THE IMPACT AND EFFECTIVENESS OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDING AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY STATE OF ANAMBRA STATE)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Judiciary is the third arm of government. The formation of government is specifically for peace and protection of life and property in the society as well as protection and promotion of democratic dividend. The agreement for the formation of government was contained in the constitution. Constitution is the system of law, customs, and fundamental principles established for the guidance and government of state. It is the supreme authority of each democratic system.
It is also within the constitutional frame work that there are division of powers between the three arms of government, each within its own sphere co-ordinates and independent (Ndoh 2003). The constitution has assigned to the judiciary the responsibility of the interpretation of the constitution, a responsibility which contributes in ensuring that other arms of government and member of the public under them, perform their respective functions as it envisage by the constitution and in accord with the law (Nnaemeka Agu, 2002).
In the light of above, Nigerian judiciary particularly in Anambra state has been playing vital rules in the political system of the state since independent, but due to corruption, redtapism, political interference by other arm of government and worst military incursion or intervention in the politics and government of Nigeria particularly Anambra State has been a set back on the independent and judicial proceeding in the state. According to Okafor (quoted Okpata et al 2000)
The independent of the judiciary has suffered greatly in Nigeria especially under military rule. The military promulgated decrees with outer clauses which denied the judicially authority over certain matters. The judicially seem also teleguided or manipulated to delivered certain judgment.
In addition, it is beyond dispute that sustenance of democratic dividend in modern world, an independent, impartial and upright judicially is necessity for sustenance of democracy in Anambra state and Nigerian in general.
Nevertheless, this work will focus on the impact and effectiveness of judicial proceeding in providing democratic dividends in Nigeria with focus on Anambra state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Federal Republic of Nigeria gave the judiciary of the power to interpret the constitution and laws of the land, the constitution maintained that the judiciary should be independent, impartial and upright in the function. Nigeria judiciary suppose to help in the consolidation of democracy and act as the last hope of common man as well as help in their achievement of democratic values.
Nevertheless, several problems are encountered by the Nigeria judiciary in carrying out their constitutional assigned functions. This problems has hampered them from discharging their constitutional responsibilities, they are as follows: corruption, lack of financial autonomy, delay in the judiciary process, lack of independent machinery for the enforcement of its decision and influence of political office holder etc. this actually has made Nigerian judiciary ineffective in sustenance and consolidation of democracy in Nigeria political system.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF NIGERIA JUDICIARY
THE EVOLUTION OF JUDICIAL IN NIGERIA
Before the coming of the coronial masters in Nigeria, there was no former or identified institution for judicial review of government acts as we know it today, however according to Osaai (2001) Some communities have a system of checks and balances and in some important respect, restraining influence on the tendencies of traditional rulers to excesses.
However, with the coming of the colonialism, judiciary founded on the British legal system was introduced as an instrument of coercion, consolidation and legitimating of colonial rules. The judiciary then was not separates from the executive, but was in fact a department of and controlled by the executive arm of government under the colonial system, the judiciary operated more in line with the dictates of the colonial masters than in accordance with the British idea of justice, also appeals from our court lay to the judicial committee of the privy council as final court appeal (Elias 1955:3356).
In 1963 appeals to the privy court were abolished following the constitution of Nigeria act of 1963 section 120. The supreme court of Nigeria then become the final court appeal in Nigeria, and the federation court of appeal was created in 1976 to function as intermediate court of appeal between the high court and the supreme court.
THE STRUCTURE OF NIGERIA JUDICIARY
The structure of Nigeria judiciary is hierarchical in nature with the Supreme Court at the apex and customary court at the base.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
This research would address the following research question.
- To what extent has judiciary impacted positively or negatively in the consolidation of democratic dividend in Anambra state?
- What are the real challenging facing or confronting judiciary in the consolidation of democratic dividend in Anambra State?
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of objective of this work is as follows:
- To find out the impact of judiciary in the consolidation of democracy in Anambra State.
- To identified the real problem confronting the judicial in the sustenance and consolidation of democratic dividend in Anambra state.
