Ifeyinwa Cordelia Isidienu


Any society that does not have laws or rules that guide the activities of its members will eventually turn to an anarchy society. Customary law is the rules and regulations approved and shared by a community. These rules are guide to peoples’ conduct. Customary law existed before the introduction of modern law. Nowadays, it has continued to exist alongside modern law in most African societies, including the Igbo of Nigeria. Customary law, though unwritten, serves as a means of social control. For social control measures to be effective, they must be an embodiment of justice. Recently, customary rules are becoming non-functional in the Igbo society, leading to security problems and many other vices. The study investigates some Igbo customary rules and penalties for abominations ịkpụ arụ, oath taking ị iyi, expressing innocence ịsa aka, and excommunication mmapụ; to ascertain their relevance in controlling vices in the Igbo society of old. The descriptive study used observation and oral interview for data collection. It was found that most of the customary rules were very effective for social control and justice in Igbo land, but they are no longer fashionable. Also, the study discovered that most people prefer modern laws which can somehow be influenced, and people now contravene customary law without any fear of justice. The study recommends that the Igbo people should value their customary rules and apply them in the right perspective for social control and justice to reign. This will go a long way in ensuring the security of lives and properties of the citizens, and fostering a closely knit Igbo society where people live together in peace.


Customary Law, Social Control, Justice, Igbo Society

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