(2) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons (3) If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this. Persons born outside Nigeria after 30th September, . Nigeria and, subject to the provisions of section 4 of this Constitution, if any other law ( including. Supremacy of constitution. 2. The Federal Republic of. Nigeria. 3. States of the Federation and the. Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Part II. Powers of the Federal.
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And to provide for a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good (1) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of. (1) Subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, a person to whom the provisions of this section apply may be registered as a citizen of Nigeria. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. THE CONSTITUTION. OF THE. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7 .
Within this colonial period of to , a period of 56 years, Nigeria had six 6 Constitutions: the Constitution, the Constitution, the Constitution, the Constitution, the Constitution and the Constitution.
The constitution made provision for the creation of a legislative council, which was restricted to making laws only for the colony of Lagos, while the Governor-General made laws for the rest of the country. In this context, it will be right to say that Lagos is the first political zone in Nigeria to have some level of autonomy. This constitution gave rise to a 46 member Legislative council with extended law-making responsibilities to include the southern provinces, and Lagos.
Effectively, the Clifford constitution paved the way for the very first electoral system in Nigeria: three 3 electoral seats for Lagos, and one 1 electoral seat for Calabar. Notably, this constitution gave rise to the first division of Nigeria into Geo-political regions, the three main regions namely: the Northern region, the Western region and the Eastern region.
The constitution amendment team comprise of the Governor-General, sixteen 16 official and twenty eight 28 unofficial members. Of the twenty eighty 28 unofficial members, the Governor nominated two 2 members, while four 4 members were elected. The North, West and Eastern Regions nominated eleven 11 , eight 8 and six 6 members respectively. The constitution, therefore, made provision for the creation of regional House of Assemblies, where native authorities were to nominate members of the Legislative Council.
To qualify for election, a candidate must have a minimum annual income of fifty 50 pounds. It is important to note that this constitution was enacted after the Second World War. Returning soldiers conscripted to fight on the side of colonial Britain became much more aware of freedom, sovereignty and the right for self-determination as captured in the United Nations charter. This resulted to the constitution, also known as The Macpherson Constitution, which is acclaimed to have the highest indigenous input towards the constitution-making process, in the history of Nigeria.
The major highlight of the constitution was the formation of a unified Federal System of Government, for the first time, while retaining regional autonomy of the three Geo-political regions of Nigeria. The outcome of that conference was the Constitution, also known as the Lyttleton Constitution.
Lagos was isolated from the control of any regional government, and made the Federal Capital Territory, with Ministers given specific portfolios. Southern Cameroon, which until this point was part of the larger Nigeria, was also granted autonomy.
The existence of different levels of government therefore, demands that power is shared among them to prevent one level from encroaching on the powers of the others thereby checking undue rivalry Some scholars favoured reposing predominant powers and functions on the central governments while others advocated granting equal powers and function to all the member components of the federal union Constitutional division of powers and functions is aimed at preventing abuse of governmental powers.
The rationale behind the idea of division of powers in a federal state is that matters of common interest and concern to the country as a whole should be allocated to the Central Government while matters that are local in nature should be allocated to component states government The constitution in this manner is to make provision for some degree of autonomy among the different components members of the federation, without though ignoring the need for interdependence, coordination and harmonious existence.
The Exclusive Legislative List has 68 items29; such as aviation, banks, bills of exchange, census, citizenship, copyrights, currency, custom and excise, defence, diplomatic relations, foreign affairs, immigration and emigration, incorporation of business associations, insurance, labour, shipping, armed forces, communication, prisons, railways, taxation, trade and commerce, weight and measures, wireless broadcasting and so forth, while, the Concurrent Legislative List has 12 items The authority to legislate on the Exclusive Legislative List is exclusively vested in the Federal Government and the States may legislate on the items specified in the list only to the extent expressly authorized by a Federal Law.
It is however to be observed that the Exclusive legislative list is unnecessarily numerous and contained matters which ordinarily should be placed under the jurisdiction of the federating units. Example of these items is land. Land is under the exclusive legislative list even though by virtue of the Land Use Act31 land is vested on the state government. Others include: Drugs and poison, fishing and fisheries, labour and minimum wage, mines and minerals including oil fields, oil mining geological survey and natural gas.
