ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN NIGERIAN COURTS PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN NIGERIAN COURTS PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

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  • Major Attributes are Abstract.
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ABSTRACT

The  topic “ Administration  of  justice  in  Nigerian  courts,  problems  and  prospects”  seems  to attract  to  itself  the  attention  and  inquisitiveness  on  the  part  of  the  common  man  or  every believer  in   the  Rule  of  law  of  what  the  writer  is  talking  about  or  what  he  is  going  to  upon  since  the  mere  mention  of  justice  in  our  society  today  raises  a  conjecture  and  thereafter  suffers  from universally acceptable definition.

An attempt is made in this essay to scrutinize what hampers the judicial powers vested in the courts under section 6(6)(b) of 1999 constitution which it is said shall extend to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and to any person in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person.

Also considered in the essay are the ‘defects’ in and/ or ‘injustices’ written into the substantive law. For instance the ouster of court’s jurisdiction, the down payment or deposit of a substantial amount of money paid into a court before a challenge to chieftaincy dispute is entertained, discrimination on the grounds of protection to the public officers of the state and the adoption of foreign culture and archaic statutes that were largely meant to nurture a colonial society among others are written into or found in the basic law of the state , then it is not possible to talk of justice under such a system. Sometimes a system fails because of procedural defects and inadequacies. When there exists structural injustice in the location of courts (for instance a poor litigant resides share, Kwara state and the Supreme courts is located in Abuja) and there is imbalance in the distribution of wealth in the society, there, the law is easily seen as instrument of oppression and a protection of the status quo.

The above issues and some other interesting topics like the role or the part played by some agencies like the police, the Bar and the prison in the prosecution of cases will be considered in this essay and provide an avenue for the assessment of their performance in the administration of justice.

The independence of the judiciary is not left untouched as it is a necessary adjunct to the proper administration of justice.

The essay finally attempts to offer some useful suggestions and recommendations to arrest the ills plaguing our society today, as some stemmed from both internal and global structural ‘injustices’. However the essay is not claiming to be exhaustive.


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