CROSS RIVER – TRADITIONAL RULERS LAW

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LAWS OF CROSS RIVER STATE

TRADITIONAL RULERS LAW

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

CHAPTER T4

Traditional Villages and Clans

SECTION

  1. Villages and clans which constitute Local Government Areas.

PART II

Classification and Recognition Of Traditional Rulers

  1. Classification of traditional rulers.
  2. Conditions of recognition as traditional rulers.
  3. Paramount Ruler may be recognised as president of a traditional council; any Paramount Ruler, Clan Head or Village Head previously recognised to remain recognised.
  4. Withdrawal of official recognition from a paramount ruler or village-group head.

PART III

Clan Heads and Village Heads

  1. Selection and disputed selection of traditional rulers and reference of same to traditional council.
  2. Dispute in the selection of a traditional ruler.
  3. Proceedings of inquiry by traditional council into dispute.
  4. Method of tendering advice to Commissioner, the required majority and quorum of the traditional council.
  5. Recognition of traditional rulers.
  6. Qualifications for headship of a clan or village.
  7. Commissioner may refer question to traditional council.
  8. Certificate of recognition.
  9. Keeping and maintaining a register of recognised Clan Heads or Village Heads.
  10. Functions of Clan Head and Village Head.
  11. Provisions relating to community projects.
  12. Establishment of office of president of traditional council.
  13. Presidents of the traditional council for Calabar Municipality.
  14. Presidents of traditional councils other than of the Calabar South.
  15. Procedure for selection of a Paramount Ruler of a traditional council and method of presentation.
  16. Recognition of Paramount Ruler where unanimously presented by Clan Heads.
  17. Procedure where Clan Heads fail to agree on the selection of nominee.

 

 

SECTION

  1. Commissioner to direct further selection in case of indecisive selection.
  2. Selection meeting to be private; and absence of a Clan Head not to invalidate proceedings.
  3. Report of result of selection.
  4. Recognition of Paramount Ruler where selection is conducted by appointed officer.
  5. Certificate of recognition.
  6. Keeping and maintaining register of recognised Paramount Ruler.
  7. Additional functions of presidents of traditional councils.

PART V

General Provisions

  1. Withdrawal of recognition.
  2. Publication of names of recognised Paramount Rulers, Clan Heads and Village Heads.
  3. Payment of allowances to certain recognised traditional rulers and to presidents of traditional councils.
  4. Staff of office for a Paramount Ruler.
  5. Family chief not affected by this Law.

PART VI

Offences and Penalties

  1. Penalty for installation of a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head without first being recognised.
  2. Penalty for unlawful installation of a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head.
  3. Penalty for unlawful representation to be a Paramount Ruler and a president of a traditional council, a Clan Head or Village Head.
  4. Penalty for unlawful use of property of a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head.
  5. Penalty for failing to give evidence before a traditional council.
  6. Penalties for refusing, failing or neglecting to obey order of Village Head relating to community project or for inciting disobedience of or non-compliance with such order; and reduction or remission of contribution ordered.

PART VII

Interpretation, Citation, Repeal and Commencement

  1. Interpretation.
  2. Repeal.
  3. Citation and commencement.

SCHEDULES

SCHEDULE 1

Local Government, Clans, Villages

 

SCHEDULE 2

SCHEDULE 3

Forms

CHAPTER T4

TRADITIONAL RULERS LAW

[Commencement.]

WHEREAS it is expedient and in the public interest that the traditional villages and clans constituting the various Local Government Areas in the State should be identified and accorded official recognition.

AND WHEREAS it is desirable that official recognition as traditional rulers be accorded to the rightful heads of such villages and clans.

AND WHEREAS it is necessary that provision should be made for the selection, by the recognised clan heads of every Local Government Area other than the area of the Calabar Municipality, of one of their number to be president of the traditional council and for official recognition to be accorded to him in that capacity.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Governor of the Cross River State of Nigeria hereby makes the following—

PART I

Traditional Villages and Clans

  1. Villages and clans which constitute Local Government Areas

(1)      The clans named in column (1) of Schedule 1 to this Law are each composed of the villages set out in column (2) indicated opposite the respective clans.

(2)      Where the Governor is satisfied that there is an error in Schedule 1 to this Law or that it is right and proper to modify any or all of the provisions thereof, he may by order published in the Gazette rectify the error or, as the case may be, modify such provisions; and such modification may be by way of addition, alteration or omission.

PART II

Classification and Recognition of Traditional Rulers

  1. Classification of traditional rulers

(1)      For the purposes of this Law, all traditional rulers in the State whose traditional offices qualify them for official recognition under this Law are hereby classified as Paramount Rulers, Clan Heads and Village Heads.

