Plateau State, with capital at Jos, was created out of the defunct Benue-Plateau State on 3 February, 1976 by the military dictatorship of General Murtala Mohammed.
The State is located almost at the heart of the country in the area more commonly known as the Middle Belt. It lies between latitudes 80o24’N and longitude 80o32’E and 100o38’E. Its land area of 26,899km2 is bounded by Kaduna State to the north, Kaduna and Nasarawa State to the east, Benue State to the south and Taraba State to the west.
The population of Plateau State according to a recent estimate from the National Population Commission is 3,206,531- Male: 1,598,998; Female: 1,607,533. The soil and climate of the State is favourable for agricultural production. Some of the crops produced in the State include Irish potatoes, apples, grapes, wheat, barley and vegetables. Apart from producing about 200,000 tons of Irish potatoes annually, Plateau State also has one of the largest populations of cattle in Nigeria..
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;
- maintain the Local Government level of governance. Presently, the Nigerian Constitution prescribes17 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 Plateau 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 Plateau 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; 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 Stat
Sources of Plateau 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 Plateau State;
- Legislations of the State House of Assembly;
- Recognized customs of the people of Plateau State;
- Judicial precedents of courts with judicial authority over Plateau State;
- Local Government edicts.
PLATEAU STATE BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
LEGAL SYSTEMS OF THE FEDERATING UNITS OF NIGERIA – 37 STATES/FCT