Nigerian Military Justice System: The Need for Its Civilianization
AbstractThe paper deals with the need to civilianize Nigerian military justice system. By this civilianization, it denotes the reform of traditional aspects of a military justice system to resemble its civilian criminal justice counterpart. The aim of the paper is to discuss briefly the different areas of military justice that need to be reformed viz: the commander’s investigating authority, role of the Convening authority, selection of panel members and summary trials. It is the contention of the paper that as a result of the steady expansion of individual rights in Nigeria and the expanded Nigerian judiciary reviewability of courts-martial decisions, there is the need to civilianize military justice system in Nigeria. The methodology adopted in the article included both primary and secondary sources of information.The paper concludes that no major military reform acts have been passed in Nigeria. Hence, the basic court structure, method of selection of the court, the commander’s control of the court machinery and the heavy reliance of administrative reviews rather than judicial appeals have not been substantially altered.Key words: civilianization, military, military justice, Nigeria
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