Trade and registration of business names, police, post, telegraph and telephones, prisons, taxation, marriages, education etc. The Federal Government and States Governments both have powers to legislate on matters specified in the concurrent list, however, if any law made by the House of Assembly of a State is inconsistent with any law validly made by the National Assembly, the law made by the National Assembly shall prevail and that other law made by the State shall be void to the extent of its inconsistency with the federal law Thus under Concurrent Legislative List also, the federal government still possesses an overriding power over the state governments by virtue of the overriding clause The effect is that the states are deprived of the viable portions of the federation resources thereby making them dependent on the federal government at the centre.
It is further to be noted, that the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution provides the list of functions of the local government councils in Nigeria, that is, the third tier of government in Nigerian federal arrangement. However, it did not expressly or by implication conferred any legislative functions on the Local Government Councils The councils are therefore an appendage of the state governments and it is within the powers of the state house of assemblies to make law regulating these councils.
It is this basic feature that deprives the local government councils of its autonomy as the constitution vested its creation and finance on the states governments. Democracy Democracy is a system of government under which the people exercise their governing power either directly or indirectly through representatives periodically elected by them.
Democracy as a concept is a set of ideals, institutions and process of governance that allow the broad mass of the people to choose their leaders and that guarantees them a broad range of civic rights. It has been defined as the government of the people, by the people and for the people Federalism thrives on democracy and can hardly survive independent of democracy.
Thus federalism is inherently democratic Democracy and federalism are of importance to the social and political phenomena in a given country that practice it. While federalism ensures that the democratic powers are shared between levels of government in a given polity, democracy aims at ensuring that the will of the majority the electorates is carried out in that polity while recognizing minority interests.
As a result of the above, sharing of power in a large and heterogeneous nation is a possible way of ensuring democratic rule. Federalism facilitates the practice of democracy, so also does democracy to the practice of federalism; Federalism cannot thrive in the absence of democracy. Federalism affords citizens, multiple points of access, thereby enhancing opportunities for public participation, increasing the accountability and responsiveness of elected officials to the electorates and hence providing incentive for more responsive democratic government.
In the broadest sense, federalism involves the linking of individuals, groups and polities in lasting but limited union in such a way as to provide for energetic pursuit of common ends while maintaining the respective integrities of all parties Democracy holds out promise of nationalism and self-determination to the federal components whereas such promise is more easily endangered in a non-demo- cratic federal system.
Democracy as a concept involves such variables as an enabling constitutional order, political parties, and institutions like the electoral commission, tribunals etc. A good democracy must provide an enabling environment in which these variables must thrive and subsist In a heterogeneous society like Nigeria, democratic rule should embrace the wishes and aspirations of the diverse nationalities that make up the nation.
Democracy in practice has not thrived well in Nigeria. Elections have been consistently marred by violence, thuggery, ethnic sentiment rigging and ballot snatching. Elections officials are bribed while law enforcement agents take sides with the ruling party. Politicians have constantly turned to the election tribunals to ventilate their grievances and many elections results have been cancelled by the courts and tribunals.
Election rigging undermines the cardinal principle of democracy, namely the will of the people. On the other hand, ethnic politics tend to produce political actors whose motivation had sectional rather than national calculations. The resultant effect is the growth of subgroups sentiment, which tends to becloud national interest. The Judiciary under Nigerian Federation The judiciary is often seen as the most crucial arm of government because of the invaluable role it plays in determining rights, responsibilities and obligations between persons, institutions and the government.
Constitution of Nigeria
In tandem with this fact, Nnamani JSC41 described it as the guardian of the constitution and fundamental rights and the protector of governance; the maintainer of public order and public security among other functions. This view encapsulates the very essence of this branch of government especially under the practice of federalism. The judicial arm of government in Nigeria is vested with judicial power under Section 6 1 2 and 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended which states; 1 The judicial powers of the federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the federation.
The judicial powers of a state shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established, subject as provided by this constitution, for a state. Subsection 4, further provided for such other courts as may be authorized by law to exercise jurisdiction at first instance or on appeal on matters with respect to which the National Assembly and House of Assembly may make laws respectively. The scope of this power given to the Nigerian Courts is so wide that it covers judicial review of the acts of the other arms of government.
