Home Governance NIGERIA: THE WAY FORWARD & THE NEED FOR INTROSPECTION

NIGERIA: THE WAY FORWARD & THE NEED FOR INTROSPECTION

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This treatise would be to embark on an historical excursion of our nations political development since the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates till the present time. From the Lugard Constitution of 1914, the nationalists dialogued over the Clifford Constitution of 1922, the Richards Constitution of 1946, the Macpherson Constitution of 1951, the 1954 Lyttletons Constitution, and the Independence Constitution of 1960, that was ratified after seven constitutional talks held between 1953-1960 by Nigerias early nationalists at conferences with the British colonialists in London. The country has also had constitutional reviews in 1963, to usher in its Republican status, and the 1979 Constitution, to usher in the ill-fated second Republic. There were other reviews in 1989, to cater for the Third Republic that was terminated in 1993; the 1995 Constitution ordered by the Gen. Sani Abacha regime, that was never made public. There have been vociferous calls for the wholesale review of the extant 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which many have declared a document for the thrash-can on account of the fact that it contains serious inconsistencies; and its approval by a military regime. By Decree no 1 of 1966; the Parliament was abolished; some parts of the constitution were suspended, and the Supreme Military Council became the highest legislative organ, in a polity that was manned without the doctrine of Separation of Powers. By Decree 24 of 1967, the Inspector-General Police or the Chief of Staff (Supreme Headquarters) could detain a citizen indefinitely. What Decree 25 did was to give meaning to the deliberations of the CDC and the Supreme Military Council. The last attempt outside the Legislature, was made through the 2014 National Conference, that made far-reaching recommendations to the Federal Government on some parts of the extant constitution that the conference felt needed to be reviewed or modified. The first constitution ever passed on to civilian regimes was the 1979 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having been deliberated upon first by the Constitution Drafting Committee; (CDC) otherwise known as the 49 wise men headed by legal luminary, late Chief Frederick Rotimi Alade Williams, SAN; and furthermore deliberated upon by the Constituent Assembly, and was later legally approved by the Supreme Military Council through Decree no 25 of 1978; otherwise known as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Enactment) decree of 1978. The arrangement of 1914, by…

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