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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Between Juju and Justice: An Examination of Extra-Legal Devices in Traditional Yoruba Society
Author:Olaoba, O.B.
Year:1997
Periodical:Africana Marburgensia
Volume:30
Issue:2
Pages:24-38
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:divination
Yoruba
customary law
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
colonialism
History and Exploration
Abstract:There are two main approaches to justice among the Yoruba (Nigeria), legal and extralegal. This article examines the various forms of extrajudicial method adopted in the process of adjudication in Yoruba society. Although the extrajudicial method, defined as 'the method of adjudication through supernatural means for disputes of difficult and diverse dimensions which are beyond human comprehension and litigiousness', was meant to supplement human efforts in judicial procedure in order to facilitate and enhance the course of justice and fair play, its prevalence in Yoruba indigenous society was based on the awe and fear it induced in the minds of the people. Various types of extralegal devices existed: divination through the oracle, oath taking, trial by ordeal, the influence of the supernatural, and mediation by secret societies. With the advent of the British and the introduction of their legal system, judicial methods veering from natural and reasoned adjudication were forbidden, no matter how effective they may have been in enhancing peace and tranquillity and how suited to indigenous Yoruba practice. Notes, ref.
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