A judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, civil division, was once asked by a citizen who came for a court visit, why Nigeria couldn’t adopt the system of jurisprudence and the judge’s first reply was pointed out to the level of corruption the nation had attained.
Jurisprudence generally speaking, in the sense of having a natural law, putting other people’s idea as laws, the law is man made, no doubt, but is given to people in power to help us make this laws. this jurisprudence could be more of the believe of our late Fela Anikulapo kuti, that “in Nigeria, people are convicted by law and not the truth”, laws should not be made by a certain group of people put in power, but by every citizens as everyone has the right to freedom of opinion.
This is where I now ask about the use of the jury system in Nigeria. Can there ever be a jury system in Nigeria?
Jurors do not necessarily have to be from the legal profession and often are not, they do not have to have legal knowledge about the law and often are not, these system of government developed from the British common law and has been used ever since, and even in America. I believe Both the UK and Nigeria have an adversarial system of government, but I wonder why it works better in one country and not the other. The biggest advantage of the jury service is that the accused are judged by ordinary citizens like them and their verdicts are passed on for the judges to read. the truth of the matter is that Nigeria is a country full of ethnic groups that do not know the origin of their ethnic background but still have that dogmatic belief that one ethnic background or group is better than the other, a country where languages has become a serious barrier for everyone and a country that has been drastically reduced to nothing all in the name of religious beliefs and fanatics, a place where culture has brought so much difference to the extent of lack of trust.