This paper examines the legality of Local Council Development Areas and similar bodies created by State Governments in Nigeria. The paper considers if the creation of Local Council Development Areas is in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It shows that while some State Governments renamed newly created Local Government Areas as Local Council Development Areas, some created Local Council Development Areas from the onset in a bid to avoid full compliance with the procedure stipulated by the Constitution for creation of Local Government Areas. It argues that although the State Government has constitutional powers to create Local Government Areas, it does not have the power to create Local Council Development Areas. This is because Local Council Development Areas are not listed in the Constitution of Nigeria.It considers the factors facilitating the creation of Local Council Development Areas including the failure of the Federal Government of Nigeria to challenge the creation and operation of such bodies and the reluctance of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in making a pronouncement against such illegal acts, thereby nipping it in the bud. The paper concludes that until these factors are addressed and the Federal Government rises up to its duty to defend the Constitution by challenging the illegality in the court of law, State Governments will continue to create Local Council Development Areas in violation of the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria.
This paper examines the illegal trend of dissolution of elected Local Government Councils before the expiration of their tenure by the State Governor and their replacement with caretaker committees in Oyo State. It argues that although, the State Government has constitutional powers to create Local Government Councils and conduct elections into same, it does not have the power to dissolve elected Local Government Councils before the expiration of their tenure. Considering the trends in Oyo State and some other States in Nigeria, this paper finds that certain factors are responsible for the prevalence of dissolution of Local Government Councils which have resulted in various negative effects such as violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and rights of members of the Councils to govern. Such actions truncate democratic process and forces unelected persons on the citizens. The paper concludes that to curb the practice of illegal dissolution of Local Government Councils, the courts of law must ensure the reinstatement of dissolved Councils and Federal Government of Nigeria must take concrete steps to grant autonomy to all Local Government Councils in the country.
Justiciable or Non-Justiciable Rights: A Debate on Socio-Economic and Political Rights in Nigeria (Published)
Justiciable or non-justiciable rights are hot debate in jurisprudence. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria grouped rights into fundamental rights and fundamental objectives. Accordingly, fundamental objectives entail socio-economic and political rights which are non-justiciable in the court of law. However, socio-economic rights are necessary instruments for accountable government and good governance while non-justiciable rights work hardship on the citizens by restricting their rights of redress in the court of law. Non-justiciability is a constitutional cover to bad leadership and corruption. Hence, the investigation into justiciable or non-justiciable rights: a debate on socio-economic and political rights in Nigeria. The paper examined the position of South-Africa Courts’ judgments on socio-economic cases brought before them. The views of pro-justiciability and anti-justiciability schools were also juxtaposed. The study found out that the courts rather judges had upheld socio-economic and political rights as justiciable by inextricably connecting them to justiciable rights. The paper therefore recommends that all ouster clauses in the Constitution be expunged to promote accountable government, strengthen the judiciary and enforce citizen’s rights of redress.
The Persistent Breach Of Human Rights by Personnel of the Nigerian Police Force as Recorded in 2016 to 2018: A Call for International Attention (Published)
The rascality exhibited by the Nigeria police started way back from the colonial days till date. The Police Act, Administration of Justice Act, chapter four (4) of the Nigeria Constitution are the Codes that regulate and define the duties and mode of operation of the Police Force in Nigeria. The International law is also there as a global standard on human rights preservation. The primary objective of this paper is therefore to identify the reasons for frequent human rights abuses by the Nigeria police force and make recommendations toward stemming the tide. This paper reviews the Human rights abuses by the Nigeria police force in the years 2016-2018 by reference to the International law, Constitution, Police Act, Internet sources, Newspaper scholarly publications and text books. The findings in this paper are that the Nigeria police force has not been fair to the Nigeria masses. There are lapses in the training and orientation of Nigeria police force, the officers and the rank and file. The Nigerian Constitution guaranteed human rights protections. Similarly some domestic legislation had been passed protecting the Human rights. This paper brings to the bare a few cases and instances the Nigeria police force personnel had exhibited unbridled rascality in utter disregard for citizens lives and the dignity of human person. This paper makes recommendations toward ensuring that the police keep to their statutory role of protecting lives and property and eschew bitterness in discharging their duties.
The work interrogates an imposed constitutionalism in contemporary African societies. We traced the development of imposed constitutionalism to 1945 when Japan was defeated and American drafted a constitution for Japanese which were described as old fashion and the present imposed constitutionalism been drafted and adopted under the shadow of gun; it happened in Yugoslavia, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq. Since majority of African states constitution are imposed, the work set out to examine the impact of imposed constitutionalism on contemporary African states. We discovered that the attempt by one country to impose a constitution on another country is bound to be a difficult task, more so when the reform is coming from outside. Because impose constitutionalism will bring with it a new culture, the cultural conditions that may not fixed in to the country concern. The work then suggests that the advanced countries should give the African opportunity to try their hand on their own constitution, the constitution that will fit in to the culture of the country concern. And the African on the other hand should endeavor to chose the best out of the crops of learned men endowed the continent to produce a constitution that will not only fit in to the culture but that will take care of the common good of the citizen.
