The Problems Facing the Nigeria Judiciary System

3085 Words Apr 10th, 2013 13 Pages

Nigeria operates a federal political structure under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. The Federation consists of 36 (thirty six) States and a Federal Capital Territory. This constitution vests the legislative, executive and judicial powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the National Assembly, the Executive and the courts established there under respectively. The powers of the States are vested in similar organs, except that the legislative organ of the States is known as the House of Assembly.
By virtue of Section 6 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 the following courts are established in the Federal Republic of Nigeria:
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It has been severally argued that the CJN as a judicial officer himself whose conduct is subject to the supervision of the NJC should not be made the head of the NJC before which his conduct may be scrutinized.
The merit in this argument became apparent during the imbroglio which engulfed the judiciary in 2011 between the then CJN and the PCA which was tabled before the NJC of which the CJN is its head.
Even though common sense prevailed and the NJC was presided by the Deputy Chairman during this imbroglio, the influence of the CJN in the NJC could not be overlooked, moreso seeing that some of the members of the NJC owed their membership of the body to him.
Furthermore, for a body established to supervise the judiciary and judicial officers, it is less than ideal that its membership should be dominated by serving judicial officers, as it most times leads to conflict of interest amongst members of the body.
To curb this situation, it is suggested that the Chairmanship and membership of the NJC should be dominated by retired judicial officers and complemented by notable persons of integrity from the bar and related disciplines.
This will ensure an unbiased supervision of judicial activities by the NJC.
Also, the procedure for recommendation of appointment of judicial officers by the NJC and FJSC or the Judicial Service Commissions…