Judicial impartiality and independence in nigeria: a reality or a façade?
Judicial Independence and Impartiality (JII) is rooted in the principle of fair trial;
and as such, a sine qua non to a decent democracy, good governance, and
accountability. JII entails that the decisions of judges are not influenced by any internal
or external factors. Despite the separation of powers between all branches of
government as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, interference with the activities of
the judiciary still exists in several areas including, appointment, remuneration,
discipline, and removal of judges. The paper studied and evaluated existing laws and
relevant works of literature that relate to JII of the judiciary in Nigeria, and finds that JII in
Nigeria is a mere facade. The judiciary is vulnerable to influences from different
sources, including the executive, politicians, businesses, and legislature. The paper
recommends the first step towards JII is financial autonomy for the National
Judicial Council (NJC). In addition, the suspension and removal of judges must be
fair and carried out by an independent body.