A CRITICAL APPRAISAL ON THE PROCEDURE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS IN NIGERIA
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The Nigeria system of government is divided into three arms of government which is the Executive, Legislative and Judicial arm of government. The Judiciary is the third arm of government and its primary duty is to administer Justice.
This research will focus on the procedure for the appointment of Judicial Officers in Nigeria and therefore intended to critically examine the Judicial arm of government and Laws regulating Judicial officers in Nigeria.
Chapter one which is the introductory chapter will consider the three arms of government i.e. separation of powers and the Nature of Judicial Power.
Chapter two will bother on the qualification and procedure for the appointment and removal of judicial officers and the challenges they face in the course of duty.
Chapter three will dwell on the independence of the Judiciary.
Chapter four which is the concluding part summarizes this research and includes some recommendation to remedy the situation substantially if not totally.
1.0. Background to the Study
The theme of this work is apt in the light of the current national discourse, bothering on the judiciary and justice delivery. One of such discourse is the unresolved appointment of the chief Judge of Rivers State caused by the row between the Rivers State Government and the National Judicial Council. To every human being, all over the world; justice is the oxygen of a good life. Socio-political and economic existence depend on proper delivery of this invaluable commodity.1
The evolvement of the judiciary can be traced to the principle of separation of powers. John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu dominated the early formulation of the doctrine of separation of powers. In fashioning this political formulation, the renowned jurist, Locke having observed the prevailing political conditions in England in the 17th century, concluded that arbitrariness in governance was a product of concentration of all governmental powers in one authority. The diffusion of authority among different centers of decision making is the “thesis to totalitarism or absolution”.The doctrine clearly provides for the three arms of government; the executive, the legislature and the judiciary and their independence.
The Nigerian Judiciary has in recent times come up against a bulwark of onslaught against its integrity and an erosion of its public image ranging from accusations of financial material compromise, manipulations from the political elitist class and weak agencies. Against the backdrop of recent public perceptions on the judiciary, the following are the key areas upon which this essay shall be built: separation of powers, the general process appoints of the Nigerian bench; tenure of judges and independence of the judiciary as well as the nature of judicial power.