Dissertation Abstracts

An Appraisal of the Shariah Legal System in Sokoto State (2000-2010).

Author: Abdul-Qadir, Uthman A., abdulqadir.abdullahi@udusok.edu.ng
Department: Department of Sociology
University: Bayero University Kano, Nigeria
Supervisor: Prof. Salisu A. Abdullahi
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: English Language

Keywords: Shariah , Penal Code , Legal system
Areas of Research: Law , Deviance and Social Control , Religion


This exploratory study is an appraisal of the implementation of the Shari’ah Legal System (2000) in Sokoto state. It tries to sought to appraise people’s opinion and perceptions awareness in terms of its (Shari’ah) objectives, structures, the facilities available and the manpower put in place for implementation. Another interest of the study was the major challenges encountered that hindered a proper implementation of the Shari’ah Legal System (2000). As an exploratory research, both qualitative and quantitative methods of generating data were utilized. A total of 1, 100 questionnaires were administered on the general public that were above the age of 30 years in three senatorial districts: Sokoto west, Sokoto south and Sokoto central, and eight interviews were conducted with government officials. The key findings showed that socio-demographic characteristics such as age, location, gender and religious affiliation, played significant roles in the determination of peoples’ level of awareness on the objectives and existing structures and system put in place to implement the Shari’ah. Furthermore, respondents with a high level of awareness have expressed dissatisfaction with policies, as well as the impact of such policies on the social system as re-enacted and implemented in Sokoto state, but the implementation was not adequately satisfactory. This expresses further how weak the existing structures put in place were as they proved ineffective and inefficient. The study also found that structures were concentrated more in the urban centers, thereby convincing commoners that their existence had little or no positive impact on what should constitute its (Shari’ah) intended population of coverage. In the light of some respondent’s endorsement, the motive behind the establishment of structures and related paraphernalia is generally rated as politically motivated, while the manpower put in place for the implementation of the Shari’ah Legal system has proved not only ineffective but inadequate. This has wider implications that any attempt to address the major issues of implementation, as it relates to their socio-legal well-being, would require taking into cognizance/account of their socio-economic dimensions, constitutional bottlenecks and the existence of the Shari’ah Legal System (2000) side by side with the common law. The findings on the implications derived therefore need to be taken against the backdrop of the important limitations of the impact of the Shari’ah Legal System (2000) on crime control, achieving social justice, reducing corruption and the maintenance of law and order to look at the period before and after the implementation of the Shari’ah Legal System (2000) on which other researchers should dwell and focus. For the Shari’ah Legal System 2000 to be well implemented in Sokoto state there is the need to have general public enlightenment and strict adherence to the Shari’ah Legal System provisions by the implementers who must of course abide by the tenets of the Shari’ah Criminal Procedure Code and the Shari’ah Civil Procedure Code.