(2)      Nothing in this Law shall preclude a titled traditional ruler from continuing to bear and be known by a title which he bears or by which he is known.

  1. Conditions of recognition as traditional rulers

(1)      The Governor may accord official recognition to a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head, so however that except as provided in section 18 (1) of this Law in relation to the Obong of Calabar, the Muri Munene of the Efus and the Ndidem of the Quas, recognition shall not be accorded to a president of a traditional council if he has not previously—

(a)      been accorded official recognition in accordance with this Law as a Paramount Ruler; and

(b)      been selected by the Clan Heads of a Local Government Area as the Paramount Ruler and president of the traditional council of that Local Government in accordance with the provisions of Part IV of this Law.

(2)      Official recognition shall not be accorded to a Clan Head if he has not previously been accorded recognition as a Village Head in accordance with this Law.

(3)      No Clan Head accorded official recognition in accordance with the provisions of this Law shall be eligible for appointment as, or remain the president or a member of a District Court.

  1. A Paramount Ruler may be recognised as president of a traditional council; any Paramount Ruler, Clan Head or Village Head previously recognised to remain recognised

(1)      Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Law, the Governor may accord official recognition as president of a traditional council to a person who has been accorded recognition as a paramount ruler in accordance with any written law in force in the State prior to the commencement of this Law.

(2)      A person who, prior to the making of this Law had been accorded official recognition as a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or Village Head by the Governor in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by any written law in force in the State prior to the commencement of this Law shall remain so recognised.

  1. Withdrawal of official recognition from a Paramount Ruler or village-group head

(1)      Whenever the Governor accords official recognition in accordance with this Law to a person in a Local Government Area as a president of a traditional council, any other person who had been accorded official recognition as a Paramount Ruler in the same Local Government Area in accordance with any written law in force in the State prior to the commencement of this Law shall cease to be so recognised.

(2)      Any official recognition accorded to any person as a village-group head in accordance with any written law is hereby withdrawn.

PART III

Clan Heads and Village Heads

  1. Selection and disputed selection of traditional rulers and reference of same to traditional council

(1)      Where, at the commencement of this Law, there is a vacancy in the headship of a clan or village, or a clan or a village had selected a person to such headship, but official recognition has not yet been accorded to that person by the Governor, then in the case of a vacancy, the clan or village shall, in accordance with its tradition and custom and subject to the provisions of section 11 (1) of this Law, select a person to fill the vacancy and inform the traditional council of the Local Government Area in writing of the selection made; but in the case of a person duly selected to the headship of a clan or village who has not yet been accorded official recognition, the clan or village concerned shall likewise inform the traditional council of the name of the person so selected.

(2)      Where a traditional council is satisfied that a selection reported to it under subsection (1) of this section is in accordance with the tradition and custom of the clan or village and that the person selected is the rightful Clan Head or Village Head, as the case may be, the traditional council shall, advise the Commissioner of the result of the selection.

  1. Dispute in the selection of a traditional ruler

(1)      Where there is a dispute in the selection of a traditional ruler and the dispute is such that the clan or village fails to select a person as the Clan Head or Village Head or where there is a dispute as to the right of a person to remain a Clan Head or a Village Head under section 11 (1) of this Law, the clan or village, as the case may be, shall inform the traditional council of the area in writing of the existence of the dispute.

(2)      Where a traditional council, having considered the report of a selection made to it in accordance with section 6 (1) of this Law, is not satisfied that the person selected is the rightful person to be Clan Head or Village Head of the area concerned or where the traditional council is not satisfied that the person selected is qualified in accordance with section 11 (1) of this Law to be accorded recognition as traditional ruler, the traditional council shall declare that selection to be a disputed selection.

(3)      As soon as may be after receiving a report of a dispute under subsection (1) of this section, or after declaring a selection to be disputed under subsection (2) of this section, the traditional council shall proceed to inquire into the dispute with a view to ascertaining the person qualified by tradition and custom and in accordance with the provisions of this Law to be the Clan Head or, as the case may be, the Village Head.

  1. Proceedings of inquiry by traditional council into dispute

(1)      For the purpose of conducting inquiries in accordance with section 7 of this Law, the traditional council may take evidence and examine witnesses upon oath or affirmation (which oath or affirmation the Secretary is hereby empowered to administer), and may by summons as in the Form in Schedule 2 to this Law under the hand of the Secretary and on the direction of the traditional council, require all such persons as the traditional council may think fit, to appear in person before the traditional council at a time and place to be stated in such summons and to give evidence or produce any document or other thing in the possession of such person that is relevant to the subject matter of the inquiry, subject to all just exceptions.

