History Of Nigeria Constitution

Nigeria is a formation of the Constitution. Nigeria developed into a globally perceived free country, in 1960, after a time of expansionism under the British government which spread over about a century starting with the formal extension of Lagos in 1861. Nigeria’s sacred advancement history can be separated into two ages or ages: the pioneer or pre-autonomy age – which covers 6 established instruments (1914, 1922, 1946, 1951, 1954 and 1960) and the post-freedom protected ages (including 3 instruments – 1963, 1979 and 1999). While each progressive pre-freedom sacred instrument was instituted through a request in-gathering of the British ruler, their post-autonomy partners were ordered in two ways: an Act of parliament (1963 Constitution) and military declaration (1979 and 1999).

Nigeria has had a series of constitutions. The current constitution was enacted on 29 May 1999, inaugurating the Nigerian Fourth Republic.

Colonial era (1914–1960)

The one ‘Nigeria’ story started in 1914 with the Frederick Lugard Constitution.

Nigeria’s first constitutions were enacted by order in council during the colonial era, when the country was administered as a Crown Colony. The constitutions enacted during this period were those of 1913 (which came into effect on 1 January 1914), 1922, 1946, 1951 and 1954.

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The 1914 Constitution amalgamated the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria with the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria under the pioneer specialist of the British Monarch. The rising substance was directed under the specialist of the British ruler through her delegated operator: a Governor-General. Ruler Frederick Lugard was the first Governor-General of amalgamated Nigeria. The 1914 Constitution made a Legislative Council of the Colony which was however limited to making laws for the Colony of Lagos alone, while the Governor General made laws for whatever is left of the nation.

After eight years, the 1914 Constitution was supplanted by the 1922 Sir Clifford Constitution. Quite, the last Constitution built up a 46 part Legislative Council which was given law making duties regarding the Colony of Lagos and the southern regions. The Council had 27 individuals including the Governor, the Lieutenant-Governors, other chose and named individuals including three speaking to Lagos as the managerial and business capital and one speaking to Calabar as a major business focus. Quite, the 1922 Constitution presented, without precedent for any British African region, the elective standard with Lagos and Calabar being conceded the establishment to choose their agents to the Legislative Council.

1946 saw the appropriation of the Arthur Richard Constitution which characterized Nigeria, out of the blue, as far as districts – consequently isolating the still colonized nation into three primary areas: the Northern, Western and Eastern locales. This constitution happened after the Second World War – an occasion which significantly affected established changes identifying with the administration of pioneer Nigeria, and in reality Africa overall, as returning African legends of the war who were recruited to battle in favor of the British came back with a more profound comprehension of national flexibility and global sway. Likewise, the contract of the United Nations which was received after the war made solid reference to the flexibility of colonized people groups under the rule of regard for self-assurance.

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The chain of occasions finished in the arrangement of the National Council for Nigeria and Cameroons, which later turned into the National gathering of Nigerian Citizens, (N.C.N.C), an association which occupied with the dynamic assembly of the indigenous people groups of Nigeria to outfit the worldwide tide for self-assurance and political freedom from the shackles of expansionism. The 1946 Constitution was hence a trade off instrument with respect to the British colonialist intended to build up an established structure in which all areas of Nigeria could be spoken to on the Legislative Council and which ensures an informal lion’s share both in the House of Assembly and in the authoritative chamber for indigenous Nigerians.

After five years, the 1946 Richards Constitution was again jettisoned for the 1951 Sir John Macpherson Constitution. While its successor experienced the charge of being a burden of the British colonialists with no contribution from the indigenous individuals of Nigeria, the 1951 Macpherson Constitution appeared after an uncommon procedure of interview with the people groups of Nigeria. As per Dikemgba “no other constitution so broadly contacted the general population than the Macpherson constitution of 1951”. Informatively, gatherings and counsels driving down to its making were held at 5 levels – Village, District, Divisional, Provincial and Regional levels – before the national meeting. The provincial meetings were held at Ibadan, Enugu and Kaduna, individually and created a general accord for an elected arrangement of government with a couple of contrasts as to its organization. The new Constitution spoke to a noteworthy headway on the old protected request by presenting African chose greater parts in the Central Legislature and in the Regional Houses of Assembly; enriching the administrative houses with free authoritative influence in numerous territory of state action; and building up a government framework for Nigeria out of the blue.

