Lagos State, with capital at Ikeja, was formed on May 27, 1967 by virtue of State Creation and transitional Provisions Decree No. 14 of 1967, which restructured Nigeria’s Federation into 12 states under the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon. Before this time, Lagos Municipality had been administered by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Lagos Affairs as the regional authority, while the Lagos City Council governed the City of Lagos.
The State is located in the southwestern part of Nigeria and lies between latitude 6o2’N to 6o2’N and from longitude 2o45’E to 4o20’E. It occupies a total geographical area of about 3,475.1km2. About 787km2 or 22 percent of Lagos territory is water. It shares its borders with Ogun State in the north and east and is bounded on the west by the Republic of Benin. In the south it stretches for 180km along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Lagos State is in terms of geography arguably the smallest State in Nigeria.
The population of Lagos State according to a recent estimate from the National Population Commission is 9,113,605- Male: 4,719,125; Female: 4,394,480, which makes it the second most populous State in Nigeria, after Kano State. Its urban section is also credited with 9.5m residents under the Urban Agglomeration issued by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Population Division), making it the second most populous city in Africa.
Lagos State is Nigeria’s economic capital with over 2,000 industries located in the state. It accounts for 65 percent of the country’s formal economic activities. Two of the nation’s largest seaport, Apapa and Tincan Port, are located in Lagos. Agricultural activities in Lagos are mainly fishing which is done on a commercial level..
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 prescribes 20 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 Lagos 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 Lagos 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 the Laws of the Lagos 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 Lagos State;
- Legislations of the State House of Assembly;
- Recognized customs of the people of Lagos State;
- Judicial precedents of courts with judicial authority over Lagos State;
- Local Government edicts.
LAGOS STATE BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
LEGAL SYSTEMS OF THE FEDERATING UNITS OF NIGERIA – 37 STATES/FCT