(2)      The proceedings of the traditional council during an inquiry held under this Law shall be recorded and shall form part of the minutes of the meeting of such traditional council.

(3)      The traditional council shall, as soon as may be after the conclusion of the inquiry, advise the Commissioner of the result and the name of the person found to be best qualified for official recognition as Clan Head or, as the case may be, the Village Head.

  1. Method of tendering advice to Commissioner, the required majority and quorum of the traditional council

(1)      The traditional council shall tender advice to the Commissioner as required by section 6 (2) and section 8 (3) of this Law by way of a resolution carried by the required majority.

(2)      For the purposes of this section, the required majority shall be a majority of the votes of the members present and voting at the proceedings where such members comprise at least two-thirds of the total membership of the traditional council.

  1. Recognition of traditional rulers

(1)      The Commissioner shall consider the advice tendered to him by the traditional council and, in the case of an undisputed selection reported to him in accordance with section 6 of this Law, he shall lay before the Governor the name of the person selected and shall advise the Governor to accord official recognition to that person and the Governor may, thereupon, accord such recognition to the person as Clan Head or, as the case may be, Village Head.

(2)      In the case of an inquiry by a traditional council under sections 7 and 8 of this Law, the Commissioner may call for and examine the proceedings of the inquiry as recorded in the minutes of the traditional council and shall either accept the advice of the traditional council and lay that advice before the Governor; or—

(a)      if the advice of the traditional council is inconclusive or otherwise unsatisfactory under the provisions of this Law, cause a further inquiry to be instituted finally to determine who is entitled to be accorded recognition as the Clan Head or, as the case may be, the Village Head, and having considered the report of such inquiry, shall make and furnish in writing to the Governor his opinion thereon and his reasons therefor.

(3)      An inquiry under paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section shall be conducted subject to the provisions of and as if it were commission issued under the Commissions of Inquiry Law and as if the powers conferred by that Law upon the Governor were conferred upon the Commissioner, save that the person conducting the inquiry shall make his report to the Commissioner.

(4)      Nothing in this Law shall be construed as prohibiting the continuation of any inquiry appointed under any written law in force before the commencement of this Law, but the provisions of this Law shall apply to the report of any such inquiry as they apply to inquiries conducted under this Law.

  1. Qualifications for headship of a clan or village

(1)      No person shall remain or be selected a traditional ruler unless—

(a)      he is an indigene of the village or clan in respect of which he remains or is selected a traditional ruler;

(b)      he is of good character and not a person convicted of a criminal offence involving fraud or other moral turpitude;

(c)      he is normally resident within the area in respect of which he remains or is selected a traditional ruler; and

(d)      he comes from a ruling family in such area.

(2)      No person who, under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section is selected a traditional ruler shall be installed a traditional ruler unless before such installation he is accorded official recognition as traditional ruler in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

(3)      A Clan Head or Village Head who, on the coming into force of this Law, does not meet the requirements of subsection (1) of this section shall not be entitled to remain an officially recognised traditional ruler, and a traditional council which receives a report alleging that fact shall proceed to inquire into the allegation.

(4)      Proceedings to determine whether a person is entitled to remain an officially recognised traditional ruler at the commencement of this Law shall be conducted as if there is, by virtue of section 7 of this Law, a dispute in the selection of a traditional ruler and any other candidate and his supporters shall be entitled to be heard at the inquiry; and if upon reading the report of the Commissioner after the inquiry, the Governor is satisfied that the person is not entitled to remain an officially recognised traditional ruler, official recognition shall be withheld from him and, if he has previously been accorded such recognition, the same shall be withdrawn by order of the Governor in the Gazette.

  1. Commissioner may refer question to traditional council

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Law or any other written law, where the Commissioner is satisfied that any matter affecting a traditional ruler ought properly to be referred to a traditional council, he may do so and the traditional council shall take such action in accordance with this Part of this Law as is appropriate in the circumstances and tender advice to the Commissioner accordingly.

  1. Certificate of recognition

Whenever a person is accorded official recognition as a Clan Head or a Village Head in accordance with this Law, the Commissioner shall deliver or cause to be delivered to such person a certificate of such recognition as in Form A in Schedule 3 to this Law, signed by the Commissioner on the direction of the Governor.

  1. Keeping and maintaining a register of recognised Clans Heads or Village Heads

(1)      The Commissioner shall cause to be kept and maintained a register containing the names of every person from time to time accorded official recognition as Clan Head or Village Head specifying in each case the clan or the village of which he is the head.

