Colonialism and Dilemmas of Transitional Justice in Nigeria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


Adoption of the colonial template of governance by successive postcolonial governments in Nigeria has limited the ambit of transitional justice, rendering it incapable of addressing the root causes of systematic abuses and conflict in the country. Pathologies of colonial injustice and violence were transmitted into governance in the postcolony and this structural continuity has locked down the prospect of justice and reforms as an integral part of the governance complex. Critical analysis of the Nigerian experience calls attention to the need for transitional justice theory and praxis to engage with the colonial legacy in nonsettler, postcolonial societies. Understanding and engaging with the colonial legacy is critical to the prospects of successful transitional justice in postcolonial polities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257
Number of pages276
JournalInternational Journal of Transitional Justice
Issue number2
Early online date27 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2018


  • colonial legacy, postauthoritarianism, nonsettler colonial territories, impunity, Nigeria