THE ROLE OF NIGERIAN COURTS AND TRIBUNALS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

THE ROLE OF NIGERIAN COURTS AND TRIBUNALS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

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ABSTRACT

The judicial powers of the Federation and of States are vested in Courts

established by section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

1999 (as amended) and other courts established for the Federation by an Act of the

National Assembly or in case of States, Law made by the relevant State House of

Assembly. The Judicial powers gradually, due to increase in litigations and

criminal trials beyond the capacity of the regular courts, were no longer exclusive

to the Courts but rather had to be shared with tribunals established for particular

purposes. This development consequently brought about two parallel systems of

adjudicating institutions operating side by side.

While some tribunals, like the investment and Securities Tribunal, have

justified their establishment by dispensing Justice timeously and by experts in the

particular field of the tribunal’s jurisdiction, others seem to have defeated the very

essence of their establishment like Code of Conduct Tribunals. Tribunals like the

Code of Conduct Tribunal apart from being redundant is seen as an agent of the

Federal Government since it is absolutely controlled by the Code of Conduct

Bureau, which is directly under the Presidency. This explains the redundant nature

of the tribunal as it serves more or less as a stooge of the Presidency from where

most of the culprits should have been arraigned.

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The Laws establishing various tribunals have their inbuilt shortcomings that

hinder the trial procedure or occasion unnecessary delays contrary to the very

essence of establishing the tribunals.

The courts in Nigeria could be said to have contributed in some measure to

the development of Law, particularly in the field of animal Law and Constitutional

Law. However administration of Justice seems to suffer several challenges. Some

of these challenges were attributed to factors associated with adversarial system,

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