In any case, inside three years of its task, it soon turned out to be certain that the development of the political space and territorial characters cultivated by the 1951 Constitution were not went down by the essential institutional structure or clever national authority for the administration of characteristic and different strains or strife, at the national and local levels, which took after its sanctioning. In the wake of reports of savage emissions in the northern city of Kano which pitched northerners against southerners prompting enormous loss of lives and property, the then British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Oliver Lyttleton ventured in by welcoming the pioneers of different political gatherings in Nigeria to go to a meeting in London, in 1953. The result of that meeting and another cycle of gathering and conferences which took after was the 1954 Lyttleton Constitution.

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The 1954 Constitution, among others, made local governments free of the focal government in regard of subjects and administrative forces designated to them. It likewise settled a unicameral council for the government and every one of the 3 provincial governments. Moreover, Lagos was removed from the control of any territorial government and made the Federal Capital Territory; local open administrations were set up for every one of the 3 areas; the legal was redesigned in order to set up provincial judiciaries while self-governance was allowed toward the Southern Cameroons which was up till that time some portion of a bigger Nigeria and Northern Cameroons. In particular, out of the blue, Ministers were given particular portfolios. Consequently, the Lyttleton Constitution could best be depicted as the progress instrument towards Nigeria’s freedom in 1960 under a government structure with equitably chose elected and provincial lawmaking body.

In 1960, Nigeria was conceded political autonomy as a sovereign state under the 1960 Constitution which accommodated a parliamentary arrangement of government, 3 areas (Northern, Eastern and Western Regions), a bicameral administrative system at the elected (Senate and House of Representatives) and territorial levels (House of Assembly and House of Chiefs) with the authoritative forces of government depicted into three classes or records – selective, simultaneous and remaining. The parliamentary framework outlined under the 1960 constitution perceived the British ruler as the Head of State with forces to choose an occupant operator the Governor-General-to practice official powers for her sake while a Prime Minister chose by the government parliament went about as the Head of the elected Executive Council. The Constitution likewise found a way to characterize ‘Nigerian citizenship’ while delineating intrinsically secured rights for residents and people in Nigeria.

In any case, by assigning the Governor-General as a delegate and specialist of the British Queen or Monarch – rather than the People of the free and sovereign province of Nigeria, the impact was to render Nigeria a domain region – a status which negated the very nature and premise of the autonomy asserted in 1960. What’s more, the 1960 Constitution denied Nigeria a successful domain over its legal powers as it gave last re-appraising specialist over Nigeria to the Privy Council built up by the British Queen rather than the Federal Supreme Court and its judges. Those principal disparagements from Nigeria’s sway and other watched challenges in actualizing the Independence Constitution prompted the establishment of the 1963 Constitution.

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Hence, the key highlights of the 1963 Constitution incorporated the foundation of Nigeria’s first republic under a parliamentary arrangement of government by supplanting the Governor-General designated by the British ruler with a President chose straightforwardly by individuals from the Nigerian elected council. What’s more, set up of the Privy Council, the Federal Supreme Court progressed toward becoming assigned as the last re-appraising legal specialist over any individual or matter in Nigeria while steps were taken to reinforce the autonomy of the legal considerably further.

In 1966, that Constitution was, in any case, put aside by a savage military rebellion which supplanted the first Republic with military autocracy which was to keep going for around 13 years – including the common war time frame (1966-1969), under 4 military Heads of State, finishing just in 1979 when the General Olusegun Obasanjo military organization introduced the second Republic with the declaration of another Constitution.

The 1979 Constitution set up Nigeria under a presidential arrangement of government with a government, 19 state governments, an elected capital region, 3 arms and 3 levels of government.

The 1979 constitution, which brought in the Second Republic, abandoned the Westminster system in favour of an American-style presidential system, with a direct election,directly-elected. To avoid the pitfalls of the First Republic, the constitution mandated that political parties and Federal Executive Council (Nigeria cabinet) positions reflect the “federal character” of the nation: political parties were required to be registered in at least two-thirds of the States of Nigeria or states, and each state had to have at least one member of the cabinet from it.

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1993 constitution (Third Republic)
The 1993 constitution was intended to see the return of democratic rule to Nigeria with the establishment of a Third Republic, but was never fully implemented, and the military resumed power until 1999

1999 constitutions (Fourth Republic)
The 1999 constitutioning restored democratic rule to Nigeria, and remains in force today. In January 2011, two amendments of the 1999 constitution were signed by President Olusegun Obasanjo, the first modifications since the document came into use in 1999.

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