Source: (2006) African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies. 2(1):37-62.

Native African ideas and models of law and justice are best suited for social control in African societies. Africans should therefore prefer the ideas and models for many reasons, including the fact that Native African systems of law and justice derive fundamentally from African societies, rather than foreign cultures. This paper uses the Igbo (Nigeria) experience to illustrate the need for African societies to advocate, promote, and expand the uses of their indigenous justice and social control philosophies and systems despite their respective colonial experiences. The governments of modern African States, as well as private individuals and groups, have important contributions to make toward these objectives. Based on this author’s years of studying the Igbo systems of justice, social control, and law, this paper presents illustrative scientific evidence to demonstrate that the indigenous Igbo justice system, like many other Native African justice systems, remains potent for social control in Africa. Despite the potentials that the indigenous Igbo justice system presents, the lack of official government support for the system remains the greatest challenge facing the indigenous system. Postcolonial Nigeria’s continued descent to a condition of anomie exemplifiesthe heightened need for Nigerians, indeed Africans, and their leaders to recognize their indigenous social control systems as superior and preferable to foreign system. (Author's abstract)