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Director, Centre for Legal Integration in Africa, University of the Western Cape

I am an advocate, a professor of law at the University of the Western Cape, and a National Research Foundation of South Africa rated researcher (C2). I research on legal pluralism and human rights, with a focus on how the interplay of African customary laws and state laws construct the legal identity of Africans. I have researched and advocated across four continents, notably in the International Criminal Court at the Hague, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Uganda, the Justice and Peace Commission, Nigeria, and institutions in Sweden, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, and Somaliland. I consult for bodies such as the Social Science Research Council of New York, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. Among others, I have held fellowships and received grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Nordic Africa Institute, the Social Science Research Council of New York, the Institute of International Education, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the South African National Research Foundation.


  • 2021–present
    Associate professor, University of the Western Cape
  • 2020–present
    Director, Centre for Legal Integration in Africa , University of the Western Cape
  • 2018–2020
    Senior lecturer, University of the Western Cape
  • 2017–2018
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Centre for Comparative Law in Africa, University of Cape Town
  • 2014–2017
    Sessional lecturer, University of Cape Town
  • 2010–2014
    Lecturer, Madonna University, Nigeria
  • 2009–2009
    Legal assistant, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court
  • 2008–2008
    Intern, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  • 2004–2006
    Human rights programme officer, Justice, Development and Peace Initiative, Nigeria


  • 2016 
    University of Cape Town, Doctor of Philosophy in Law
  • 2007 
    University of Pretoria, Master of Laws in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa
  • 2007 
    Makerere University, Diploma in French
  • 2004 
    Nigerian Law School, Abuja, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice
  • 2002 
    Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Bachelor of Laws (Hons.)


  • 2021
    Legal pluralism and the future of indigenous family laws in Africa, Journal of Law, Policy and the Family
  • 2020
    Peacebuilding and the interface of state law and indigenous market laws in Southern Nigeria, Journal of African Law
  • 2020
    Rethinking customary law and women’s property rights in the context of legal pluralism in Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
  • 2020
    Normative intersectionality in married women’s property rights in southern Nigeria, Law, Democracy and Development
  • 2019
    Courts and transformative constitutionalism: Insights from South Africa’ in SM Sterett and L Walker (eds.) Research Handbook on Law and Courts , Edward Elgar Publishing
  • 2019
    Curriculum decolonisation and revisionist pedagogy of African customary law, Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal
  • 2019
    A butterfly that thinks itself a bird: The identity of customary courts in Nigeria, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
  • 2019
    Rethinking the interface between customary law and constitutionalism in sub-Saharan Africa, De Jure
  • 2019
    Our laws are better than yours: the future of legal pluralism in South Africa, Revista General de Derecho Público Comparado
  • 2019
    Introduction to special issue – The role of customary law in the shaping of new models of pluralistic states, Revista General de Derecho Público Comparado
  • 2018
    The shadow of legal pluralism in matrimonial property division outside the courts in Southern Nigeria, African Human Rights Law Journal
  • 2018
    A critique of the judicial attitude towards matrimonial property rights under customary law in Nigeria’s southern states, African Human Rights Law Journal
  • 2018
    Legal pluralism and social change: Insights from matrimonial property rights in Nigeria’ in C. Rautenbach (ed.) In the shade of an African Baobab: Tom Bennett's Legacy , JUTA
  • 2018
    Silences in marriage laws in Commonwealth Africa: Women’s position in polygynous customary marriages, Speculum Juris
  • 2017
    The protection of traditional cultural expressions in Africa: Book review, Journal of Comparative Law in Africa
  • 2017
    Child marriage, bridewealth, and legal pluralism in Africa, Journal of Comparative Law in Africa
  • 2017
    The concept of living customary law: A critique, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
  • 2015
    Lessons from South Africa on reform of the customary law of inheritance in Nigeria, Diritto delle successioni e della famiglia
  • 2014
    Reform of the customary law of inheritance in Nigeria: Lessons from South Africa, African Human Rights Law Journal
  • 2014
    Legal feasibility of a lawsuit against the United Nations, Madonna University Law Journal
  • 2013
    The dawn of constitutionalism in Nigeria;’ in Mbondenyi, M. K., and Ojienda T. (eds.) Constitutionalism and democratic governance in Africa: Contemporary perspectives from sub-Saharan Africa , Pretoria University Law Press
  • 2012
    The Arab uprising: Implications for self-determination and good governance in the African Union, Pan African Yearbook of Law
  • 2012
    Realising the right to adequate housing in Nigeria, Madonna University Law Journal
  • 2011
    Lessons from South Africa in judicial power and minority protection, Madonna University Law Journal
  • 2011
    Victims’ justice and re-characterising facts in the Lubanga trial at the ICC, Eyes on the ICC
  • 2011
    The strange child’ in J. Bassett (ed.) Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 2: Songs from the soul: Stories from around the world, Oxford University Press