Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Nigeria, Judges, National Judicial Council, Regulation, Discipline, Appointment, Removal


The disciplining of judges is a sensitive and complex challenge. In Nigeria, the complexity is heightened because the process is complicated by socio-political factors and public views about the motivations for disciplining some judges, including claims of political interference by the ruling government. This Chapter argues that both judicial discipline and the work of the National Judicial Council (NJC) – the body responsible for judicial regulation in Nigeria – are caught up within Nigeria’s peculiar socio-politics, a reality that a strictly legal analysis will miss. The Chapter analyzes contemporary challenges and controversies associated with the complaints and discipline procedure in Nigeria. In particular, it asks whether the NJC is undergoing a legitimacy crisis. The Chapter also analyzes the controversial removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the others arrested and situates this within the socio-political and other factors specific to the discipline of judges in Nigeria. In conclusion, the Chapter highlights four specific insights that emerge from the analysis.


This is a draft chapter. The final version is available in Disciplining Judges: Contemporary Challenges and Controversies, edited by Richard Devlin and Sheila Wildeman, published in 2021, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.