Traditional leaders in Northern Nigeria ©

Justice for All Nigeria

July 2019

The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme is working to strengthen the capacity of traditional rulers in alternative dispute resolution. This initiative is contributing to enhanced public confidence in the traditional justice system in northeastern Nigeria.

As at July 2019, the programme has supported the training of 2,111 traditional rulers from 12 emirates in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.The newly introduced record keeping system (Sulhu Scribe) has recorded 3,809 cases, out of which 3,246 (representing 85 per cent) have been effectively resolved. 

The positive result of the training is also evidenced by the increasing number of cases where traditional rulers referred the disputes to the courts and other responsible agencies for resolution (five per cent of all cases received). 

The figures provide evidence of the important role that the traditional rulers continue to play in maintaining security and stability in their communities. The data has been made possible through MCN support provided to the emirates and chiefdoms to develop and maintain record keeping centres. The programme has so far supported the training of 1,626 scribes to service the centres. 

‘The police now refer cases of disputes in the market to me. I have received 25 cases from the police and five from the courts.’

Abbati Babati,  Sarkin Kasuwa, Potiskum, Yobe State

‘Non-indigenes, elites and civil servants are fast recognising the benefits of the sulhu scribe (record keeping) and voluntarily accepting its jurisdiction.’

Alhaji Hassan Sabo, Fika Emirate, Yobe State