Critical Analysis of the Military Justice System in Nigeria

Filed in Current Projects, Law Project Topics by on March 9, 2022

– Critical Analysis of the Military Justice System in Nigeria –


One of the issues that have continued to generate controversy among the bar, the bench, and international and local human rights 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 the law.

The military commanders are it at the summary level or court-martial play important role in the administration of military justice in any military jurisdiction.

The present entry point into the military criminal justice system is because the commanders at the 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 its 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 their 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. 


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 sometimes put men in confrontation with one another hence, the necessity for the regime of law to curb man’s existence and ensure a peaceful society.

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 authority.

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 or community that has no set or body of laws that regulate the conduct of the society and ensure the greatest good for the greatest number if strictly and impartially enforced.

It also creates social stability and harmonious living. The concept of justice is also closely related to the strict application of the law.

Justice has been defined by the Encarta Dictionary as Fairness or reasonableness especially in the way people are treated, decisions are made and Law enforced.

Thus, justice encourages the maintenance and administration of fairness, the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims, and the assignment of rewards and punishments.

The notion of justice is embedded in the administration of the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system is the procedure that saddles with the efficient application and just adjudication of all violations of the law in an organization. 


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