CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM IN NIGERIA


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
LIST OF CASES
LIST OF STATUES
ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1       GENERAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.2       STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
1.3       AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.4       SIGNIFICANCE/IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
1.5       RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.6.      LITERATURE REVIEW
1.7       SCOPE OF THE STUDY
1.8       ORGANIZATIONAL LAYOUT

CHAPTER TWO
MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM
2.1       INTRODUCTION
2.2       CONCEPT OF RULE OF LAW
2.3       EVOLUTION OF MILITARY LAW IN NIGERIA
2.4       DOCTRINE OF COMPACT
2.5       PRELIMINARY PROCEDURES
2.5.1    Arrest and custody
2.5.2    Investigation of Cases
2.5.3    Board of Inquiry and Regimental Inquiry
2.5.4    Military Police Investigation
2.6       PRELIMINARY ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION
2.6.1    Powers of Command and Punishments in summary trial

CHAPTER THREE
TRIAL AND POST TRIAL PROCEDURE
3.1       INTRODUCTION
3.2       TRIAL PROCEDURE
3.2.1    Charge Sheet
3.2.2    Preparation of defence
3.3       SUMMARY TRIAL
3.3.1    Review of Summary Findings/Award
3.4       COURT MARTIAL TRIAL
3.4.1    Pre-Trial Procedure
3.4.2    Convening of Court Martial
3.4.3    Membership
3.4.3    Assembly and Swearing-in
3.4.4    Arraignment
3.4.5    Trial
3.4.6    Decisions
3.4.7    Findings and Awards
3.5       POST TRIAL MATTERS
3.5.1    Review and Revision of Court martial Proceeding
3.5.2    Confirmation of the Trial
3.5.3    Powers of Confirming Authorities

CHAPTER FOUR
CONTENTIOUS ISSUES IN NIGERIAN MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM
4.1       INTRODUCTION
4.2       INITIATION OF LEGAL PROCESS BY SERVICEMEN
4.3       RESPONSE TO LEGAL PROCESS BY THE MILITARY
4.4       REDRESS OF COMPLAINTS BY SERVICEMEN
4.5       APPEALS, ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
4.5.1    The Reasons for Reversal
4.5.1.1 Judicial Pronouncements on Courts Martial Decisions
4.5.1.2 Fair Hearing
4.5.1.3 Procedural Errors
4.5.1.4 Jurisdiction
4.5.1.5 Improperly Drafted Charges
4.5.1.6 Conviction Based on Insufficient or Irrelevant Evidence
4.5.1.7 Failure to Give  Reasons for Finding
4.5.1.8 Failure to Conform to Post-Trial Procedure
4.6       ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
4.6.1 Justice and Technicality
4.7       CHALLENGES
4.7.1 Inadequate Knowledge of Military Law and Service Knowledge
4.7.2    Attitude of Appellate courts to Court Martial
4.8       CONCLUSION

CHAPTER FIVE
CONCLUSION
5.1       FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS
5.2       SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.3       CONCLUDING REMARKS
BIBLIOGRAPHY



ABSTRACT


One of the issues that has continued to generate controversy among the bar, the bench and international and local human right activists is whether the Military Justice system is or should be subservient to the rule of law. The legal implication of the military justice system derives from sections 1 (1), 1 (3), of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, Cap C23 laws of the federation; Armed Forces Act, Cap C20 laws of the Federation 2004 and other subsidiary legislations. Nigerian Military Justice System is machinery put in place to ensure justice and discipline in the Armed Forces as well as enforcement of law. The military commanders be it at summary level or court martial play important role in the administration of military justice in any military jurisdiction. The present the entry point into the military criminal justice system, this is because the commanders at justice system and the military justice system are the commanders. One cannot divorce one from the other. This research examines critically the military justice system in Nigeria vis-à-vis it’s conformity with the enabling laws as regards its application strictu sensu. To identify challenges militating against its awards and findings on appeals at High courts and court of Appeal respectively. This research observes that most trials conducted and its attendant awards did not conform to the enabling laws and the rule of law. In view of these, most of their awards and findings have been quashed by the appellate courts. Mostly for lack of observance of fair hearing, unwillingness to abide by the rule of law, inadequate knowledge of the law, and unwillingness to be guided by the Directorate and legal officers of legal services even down to battalion level. Consequently, this work recommends amongst other things that the commanders, ASA inclusive to always be mindful of the rule of law in dispensing justice and to always make use of the available legal officers by seeking legal guidance and advice from them when the need arises.




CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION


1.1      GENERAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Over  the  ages,  man  has  always  lived  together  and

interacted in one form or the other with one another. These interactions have become more complex and sophisticated with the evolution of modern societies and organizations. The competing demand for scarce resources and self-actualization which sometimes put man in confrontation with one another1

hence,  the  necessity  for  the  regime  of  law  to  curb  man‟s

existence, and ensure a peaceful society2.

Law, as defined by Black‟s Law Dictionary is a rule of law

conduct, procedure or custom, recognized by a community as binding or enforceable by authority3. Although, it is difficult to have a definition of law that is all encompassing and generally accepted, this definition has been adopted because it captures the essence of this research. There is no objective organization......

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