The judiciary is an important arm of the government in Nigeria. It is usually considered as the last hope of the common man due to its adjudicatory role. In recent times, the executive arm of the government has interrogated the judiciary over issues of corrupt practices which has culminated in the trials of several judges and the removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria. The aim of this paper is to carry out an analysis of the status of the independence of the judiciary considering that Nigeria operates a federal system of government that embraces the concept of separation of powers. In carrying out this research, attempts were made to consult several scholarly literature with the inclusion of statutes and case laws. This research reviewed the past and current practices with regards to the numerous involvement of the executive in the affairs of the judiciary and considered that it is against principles enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).Amongst others, it was considered that due process should be followed in the selection and removal of judges in order to prevent arbitrariness and perceived over centralization of power in the executive arm of government.
Keywords: Judicial independence, Separation of Powers, Misconduct, Democracy, Constitution
It has been observed that, “the bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law and that means we have to have an independent judiciary, judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing.”