A Gavel (How Nigerian Judicial System)
It is the job of the Government to work its manifesto after winning the people’s mandate, but it is the job of the citizens to advocate for positive changes in a nation like ours.
Reforming the Nigerian judicial system is one job that needs be done for a new Nigeria.
Errors of the Nigerian Judicial System
Appointment of the Chief Justice a non-partisan position by partisan bodies such as the Federal Executive (Presiden) and the National Assembly (Nigeria’s law-making body) for appointment ratification.
Rule of Law Deficit in supremacy of the law(most especially), equality before the law and also respect for fundamental human right because the court orders not effective.
2 federal courts- Federal High Courts and Federal Courts of Appeal (Courts of Appeal), making the Federal Courts of Appeal dependent on the Federal High Courts for appellate cases I.e they only hear appealed cases.
Supreme Court of Nigeria’s lack of Constitutional Court to adress the interpretation of the Constitution by lower courts.
Administrative silence of Associate Justices apart from the Chief Justice in the Federation.
- Susceptibility of the judiciary’s finance stream to mismangement.
- Unpopular citizen supervision Nigerian Constitution
9 Steps on How to Reform the Nigerian Judicial System
The Chief Justice should be elected by the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The Rule of Law should be promoted and Court orders should be the final except appealed where possible.
There should only be the Federal High Courts in each state +FCT while the Courts of Appeal in each of the six geopolitical zones should be converted to States Supreme Court (for a restructured Nigeria).
Establishment of Constitutional Court Branch for the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The Associate Justices should be 11+1 , 2 from each geo-political zones, and they should be put in charge of the Constitutional Court Branch, Appellate Court Branch and Tribunals and Panels Court Branch, 4 for each branch, CJN (Chief Justice of Nigeria included). They should all be appointed by a neutral body, Nigerian Judicial Service Commission (NJSC) according to experience,merit and interest declared.
The Nigerian judicial system’s finance stream should be placed in the Consolidated revenue fund free from political management, just like the public service funds.
The Nigerian Judicial Service Commission should be headed by a Chairman who is not in active politics and has been a former Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The Nigerian public should have the opportunity to submit petitions for justice redress to the Nigerian Judicial Service Commission, and the procedure should be well spelt out by the Constitution.
The NJSC should only be called up by NASS (National Assembly) on issues of administration for a house committee and specific issue for a standing committee.
I think if we implement these steps we’ll have a reformed Nigerian judicial system to the extent of seeing positive and visionary changes capable of birthing a new Nigeria for you and I: where we cannot be detained without a clear court judgement, where you can sit down beside an army man in peace and where we can feel free to share my opinions about the state.
What other steps do you suggest for the proper reform of Nigeria’s judiciary?
Who do you think is able to actualize these reforms; the President, the National Assembly or the Nigerian people, why and how?