Immunities and Tenures of Office in the Three Arms of Government in Nigeria: Legal Perspective (Published)
The Nigerian 1999 Constitution clearly recognises and upholds the principle of the separation of power and the need to ensure that each arm of the government operates within the purview permitted by law. Thus, to ensure that each arm of government discharges its functions effectively, the Constitution or existing enactments further provide for their immunities and tenures of office of the members of the executive, legislature as well as the judiciary. The intention of this article is to critically examine from the legal angle the scope and extent of the immunities granted to office holders in the three arms of government as well as the security of their appointments.
This paper attempts tore-examine the evolution of constitutional governments in Nigeria from 1922 to 1999 and identify their impact on National coherence. It examined the patterns and degree of the people’s involvement in these processes of constitution making and development. With emphasis on how coherent these constitution have unified the country. It adapted the historical and content analysis methods for eliciting and analyzing its data. Three research questions were drawn for the study. Among other things, the paper reveals that although, we must remind ourselves that Nigerian federalism was established to secure the country’s unity and progress in the face of strong centrifugal forces. Hence, we can say that the various constitutions have tried to ensure coherence in the country. But most importantly in ensuring sustainable conference, the constitution for the people’ republic must entrench liberty and equity of all within a federal democratic structure in which power responsibility and resources are decentralized.
Towards A Global Democratization of Free Speech: A Critical Appraisal of Constitutional Landmines on the Trajectory of Press Freedom in Nigeria (Published)
This paper offers a critical evaluation of constitutional traps along the path of press freedom in Nigeria within the framework of the global efforts aimed at the democratization of free speech. These assertions are etched in international and domestic instruments like the United Nations Declaration on Human and Peoples Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Constitution of several countries, etc. The investigation climaxes on the altar of the Constitution because it is the fundamental and organic law of the country from which all other laws derive their validity. The subject matter is analysed and discussed with the utilization of both formal and material sources of law and other literature survey. It concludes by underscoring the cold reality that the press are ‘free’ but bound in chains from a critical vista with derogable and clawback measures in the constitution strewn on the trajectory of press freedom in the country.
ABOLITION OF NON-PARTY CARETAKER GOVERNMENT SYSTEM IN BANGLADESH: CONTROVERSY AND REALITY’ (Published)
The Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, in 1996, introduced the Non-Party Caretaker Government (NCG) system in Bangladesh, with a view to holding free and fair elections for the national Parliament. Three elections have been successfully carried out under the NCG system (1996, 2001, 2008). The unique form was brought into effect due to extreme distrust between the ruling and the opposition political parties. Bangladesh’s people were mostly satisfied with this system, as NCG performed its duties successfully. However, the NCG was abolished by the Parliament in 2011 on the basis of an adverse decision of the Supreme Court. The political Parties (ruling and main opposition) are engaged in a confrontation now over whether the elections will be held under NCG or under the current, political, Government. This paper intends to explore the reasons for and realities of the abolition of NCG. The research fully depends on secondary literature. The study reveals that NCG is still indispensable to ensure free and fair elections, considering the present political culture in Bangladesh.
Legislative-Executive Dichotomy In The Public Policy Process: A Perspective on Nigeria’s Fourth Republic (Published)
The Fourth Republic will perhaps go down in recorded history as the most durable and eventful in Nigeria’s political and constitutional development. In it, democracy has endured for about a decade and a half. This development has offered the needed impetus to rethink the task of nation building that started over fifty two years ago. In specific terms, thirteen years of unbroken civil rule is significant to the extent that it provides opportunity to reconstruct the political system along strong democratic principles anchored on a durable and inclusive constitutional framework. This paper offers a perspective on the public policy process in the light of legislative-executive dichotomy. Drawing extensively from literature on the subject matter, and against the backdrop of extant provisions of the 1999 constitution, the paper observes that, both actors in the governance project are lacking in sincere commitment to constitutional provisions and settled principles of the law. It concludes that without prejudice to the constitutional separation of powers and the attendant checks and balances, a permissible plank of cooperation and interdependence creates a stable policy environment to promote the common good of all. A number of recommendations are offered, some of which include; an urgent call to promote a regime of constitutionalism, the institutionalisation of legislative activism, and the need for government to pledge a renewed commitment to fight corruption that has become a systemic menace.