Communal Justice in Igbo Land: an Appraisal

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COMMUNAL JUSTICE IN IGBO LAND: AN APPRAISAL
INTRODUCTION
There is in every society or community a conscious effort to maintain peace, and preserve mutual respect of individual’s goods, rights, and properties through gradual inculcation of rationally derived principles, ethical norms and trends. In the main, these principles seem to be borne out of the day-to-day experiences arising from human encounter and interactions. Often they are formulated in succinct formulas to instill discipline, and promote mutual relationship among the individuals in the society. In other words, both the ethical norms and principles are the fruits of man’s daily reflections concerning what is conducive for human welfare. They are veritable instruments at the service of the society as a whole. Since man is at the centre of every community, traditional or modern, he is ipso facto, an undeniable formulator of moral principles and norms. He uses his welfare, and a sense of common good as a moral standard of justice. In other words, whatever promotes the common good, and individuals’ welfare is considered “good” and “just”, and whatever does not, is seen as evil. It is from this perspective that this paper seeks to demonstrate, articulate and appraise the Igbo concept of justice (Ofo), which is more or less a communal justice. The interest of this write-up is limited on the idea of justice practice in the Igbo land and it efficacy before the advent of colonialism, which will be introduced with a definition of terms. It will further attempt to analyze the impact of colonialism (civilization) on this communal justice and proffer solutions where necessary. At the end, the aim of the paper is to appraise the communal justice practiced in Igbo land, which in the past helped our ancestors and forefathers to maintain peace and order in the community.

DEFINITION OF TERMS The objective of this…...

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