(2)      When recognition is withdrawn from a Clan Head or a Village Head, or he dies, or otherwise ceases to be recognised, the Commissioner shall cause the register aforesaid to be rectified accordingly.

  1. Functions of Clan Head and Village Head

(1)      Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other written law, the functions of a Clan Head shall be—

(a)      to uphold the culture of his clan;

(b)      to preside at traditional ceremonies affecting his clan;

(c)      to serve as a co-ordinating force within the clan;

(d)      to promote good relations between his clan and the neighbouring clans;

(e)      to disseminate among his people information emanating from the local government and the Government and to furnish the local government and the Government with information relating to the problems and aspirations of his people;

(f)      in accordance with tradition and custom, to arbitrate in civil disputes voluntarily referred to him by all the parties affected;

(g)      to serve as a rallying force in organising community projects affecting the clan;

(h)      to help in organising his people towards implementation of social welfare schemes for the benefit of his clan;

(i)       to perform traditional and ceremonial functions within the meaning of subsection (3) of this section; and

(j)      to perform such other functions as may be prescribed by or under any other written law.

(2)      Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other written law, the functions of a Village Head shall be—

(a)      to uphold the traditions of his people and work for their cultural advancement;

(b)      to promote good relations between his people and the people of neighbouring villages;

(c)      to disseminate among his people information emanating from the local government and from the Government and to furnish the local government and the Government with information relating to the problems and aspirations of his people;

(d)      to invite the attention of law enforcement agencies to any situation or conduct which appears to him to be capable of causing a breach of the peace;

(e)      generally to help law enforcement agencies to maintain peace, order and good government in his village;

(f)      in accordance with custom, to arbitrate in civil disputes voluntarily referred to him by all the parties affected;

(g)      to acquaint himself with Government development programmes for the community and to inform his people about them;

(h)      to mobilise the efforts of his people towards the implementation of development programmes affecting his area of authority in co-operation with the local government functioning within such area;

(i)       to ensure that social institutions such as primary schools within his area of authority are adequately supported by his people;

(j)      to ensure that village roads, sources of water supply, village squares and other social amenities within the village are properly maintained;

(k)      to arbitrate in social welfare matters voluntarily referred to him by the parties concerned;

(l)       to refer, where necessary, social welfare matters to appropriate Government agencies;

(m)     to help organise, where necessary, assistance to any destitute or handicapped person within the village;

(n)      to give utmost support and co-operation to all revenue collecting agencies so as to ensure that taxes, rates, development levies and other dues are promptly collected;

(o)      to perform traditional and ceremonial functions within the meaning of subsection (3) of this section; and

(p)      to perform such other functions as may be prescribed by any other written law.

(3)      The traditional or other lawful functions performable by a Clan Head or a Village Head or hereby restricted respectively to the villages shown in Schedule 1 to this Law as comprising the clan or village to which the Clan Head or Village Head belongs; and for the purposes of this section, “traditional function” means traditional function that is not repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience or incompatible with the provisions of any written law for the time being in force in the State.

(4)      In this section a reference to a civil dispute excludes chieftaincy disputes.

  1. Provisions relating to community projects

(1)      For the purpose of a community project approved by a local government every Village Head accorded official recognition under this Law as a Village Head shall have power to order contributions in cash to be made or communal labour to be provided by every resident of a village.

[Law No. 18 of 1976.]

(2)      Where a resident of a village is unable by reason of age, occupation, health or otherwise to provide labour, the Village Head may commute to cash such labour and the resident shall be liable to pay the same and the sum so paid shall be applied towards the execution of the community project.

(3)      For the purposes of this section, a “resident of a village” means an able-bodied person who, in the opinion of the Village Head, is capable of participating in a community project of the village; and an order for contribution in cash to be made or communal labour to be provided may take such form as the Village Head deems fit including the traditional means of making known to the villagers decisions of the Village Head.

(4)      In exercising the powers conferred by this section, the Village Head shall act in consultation with such villagers as are traditional advisers to such Village Head.

(5)      A local government may require moneys collected by a Village Head pursuant to this section to be deposited in the local government treasury to the credit of the communal fund of the village and may from time to time require the accounts of any approved community project to be produced to the local government for inspection.

  1. Establishment of office of president of traditional council

(1)      There is hereby established the office of president of a traditional council for the area of authority of every local government.

[Law No. 18 of 1976.]

(2)      The holder of the office of president of a traditional council shall be a Paramount Ruler selected and accorded official recognition in accordance with this Part of this Law.

