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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Application of the Repugnancy Doctrine to Paternity Cases in Nigeria
Author:Yakubu, J. AdemolaISNI
Periodical:African Journal of International and Comparative Law
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:customary law
family law
conflict of laws
illegitimate children
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Women's Issues
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
External link:http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/afjincol7&id=139&collection=journals&index=journals/afjincol
Abstract:In Nigeria customary law, which embraces ethnic and Muslim law, coexists with English or general law. The Evidence Act (1990) states that customary law shall not be enforced by the Nigerian courts if it is contrary to public policy and is not in accordance with natural justice, equity and good conscience. This article examines two cases where this so-called 'repugnancy doctrine' was put to test, and which both dealt with paternity: Mariyama v Sadiku Ejo (1961) and Mayaki v Nda (1993). In both cases, courts of customary law awarded custody of the child(ren) to the former husband of the mother, without regard for the natural father. In the Mariyama case, application of the repugnancy doctrine led the High Court judge to rightly refuse to apply native Igbirra law. However, in the Mayaki case, the Federal Court of Appeal of Kaduna affirmed the judgment of the Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal. The author contends that, although this judgment accorded with an Islamic principle of law, the decision is repugnant on account of its being against public policy. He concludes that a mechanical approach to the determination of issues in court, especially where the interest of a child is at stake, cannot serve the interest of justice. Notes, ref.