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Part III The Relationship Between the Judiciary and the Political Branches, 10 Judicial–Executive Relations in Nigeria’s Constitutional Development: Clear Patterns or Confusing Signals?

Ameze Guobadia

From: Separation of Powers in African Constitutionalism

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 31 October 2020

This chapter examines the relationship between the executive and the judiciary in Nigeria. It sketches the history of assertions of judicial power by Nigerian courts, including the 1966 action by the Supreme Court to assert the continued validity of the 1963 constitution in the face of a military coup. It considers the role of the National Judicial Council in appointing and disciplining judges, an important issue in many systems. It recounts the saga surrounding President of the Court of Appeal Justice Salami, which raises the troubling prospect of the Chief Justice ‘packing’ the Council and possibly colluding with the executive to pursue political goals and discusses the issue of disputes over the appointment of state chief justices, who are appointed by governors on the Council’s recommendation. It also offers the Nigerian perspective on control over judicial budgets and administration, before concluding with a review of some significant cases.

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