*5 IMPORTANT LAWS EVERY NIGERIAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
5 IMPORTANT LAWS EVERY NIGERIAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
There are hundreds of laws in Nigeria, and it is almost impossible for the average Nigerian to keep up with all of them and know what every single one says about your rights and duties, so we decided to do the hard work for you! We have therefore created a list of some of the important laws Nigerians should know about.
1. THE CONSTITUTION
This is the most important law in the country, it is the law from which all the other laws in Nigeria gain their validity. Therefore, this is one of the laws which you need to be aware of. The importance of this law is probably the reason why you hear people use the expression ‘that is unconstitutional’ so much, because if something is unconstitutional, it cannot stand. The constitution also contains all the fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens.
2. THE CRIMINAL CODE/PENAL CODE
These laws are the where most (not all) of the criminal laws are, it contains provisions on what actions constitute a crime, and what the penalties are for committing the crimes. It contains crimes like murder, rape, armed robbery, fraud, witchcraft (yes, witchcraft is a crime in Nigeria) and much more. Some crimes have their own specific laws because of the importance or technical nature of those crimes e.g. money laundering is specifically criminalised under the Money Laundering Act. However, most of the laws are in either the Criminal Code or the Penal Code.
3. THE ELECTORAL ACT
We have included this law because it is the law which regulates how elections are conducted in Nigeria. The law does not deal with the eligibility for office and terms of office of political office holders (that is contained in the Constitution) however it does contain all the other elements of the electoral process in Nigeria for example it deals with establishment of a National Voters register, and procedure for voters registration, directions on conducting political rallies and election campaigns, the establishment, staffing, and management of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), INEC is the organisation that conducts the elections in Nigeria.
4. THE LABOUR ACT
The Labour act is the primary legislation in Nigeria which deals with the relationship between an employer and its employees. It contains quite a number of provisions which govern this relationship, and also all the regulatory processes applicable for employers.
5. LAND USE ACT
The Land Use Act is the primary law in Nigeria that deals with the ownership and transfer of ownership in land. The law is quite unique in the sense that it is more ‘important’ than a regular law. Before this law can be amended or repealed there is a protracted process, in fact it can only be amended using the same procedure as would be followed in amending the Constitution.
KNOW THE LAW