Kwara State, with capital at Illorin, was created on 27th May 1967 by the military dictatorship of General Yakubu Gowon when the four regions that constituted the Nigerian Federation were broken up into twlve States.
The State is located in the north western region of the country. It lies between parallels 8o and 10onorth latitudes and 3o and 6o east longitudes. It has a land area of about 36,825km2.
The State has River Niger as its natural boundary along its northern and eastern margins and shares a common internal boundary with Niger State in the north, Kogi State in the east, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun States in the south and an international boundary with the Republic of Benin in the west.
At its creation, the State which was made up of the old Ilorin and Kabba provinces of the defunct Northern Region was initially named the West Central State, a name that soon gave way to “Kwara”,a local name for the River Niger that also traverses a segment of the State.
From 1976, Kwara has considerably reduced in size due to further state creation exercises in Nigeria. For instance, on 13 February 1976, the Idah/Dekina part of the state was carved out and merged with a part of the then Benue/Plateau State to form Benue State. On 27 August 1991, five local government areas, namely Oyi, Yagba, Okene, Okehi and Kogi were also excised to form part of the new Kogi State, while a sixth, Borgu Local Government Area, was merged with Niger State.
Presently, the population of the State, according to a 2010 release of the National Population Commission, is 2,364,353- Male: 1,193,783; Female: 1,171,570. The majority of Kwara’s people are engaged in agriculture and agri-businesses setting up agro-sector as the economic mainstay of the State. Crops produced in Kwara State include cocoa, kolanut, bean-seed, coffee, cotton and palm produce. A mineral resource resource that includes granite rocks, feldspar, limestone, clay, quartz and marble.
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 prescribes16 local Local Government Areas for the State;
- 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 Kwara 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 Kwara 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 economic space applicable under the operations of the Laws;
- 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 Kwara 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 Kwara State;
- Legislations of the State House of Assembly;
- Recognized customs of the people of Kwara State;
- Judicial precedents of courts with judicial authority over Kwara State;
- Local Government edicts.
KWARA STATE BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
LEGAL SYSTEMS OF THE FEDERATING UNITS OF NIGERIA – 37 STATES/FCT