCT