Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria
Volume 2 Issue 4 (2009)
This article seeks to analyse the state of the system of juvenile justice administration in Nigeria against the background of international framework and guidelines. The author finds the Nigerian setup to be inadequate for ensuring juvenile justice because of inconsistencies and ambiguities in municipal legislation – for example, the age of criminal responsibility is different under various statutes, and the bail provisions are capable of being abused. Further, policemen are known to have been brutal in their dealings with juvenile offenders, and lack of specially trained state officials makes the state machinery ill-equipped to facilitate the process of rehabilitative justice. The author then explains that having dedicated juvenile justice courts may be better than the current system where magistrates in charge of ordinary criminal cases handle juvenile justice matters as well. The article concludes with the observation that juvenile custodial institutions have not been efficacious in rehabilitating the juvenile offenders housed there, and makes recommendations to address these shortcomings.