Source: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice 20(1&2): 337-355.

Prior to colonialism, Afikpo, like most societies in Africa, had a well-defined system of political and social control. At least in part because of Afikpo peoples’ disapproval of colonial rule and emergent colonial political and judicial institutions, the traditional conflict resolution system has survived and is increasingly popular. This article focuses on the political and social institutions involved in that system and how they have been applied in recent years. The institutions include: village structure; family forums; patrilineal and matrilineal forums; and the age grade forum. These institutions function as channels for conflict resolution and deviant controls, command nearly total acceptance and participation, and are viewed as legitimate by the community. The article attempts to explain how and why these institutions continue to coexist with non-traditional institutions of conflict resolution.