An insight into the notion of law, justice and judiciary under Nigerian jurisprudence
JO Jejelola, AO Oyebanji
The focus of every democratic government is the guarantee of justice dispensation. At the centre of this is the judiciary. In order to safeguard the rights of the citizenry and ensure unfettered access of the litigants to justice, the nation has patterned her Constitution alongside that of the United States of America to allow for separation of powers and judicial review mechanism. In addition, the Nigerian Constitution is founded on the principles of rule of law, equality and justice. The supremacy of the Constitution is preeminent and the court is sieised with the power to declare any act of the government contrary to the spirit and the letters of the organic law void. However, philosophical perspectives to justice are often the main subject of discourse among legal scholars and commentators, this study nonetheless found it imperative to espouse the notion of justice as the end product of the law itself. This reflects in the popular maxim that” justice should not only be done but it should be manifestly and undoubtedly seen to be done”.Therefore, whilst this study found succor in analyzing the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), case laws and relevant journal articles on this subject, it however found that most of the statute books need to be revisited with a view to ensuring that some conflicting provisions hindering the course of justice dispensation are expunged. Judicial activism needs to be encouraged in the country to ensure that litigants are not shut out of the gate of justice through adherence to technicalities.