Kareem Olatoye and Abubakri Yekini, both lecturers at Lagos State University, Nigeria, recently published an article titled: “Islamic Law in Southern Nigerian Courts: Constitutional Law and Conflicts of Laws Perspectives” (2019/2020) 6 Benin Journal of Public Law 120. The abstract reads as follows:
This article challenges the prevailing views that Islamic law is not applicable in southern part of Nigeria and that the civil courts do not have jurisdiction over matters bordering on Islamic personal law. It argues that these views are wrong as litigants are denied access to justice since no state in the southern part of Nigeria has established Islamic courts. The article further argues that the existing legal frameworks – the Constitution, High Court Laws and Evidence Act – support the recognition and application of Islamic law either as a lex fori or lex causae. Thus, there ought to be no distinction between north and south because Islamic law is not a territorial law. The article suggests a paradigm shift in the Nigerian courts’ approach to Islamic law in Southern Nigeria, particularly, the Southwest which has a near-majority Muslim population. It further suggests the establishment of Islamic law courts or the creation of divisions in the existing civil courts for Islamic law matters to ensure that litigants have access to justice, and Islamic law questions are determined by those learned in that law.