The Provisions of 1999 Constitution of Nigeria on Appointment, Discipline and Removal of Judicial Officers and Implications for an Effective and Independent Judiciary

JOSHUA, Samson Ayobami


The subject of an effective and independent judiciary has more often than not, engaged the interest of drafters of Nigerian Constitutions. The issues of appointment, discipline and removal of judicial officers were carefully enshrined, having regard to their sensitive nature, with a view to enthroning an independent and effective judiciary. However, of all the constitutions ever enacted in Nigeria, the 1999 Constitution, which is in use currently, stands out clearly with its salient provisions aimed at ensuring judicial effectiveness and independence. The introduction of the National Judicial Council (NJC), for instance, is a noteworthy innovation of the 1999 Constitution, particularly with reference to the appointment, discipline and removal of judicial officers. This paper examines how well these constitutional provisions enshrined in the 1999 have succeeded in producing the intended effectiveness and independence. The paper also highlights the limitations and challenges experienced so far in the course of applying those provisions. The paper draws conclusion and suggests practical recommendations for a manifestly independent and effective judiciary.

KEYWORDS: Judiciary, Judicial officers, judicial effectiveness, judicial independence

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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