The exercise of such powers can be seen in the line of cases such as Attorney-General of Lagos State v. Attorney-General of the Federation46 etc. The Nigeria courts have of recent been accused of corruption. The institutionalization of corruption in the judiciary finds ready expression in the manifest reluctance of members of the bench to give any judgment against the government of the day Corruption in the judiciary erodes public confidence and undermines good governance.
Wheare49 had emphasized on the need for financial independence or autonomy of each of the constituent units of government in a federal order and their unrestrained liberty to pursue their respective development without depending on the other s constituent units for aid. The principle of fiscal federalism requires that both the federal and state governments should each have its own relevance base firmly founded on independent revenue resources, so that one should not be a beggar to the other, in other to create a sense of fiscal responsibility so essential to the efficient generation and management of public revenue More importantly, because in a country with a federal government, its lower tiers of government be it states, regions or local government are deemed to be autonomous and enjoy some degree or medium of independence in their area of competence, federal relations must therefore replicate fiscal autonomy The structural imbalance in resource distribution in the inter-state relations in Nigeria is a sore area.
In Nigeria federalism, the central government has been by far the most powerful, the strongest and the most financially solvent. The Constitution have therefore provided for certain federal features, the principle of financial autonomy was not adequately provided, therefore at the ending of every month, each State Government in Nigeria has to wait for its own share of the federal allocation from the Federation Account.
In recent times, the Accountant General of the Federation has had cause to withhold the allocation accruable to some States of the Federation on the instruction of the Federal Government This has been further compounded by the change from agricultural export based economy to oil revenue. The Constitution of unlike the Constitution was favourably disposed to federalism by granting the regions financial autonomy. By this principle, the regions were meant to retain greater percentage of revenue that accrue as a result of revenues generated from their respective areas which led to spate of developments recorded by the various regional governments in the First Republic because they became viable enough to sustain and maintain their financial obligations.
A constitutional restructuring is therefore essential so as to provide for financial autonomy of the states of the federation.
Ethnicity has played a rather dominant role in the public life of Nigerian federation. Taking control of governance at the centre is therefore publicly viewed as a necessity in order to correct dislocations in the economy. Opposition to successive governments has often been propelled by ethnic sentiments, or at any rate, has been fuelled by the machinery of ethnic violence, sometimes leading to insecurity and instability in the polity and their attendant consequences.
So endemic have some of these ethnically motivated activities been that devices such as rotation of elective political offices among geopolitical groups or zones, a quota system of admission into public educational institutions, the principle of federal character, have been suggested or adopted as panacea to the dislocation with the polity. These intense struggles can be seen in the reaction of the Yoruba nationality to the annulment of the Presidential election of June 12, and the tyranny rule of Sani Abacha Military regime, which led to an irredentist struggle against the Federalist Statecraft.
For them, it was as much a struggle also for democracy as it is for a restructuring of the Yoruba nation.
In the case of the Igbo nationality, the issue of social injustice resulting from the after-effects of the Biafra secessionist project and the civil war that followed have drawn their attention to the absence of proper accommodation for them in the federation in terms of employment, economic opportunities, infrastructural development, politics, their inherently human and group freedom as well as constitutional rights to settle down in any part of the country for peaceful transaction of business Another major constraint which undermines the federal structure as enunciated under the Constitution is the issue of presidential election, where the zone of presidential aspirant is weightier than his ability to lead the nation.
The popular and age-long old perception of the Nigerian political process has been that the North had been the unduly dominant beneficiary of federal resources because of this, any ethnic groups that secure the control of federal power interprets and applies the federal power and resources as it benefits them.
Military Incursion The military incursion into politics in to and also from to did not fare well for the federal status of the nation. The military traditionally operates on unified command structure being an institutional undemocratic regime with a hierarchal chain of command which weakened the powers and autonomy of the constituent units and concentrated power and resources at the federal level.
This replaced a truly federal structure with quasi unitary structure, more for administrative and political maneuvering than for the unity and well- being of the country This unjust structure has persisted over the years, even during civilian governments, because it has apparently favoured those ethnic nationalities that have monopolized the levels of power ever since. This led to over centralization of power and resources in the federal government which is perhaps the most widely lamented feature of the Nigeria federal system today.