  1. Presidents of the traditional council for Calabar Municipality

(1)      Official recognition as president of the traditional council within the area of authority of the Calabar Municipality is hereby accorded to those accorded official recognition as holders of the traditional offices of the Obong of Calabar, the Muri Munene of the Efuts and the Ndidem of the Quas.

(2)      Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Law, the Obong of Calabar, the Muri Munene of the Efuts and the Ndidem of the Quas shall officiate alternately as president of the traditional council within the area of authority of the Calabar Municipality and as may be prescribed in the Order establishing that traditional council.

  1. Presidents of traditional councils other than of the Calabar Municipality

For every local government, other than Calabar Municipality, the Governor may accord official recognition to the Paramount Ruler as president of the traditional council of that Local Government Area.

  1. Procedure for selection of a Paramount Ruler of a traditional council and method of presentation

(1)      Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of Paramount Ruler, other than that of the Calabar Municipality, the Commissioner shall invite, in writing, all the Clan Heads of the area of authority of the local government concerned to consult together and, within one month from the date of the invitation, to select one of their own number for presentation as their nominee for official recognition as Paramount Ruler of such Local Government Area.

(2)      When the Clan Heads have agreed on the selection of their nominee in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, they shall immediately, in writing through the Secretary, notify the Commissioner of the name of the Paramount Ruler so selected; and on receipt of the notification, the Commissioner or his authorised representative, who shall be an officer in the public service of the State not below the rank of Principal Secretary or its equivalent, shall arrange to meet the Clan Heads assembled together in a meeting for the purpose and they shall, at that meeting, present to the Commissioner or his representative their nominee.

  1. Recognition of Paramount Ruler where unanimously presented by Clan Heads

(1)      So soon as may be after the selection and presentation of a nominee in accordance with section 20 of this Law, the Commissioner shall lay before the Governor the name of the Clan Head so selected for recognition as Paramount Ruler of such Local Government Area.

(2)      Where the Commissioner is satisfied that a Paramount Ruler has been properly selected and duly and unanimously presented, he shall, subject to the provisions of this Part of this Law, advise the Governor to accord official recognition to that Paramount Ruler as president of the traditional council concerned.

  1. Procedure where Clan Heads fail to agree on the selection of nominee

(1)      Where, in any case, the Clan Heads of a Local Government Area fail to reach agreement on the selection of their nominee within the period of one month stipulated in section 20 (1) of this Law, the Commissioner shall appoint an officer in the public service of the State, not below the rank of Principal Secretary or its equivalent (hereafter in this Law referred to as “the appointed officer”) to conduct the selection.

(2)      The following provisions relating to notice, date, time and place of meeting, quorum, nomination, ballot and announcement of results of voting shall apply to the selection of a Paramount Ruler in accordance with this section—

(a)      the appointed officer shall summon by notice in writing a meeting of all the Clan Heads who have been accorded official recognition within the Local Government Area and the said notice shall state that the purpose of the meeting is for the Clan Heads in a meeting to select from among themselves a Clan Head to be recommended to the Governor for official recognition as Paramount Ruler and president of the traditional council for that Local Government Area;

(b)      the said notice shall state the date, time and place of the meeting and shall be served at least three days before the meeting on each of the Clan Heads entitled to be present;

(c)      no selection conducted in accordance with this section shall take place unless at least two thirds of the number of Clan Heads entitled to take part in the selection are present at the meeting;

(d)      if no quorum is formed, the appointed officer shall postpone the selection and the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection shall apply;

(e)      if a quorum is formed the appointed officer shall proceed to call for nominations each of which shall be proposed by one Clan Head and seconded by another Clan Head present at the meeting;

(f)      if only one Clan Head is validly nominated, the appointed officer shall accept the nomination and announce to the meeting that he would report to the Commissioner accordingly;

(g)      if there is more than one valid nomination, the appointed officer shall proceed to conduct at the same time a secret ballot by the Clan Heads present at the meeting, and shall there and then count the votes;

(h)      if the ballot results in a majority of votes for one of the nominated Clan Heads, the appointed officer shall at once announce the name of the Clan Head selected and declare the meeting to be closed;

(i)       if on counting the votes, the appointed officer finds that two or more Clan Heads have polled an equal number of votes so that an addition of one vote would result in the selection of one of the Clan Heads, he shall adjourn the meeting for a period of one month and shall then resume the meeting and at the resumed meeting the procedure detailed in paragraphs (c) to (h) shall be followed;

(j)      if at the resumed meeting two or more of the Clan Heads again poll an equal number of votes, the appointed officer shall at once announce to those present that the selection is indecisive and that the office of president of the traditional council shall remain vacant until the Commissioner directs what procedure shall be followed to resolve the issue, and he shall then report to the Commissioner accordingly.