- To identified different levels and structures of court and their working towards the consolidation of democracy.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this research work is as follows:-
- The research will aid the judicial to enhance the consolidation of democratic dividends
- The aims would be also to contribute to existing knowledge of political science.
- It will equally be source of data to scholar student and even policy makers who will consult the work
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
The scope of the research is delimited to studying the impact and effectiveness of judicial proceeding in sustenance of democratic dividend in Nigeria with focus on Anambra State and some limitation are encountered in the course of carrying out this research, the first is scarcity of material due to dearth of library, material, secondary the problems of finance, and short duration of time posse as problem in the research, although those problem were made lighter because of visit to internet websites, law firm and literature.
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The research hypothesis positioned in lined with the statement of the problem as follows:
- The judicial has impacted positively on the sustenance of democratic dividends in Anambra State.
- Political interference and lack of independent of the judicial are some challenges facing the judiciary.
1.8 THEORETICAL FRAME WORK OF ANALYSIS
Structural-functionalism is the theoretical frame work adopted in this work; the theory was established by Emile Durham, Herbert Spencer and other in the field of sociology. The theory views the society as a system which is a set of interconnected part which together forms a whole.
This theory was adopted in political science and specifically in the field of comparative politics as a result of inter-disciplinary drives of political system. The theory sees the political system as interrelated and reciprocally related regulated pattern that have need for the maintenance and survival of the system. In the field of politics structural functionalism are seen as explaining basic function of political structures in the political system and it can be seen as a tool of investigation and analysis (Emekwe 2002:92).
Structure-functionalism means that every political system there exist certain function that are perform by the different relevant structure of the polity and it is only examine by these function that one can understand the political process in the society. When political satisfy the demand made upon it by the citizens, it is said to be functional but if the system does not satisfy the demand made by its citizens, it is dysfunctional moreover, the structural-functionalism theory explains function, impact and effectiveness of judiciary in sustenance of democratic dividend in Anambra state because judiciary is the structures that perform the function of constitutional interpretation and adjudication or cases between other structures of the system an settlement of dispute between individuals and government etc. and enthroning democratic values and ethos in Nigeria.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Judiciary:- The judiciary is the
third arms of government with the primary duty of interpretation of law to apply the existing law to individual cases, an by so doing, settled dispute between one private citizen and the government, it is the court and all those who work in the vineyard of justice Obikeze and Obi (2004)
- Democracy: The term democracy has no conclusive acceptable definition, Abraham Lincoln sees democracy as “government of the people by the people and for the people” however, there arises the problem who are the people or what, Dahd (1989) refers as the problem of inclusive, but the fact that democracy is a system of government where powers is legitimized and executed by the many (Osagbue etal 2003)
- Rules of Law:- Means resort to law and order in a polity in preference. For arbitrariness, anarchy, violence welfare and strite. It dictates the government must be conducted, according to law and that in case of doubt or ambiguity the matter must be resolved by judicial decision on (Nnaemeka-Agu 2002).
- Constitution:- Is the collection of rules which establish and regulate or govern the government and the people, this rules are partly legal in the sense that court of law would recognized and apply them … (Obikeze and Obi, 2004)
- Court:- A court is a judiciary institution created by law or constitution to decide legal dispute authoritatively (schmic AOUSER 2001)
- Judicial Review:- Means the constitutional right of court system to review or cancel government registrations, decision and actions that is held to have done illegally
- Consolidation:- Is maintenance of stability in the system, also it involves the dissemination of those who makes for smooth running of their affairs of the society such that cooperation is encourage while conflict discouraged (Nnoli 2003)
- Structures:- It means the way in which the part something things are connected with each other and form whole, or to means to arrange the different part of something into a pattern or system in which each parts is connected to the other (Longman Dictionary 1995)
- Judicial Activism:- Is an anti-thesis of judicial passivism, it concedes the fact that judge cannot ignore the law as enacted however, it is essential to develop and if necessary to change it (Nweze 2002)
1) Judicial Passivism: Implies that judge should concern themselves with application of law as it is, hence, the role of judge is seen as merely declaration, as the saying goes judicium est quasi dictim-judgment is a declaration of law (Okere 1987)