Another institutional injustice established by the military regimes against the healthy operation of federalism in Nigeria is the unitary feature of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended which is a carry- over of Constitution. And such religious crises by fanatics have resulted in loss of lives, displacements of people and destruction of properties worth billions of Naira. The frightening aspects of this religious crises is that the federal government lacks the urgency, sincerity and resources security prowess to deal with it, these have not only affected the citizens of Nigeria but also foreign investors to shun and withdraw from investing in the economic sector provided by the various governmental fiscal and legal instruments.
Marginalization of Ethnic Minorities This is another prominent feature of the crisis in Nigerian federalism, which is quite in accordance with the foundation laid for the federation by the Colonial Master.
Some communal groups has been exploited and suppressed by other dominant groups. Related to this, is the problem of the oil producing communities where there exist resentments about distribution of oil revenues and under development of such communities. For example, the Niger Delta minority illustrates the point very well.
There have been struggles and calls for compensation for environmental degradation and hazards caused by oil exploration, economic empowerment and development for the communities, increased allocation of federally collected revenue to the states and communities based on the principle of derivation and greater political and fiscal autonomy. This have gone to the extent of the oil producing communities pressing for the amendment of the Nigeria Constitution with a view to reviewing the ownership and control structure of the mineral resources in the country and the formula for sharing in the minerals wealth which will be in their favour According to Saro-Wiwa63, the formula will make for a more equal federation to which more people will owe loyalty because they see themselves represented meaningfully therein.
This though, being non-justiciable provides some frameworks by which citizen are to live, requiring the governments and its machineries to refrain from doing things in a certain way. This Commission is established by Section 1 c of the Constitution and is further provided in the Third Schedule Part I to the Constitution as amended.
The Commission is empowered to work out an equitable formula for the distribution of all cadres of posts; to monitor, promote and enforce compliance with the principles of proportional sharing of posts at all levels of government; and to take measures to prosecute heads of any government ministry, body or agency who fail to comply with the formula.
The inefficiency of the Federal Character Commission to implement the provisions of the federal character principle is obvious, going by the inequalities or imbalance and marginalization witnessed in the political, cultural and socio- economic sectors of the country.
Furthermore, the federal character principles has been manipulated by and channeled to serve the overall interest of the bourgeois class. Under the guise of the federal character principle, the members of the bourgeois class get themselves entrenched in power and exercise control over the machinery of state.
Gboyega64 rightly observed that it is an elite ploy which would not materially improve the lot of the downtrodden in whose name it is raised. Under these circumstances, there is bound to be acrimony and socio-eco- nomic conflict between the haves represented by the ruling elite class and they have not represented by the masses. Unless the interests of the masses are taken care of in the application of the federal character principle, in such a way, that they have access to the basic necessities of life, the formula is bound to have little or no relevance to the integration problems of Nigeria.
Unfortunately, also, this principle while stressing the imperative of ethnic-balancing invariably enthrones ethnicity and de-emphasizes the Nation statehood. In the process, it strengthens the parochial, particularistic orientations and primordial ethnic attachments of Nigerians As a result, the federal character principle has deepened the problem it was devised to tackle Materialism The placing of money as the ultimate achievement to be fulfilled by the elected leaders and citizenry has resulted in the excessive pursuit of material wealth at any cost including compromising the federal principles.
For instance, several probe reports and policy executions have shown that the ultimate goal in executing many federal and state projects is to make personal profits by some officials of the federal and state governments. This has been clearly shown by the recent exposure and recoveries of huge sums of money and confiscation of properties of past leaders, both at the Federal, State and even Local levels.
Public servants and officials in governmental institutions such as ministries, agencies, departments and corporations are not free either from the menace of corrupt practices that undermine the common goals of a Federal State. Corruption in Nigeria is traceable to the advent of military in the Nigerian political life.
Having entered the stronghold of power through unconstitutional and corrupt means, the military men in power sought to hold on to power at all cost. Since their rule was perceived to be unconstitutional, they sought ways of legitimizing their reign and by so doing looked towards the law courts to achieve what the barrels of their guns could never achieve for them. The military further introduced corruption to the police force, the government ministries and parastatals.