  1. Commissioner to direct further selection in case of indecisive selection

On receiving a report of an indecisive selection from the appointed officer, the Commissioner shall, after consulting the Executive Council, give such further directions as to the conduct of another selection as may be determined in the circumstances.

  1. Selection meeting to be private; and absence of a Clan Head not to invalidate proceedings

(1)      Every selection meeting conducted in accordance with sections 22 and 23 of this Law shall be in private and no person other than the Clan Heads entitled to be present, the appointed officer and one assistant, also being an officer in the public service of the State, shall be present during the proceedings.

(2)      The selection of a Clan Head for nomination for official recognition as Paramount Ruler conducted in accordance with section 22 of this Law shall not be invalid by reason only of the fact that a Clan Head entitled to be present is absent from the meeting at which the selection is made.

  1. Report of result of selection

So soon as may be after deciding the selection of a nominee in accordance with sections 22, 23 and 24 of this Law, the appointed officer shall report the result of the selection to the Commissioner.

  1. Recognition of Paramount Ruler where selection is conducted by appointed officer

(1)      The Commissioner shall lay before the Governor the name of every Paramount Ruler selected in accordance with sections 22, 23 and 24 of this Law.

(2)      Where the Commissioner is satisfied that a Paramount Ruler has been properly selected he shall, subject to the provisions of this Part of this Law, advise the Governor to accord official recognition to such Paramount Ruler as president of such traditional council.

  1. Certificate of recognition

Whenever a Paramount Ruler is accorded official recognition in accordance with the provisions of this Law, the Commissioner shall deliver or cause to be delivered to him a Certificate of Recognition as in form B in Schedule 3 to this Law and the same shall be signed by the Commissioner on the direction of the Governor.

  1. Keeping and maintaining register of recognised Paramount Ruler

(1)      The Commissioner shall cause to be kept and maintained register containing the names and clans of Paramount Rulers from time to time accorded official recognition, and such register shall contain particulars of the respective local governments.

(2)      Whenever a Paramount Ruler dies or his recognition is withdrawn by the Governor, the Commissioner shall cause the register to be rectified accordingly.

(3)      The Paramount Ruler shall invariably become the president of the traditional council of that local government area.

  1. Additional functions of presidents of traditional councils

In addition to those functions conferred upon the president of a traditional council by this Law and as may from time to time be conferred by that or any other written law, the functions of a president of a traditional council shall be—

(a)      to uphold the culture of the clans constituting the Local Government Area the traditional council of which he is the president;

(b)      to serve as a co-ordinating force among those clans;

(c)      to promote good relations between those clans and the neighbouring clans;

(d)      to disseminate among the people of the clans of his Local Government Area information emanating from the local government and from the Government and to furnish the local government and the Government with information relating to the problems and aspirations of those clans; and

(e)      to perform traditional and ceremonial functions not being functions that are repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience or incompatible with any written law for the time being in force in the State.

PART V

General Provisions

  1. Withdrawal of recognition

(1)      The Governor may withdraw official recognition from a Clan Head or a Village Head accorded official recognition under this Law or any other written law if the Governor is of the opinion that—

(a)      the Clan Head or Village Head has not adequately performed the functions conferred upon him by subsection (1) or (2) of section 15 of this Law and or by or under any other written law in force in the State or by reason of infirmity of body or mind, the Clan Head or Village Head is incapable of adequately performing those functions; or

(b)      the withdrawal of official recognition is required by local customary law; or

(c)      the Clan Head or the Village Head has been guilty of abuse of office; or

(d)      the withdrawal of recognition is necessary in the interest of peace, order and good government.

(2)      The Governor may withdraw recognition from a Paramount Ruler and president of a traditional council accorded official recognition under this Law if the Governor is of the opinion that such Paramount Ruler and president—

(a)      has not adequately performed the functions conferred upon him by section 29 of this Law and or by or under any other written law in force in the State or, by reason of infirmity of body or mind, is incapable of adequately performing those functions; or

(b)      has been guilty of abuse of office; or

(c)      has ceased to be a Clan Head accorded official recognition.

(3)      For the purposes of this section, “abuse of office” includes participation in partisan political activity, and in such case, withdrawal of recognition shall be mandatory.

  1. Publication of names of recognised Paramount Rulers, Clan Heads and Village Heads

The Commissioner shall by Order cause to be published in the Gazette the name of every person accorded official recognition by the Governor as a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head and therein show that person’s status as such.

  1. Payment of allowances to certain recognised traditional rulers and to presidents of traditional councils

(1)      Every person accorded official recognition by the Governor in accordance with this Law as the Obong of Calabar, the Muri Munene of the Efuts, the Ndidem of the Quas and as a Clan Head of a clan named in column (1) of Schedule 1 to this Law and a recognised Village Head who is appointed a member of a traditional council, shall be paid out of the public revenue of the State such allowances as the Governor may, after consultation with the Executive Council, from time to time specify in the Gazette.

(2)      Every Paramount Ruler who is accorded official recognition as a president of a traditional council by the Governor in accordance with this Law, other than the Obong of Calabar, the Muri Munene of the Efuts and the Ndidem of the Quas, shall be paid out of the public revenue of the State such allowances, being additional to any allowance to which the person so recognised may be entitled to be paid by virtue of an Order made under subsection (1) of this section, as may be determined and specified by the Governor in the manner provided in subsection (1) of this section.

(3)      The Governor may by Order published in the Gazette specify that any or all of the allowances payable under subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be exempted from tax.

  1. Staff of office for a Paramount Ruler

(1)      Every Paramount Ruler who is accorded official recognition by the Governor as a president of a traditional council shall be provided with an official staff of office which shall not become the personal property of the traditional ruler so accorded official recognition, but shall be returned to the Commissioner immediately the traditional ruler dies or ceases to be so recognised.

(2)      The Commissioner shall arrange for the safe custody and preservation of the staff of office and for its delivery in due course to the person accorded official recognition as the successor in office as president of the traditional council in question.

  1. Family chief not affected by this Law

For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that nothing in this Law shall be deemed to extend to or affect the institution of family chieftaincy or any person recognised by a community merely as a family chief.

PART VI

Offences and Penalties

  1. Penalty for installation of a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head without first being recognised

A person who—

(a)      purports to install another person; or

(b)      allows himself to be installed,

a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head without first obtaining in writing official recognition of the person purportedly so installed, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction by a Magistrate’s Court to a fine of two thousand naira or imprisonment for six months.

  1. Penalty for unlawful installation of a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head

After the Governor has accorded official recognition to a person as a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head, a person who—

(a)      purports to install another person; or

(b)      allows himself to be installed,

as such, in the stead of the person so recognised, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction by a Magistrate’s Court to a fine of two thousand naira or imprisonment for six months.

  1. Penalty for unlawful representation to be a Paramount Ruler and a president of a traditional council, a Clan Head or Village Head

After the Governor has accorded official recognition to a person as Paramount Ruler and a president of a traditional council, a Clan Head or a Village Head, a person who—

(a)      represents himself to be; or

(b)      purports to carry out the functions of,

a president of a traditional council, a Clan Head or a Village Head in the stead of a person so recognised, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction by a Magistrate’s Court to a fine of two thousand naira or imprisonment for six months.

  1. Penalty for unlawful use of property of a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head

Any person who unlawfully uses, occupies or appropriates real or personal property attaching to a person or to the office of a person accorded official recognition by the Governor as a Paramount Ruler, a Clan Head or a Village Head, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction by a Magistrate’s Court to a fine of two thousand naira or imprisonment for six months.

  1. Penalty for failing to give evidence before a traditional council

Any person who, being summoned by a traditional council under section 8 of this Law to attend as a witness or produce a book, document or other thing, refuses or neglects to do so or to answer any question put to him by or with the concurrence of the traditional council, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction by a Magistrate’s Court to a fine of two thousand naira or imprisonment for six months.

  1. Penalties for refusing, failing or neglecting to obey order of Village Head relating to community project or for inciting disobedience of or non-compliance with such order; and reduction or remission of contribution ordered

(1)      Any resident of a village who refuses, fails or neglects to comply with an order of the Village Head made under subsection (1) or subsection (2) of section 16 of this Law or any person who incites any resident of a village not to comply with such order or who aids and abets any resident of a village in not complying with the order aforesaid is guilty of an offence.

(2)      A person guilty of an offence in relation to subsection (1) or subsection (2) of section 16 of this Law shall on summary conviction by a District Court or by a Magistrate’s Court—

(a)      in the case of a first offence, be liable to a fine of five hundred naira or imprisonment for fourteen days or both; or

(b)      in the case of a second or subsequent offence, be liable to a fine of one thousand naira or to imprisonment for one month or both; and in addition he shall pay to the Village Head the contribution in cash ordered or the equivalent in cash of the communal labour ordered and such payment shall be credited to the communal fund of the village.