Poverty Finally the issue of democracy and political participation lies not merely in the provisions in the constitutions but in the actual working of the constitution.
It must be noted that in any political community where the barest essentials of life are absent, where food, health, and shelter are available below subsistence level that, citizens will be so pre-occupied with how to get these essentials that they may not bother about who governs or whether or not political actors play the game according to the rules.
Political life will tend to be more individualistic than collectivistic. On the other hand, in a federal state like Nigeria, where these essentials are to be available in a lope sided manner, the units that are relatively in abject want will tend to be apolitical, apathetic and negative in their supportive responses. The founding fathers of the United States wisely interpreted liberty widely to include freedom from overbearing governmental executive.
However, most constitutional scholars are in agreement that liberty includes the freedom from ignorance, poverty and disease. It was for the realization of such a society that the US government enacted the Economic Act of The Act states by its preamble; The united states can achieve its full economic and social potential as a nation only if every individual has the opportunity to contribute to the full extent of his capabilities and to participate in the working of our society.
It is therefore the policy of the United States to eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty in the nation by opening to everyone the opportunity for education and training, the opportunity to work and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity Nigeria is a country replete with extreme underdevelopment in the areas of education, health, shelter, food, welfare to mention but few.
If the Nigerian nation could embark on a massive industrialization, and welfare schemes, problems associated with poverty and want, ignorance and disease will likely reduce to the minimum. Election expenses will drastically come down and campaigns will cease from being life and death struggle to project ethnic identities but a process of choosing citizens capable of formulating and executing policies that will reflect national objectives.
When politics is no longer seen as a way of making a living by foul or fair means, or as a chance for imposing the whims and caprices of one ethnic group on another, but as a way of rendering selfless services to the country, the tendency to clinch to political position in defiance of public opinion will be eroded to ensure survival of democracy.
Recommendations Despite the obvious shortcomings surrounding the practice of federalism in Nigeria, there seems the general acceptance of the fact that federalism is the best system of government suitable for the country.
We need to focus on the critical issues that make federalism to move or that challenge people to work and govern well under a truly federal system. The dominant discussion of Nigeria Federalism is commonly summarized and dismissed in one sentence; Nigeria is a product of conquest and domination and in that case true federalism does not apply to it. While we agreed that colonialism was an aberration; I however do not subscribe to the view that our differences are irreconcilable, such that we cannot live under one federal system.
However, how we live and what we do as federating units is what determines the strength of our federal practice. The all surpassing need for constitutional changes cannot be overemphasised. I have therefore, suggested the following constitutional changes; these suggested constitutional changes are supposed to address both directly and otherwise the challenges associated with Nigerian federalism.
Therefore the existence or creation of a state shall be determined by a minimum amount or percentage of revenue each can produce. Component states that cannot produce enough should be subsumed into a more viable one. Tax over these resources shall however be made by the States to the Federal Government. Such constitutional amendment will be in line with Fiscal federalism and at the same time put an end to the constant agitation of the oil hosting states and communities.
Let every community control every mineral resources under their land, lease it to the state government and vice versa depending on the applicable tradition in the area. Issues of land tenure, land use and control should all be left to the States. The current hue and cry over local government creation by the Federal government arises essentially from the fact that they feel it will affect revenue formula and structure of allocation of seats to the Federal legislature.
This ought not to be the case if local governments are made purely state affairs. Their activities will be of no consequences for the federal government and polities such as delimitation of federal constituency at the federal level. Everything relating to their management and supervision should be left to the State government.Legislature 1 Subject to the provisions of section 66 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified for election as a member of: Status of the Constitution It shall be the duty of every citizen to - a abide by this Constitution, respect its ideals and its institutions, … Sec.
However, they can only be used alongside the constitution; therefore, its user must have a copy of the CFRN This unjust structure has persisted over the years, even during civilian governments, because it has apparently favoured those ethnic nationalities that have monopolized the levels of power ever since.
The paper complements that by Smith and Owojaiye in the previous number. The institutionalization of corruption in the judiciary finds ready expression in the manifest reluctance of members of the bench to give any judgment against the government of the day Equality and Non-Discrimination … And to provide for a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people … Preamble.
Jinadu,however failed to proffer an alternate comprehensive construct of the concept.