(3)      A person guilty of an offence in relation to subsection (2) of section 16 of this Law shall, on summary conviction by a District Court or by a Magistrate’s Court, in addition to any other payment in cash equivalent to the labour ordered, be liable to a fine of one naira per diem for the duration of such communal labour.

(4)      Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in section 16 of this Law and in this section, a court in which proceedings are instituted under this section may, after considering any representations made by a resident of a village, reduce or remit the amount of contribution in cash or the equivalent in cash of the communal labour ordered, but not paid, or order the refund of any such amount which has been paid, on the ground of poverty, age, health or for other good cause.

PART VII

Interpretation, Citation, Repeal and Commencement

  1. Interpretation

(1)      In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires—

“clan” means a unit of traditional administration being an association of several villages acknowledging a common shrine, common ancestry and a common clan totem and, for the purposes of this Law, means a clan as shown in column 1 of Schedule 1 to this Law;

“Commissioner” means the Commissioner in the Government of the State charged with responsibility for chieftaincy matters;

“chief” means a traditional ruler who is a Village Head;

“Gazette” means the State Gazette;

“Government” means the Government of the State;

“local government” means a local government established by or in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

“property” includes all regalia and other things of whatever nature, attaching to a president of a traditional council, a Clan Head or a Village Head by virtue of that status as such;

“public service” means the public service of the State;

“secretary” means secretary to a traditional council;

“the State” means the Cross River State of Nigeria;

“traditional council”, means a traditional council of a Local Government area;

“traditional ruler” means a traditional ruler who is either a Village Head, Clan Head or Paramount Ruler;

“village” means a composition of a number of patrilocal extended families with a close kinship and affinity sharing a common shrine and identify and, for the purposes of this Law, means a village as shown in column 2 of Schedule 1 to this Law;

“Village Head” means a traditional ruler accorded recognition under this Law as a Village Head.

(2)      Any reference in this Law to any written law that was or is in force in the State shall be construed as a reference to that law as from time to time amended, modified or replaced.

  1. Repeal

The Traditional Rulers Law No. 17, 1973 as from time to time amended and the Establishment Grant Law No. 12, 1975 are hereby repealed.

  1. Citation and commencement

This Law may be cited as the Traditional Rulers Law.

SCHEDULES

SCHEDULE 1

[Subsection (1).]

Local Government, Clans, Villages

EDITORIAL NOTE

Schedule 1 has been omitted from this publication and will be included in subsequent updates.

SCHEDULE 2

[Section 8.]

Summons to witness under section 8 of Traditional Rulers Law to—

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

(Name of person summoned, his occupation and residence)

You are hereby summoned by order of the Traditional Council of the …………………………………………………

SCHEDULE 2—continued

Local Government Area to appear before that Traditional Council at the Inquiry into the traditional rule dispute in the ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(name of the Village or Clan)

At ……………………………………………………………………………….. (place) upon the ……………………………………day of ……………………………………………………………….. 20 …………… at ……………………………….. o’clock,

and to give evidence respecting such inquiry ……………………………………………………………………………………

(if the person summoned is to produce any documents add)

and you are required to bring with you ……………………………………………………………………………………………

(specify the books and documents required)

Therefore fail not at your peril.

Given under my hand this ………………………………….. day of ……………………………………….. 20 ……………..

………………………………………………………………………

Secretary

By order of the Traditional Council ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Local Government ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

SCHEDULE 3

FORM A

[Section 13.]

Certificate of Recognition

This is to certify that pursuant to the provisions of the Traditional Rulers Law, 1978, the Governor of the Cross River State of Nigeria hereby accords official recognition—

To ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

* ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

of + ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Local Government.

Given at Calabar on the direction of the Governor and under the hand of the Commissioner the ……………..day of …………………………………………….. 20 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Commissioner

* State whether Village Head or Clan Head

+ Name of Clan or Village

FORM B

[Section 27.]

Certificate of Recognition as President of a Traditional Council

This is certificate of recognition

This is to certify that pursuant to the provisions of the Traditional Rulers Law, 1978, the Governor of the Cross River State of Nigeria hereby accords official recognition—

To ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

as President of the Traditional Council of the …………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Local Government.

Given at Calabar on the direction of the Governor and under the hand of the Commissioner the ……………..day of …………………………………………….. 20 ……………………………

………………………………………………………………………

Commissioner

CHAPTER T4

TRADITIONAL RULERS LAW

SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

No Subsidiary Legislation

 

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