Tag Archives: Legislature

Parliamentarian Institutional Reforms: Lessons from Sri Lanka (Published)

With the introduction of semi-presidentialism in the 1978 Constitution, the Sri Lankan parliament became a minor actor within the constitutional framework. While the Constitution’s Nineteenth Amendment tried to establish several constitutional centres of responsibility, the parliament’s role remained minor. Simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies have been proposed by the NITI Aayog and other government institutions in India to reduce the disruptions caused by frequent elections, which include high costs, administrative burdens, communal violence, policy manipulation, and so on. I argue for the necessity of additional reform to change the parliament from a peripheral to a core role in the constitutional framework, using the example of German limited parliamentarianism. Reforms should attempt to constitutionalize parties, enhance the parliament’s institutional powers, and ensure that the parliament’s composition is regulated. Proposals are founded on the incorrect premise that simultaneity is dependent on these processes. Simultaneity may be adopted without incurring accountability costs, according to our findings. In order to attain government stability, they make the system inflexible, undermine democratic and federalist ideals, and diminish executive responsibility to the legislature, undermining a key tenet.

Keywords: Legislature, executive accountability, knowledge valorization, parliamentarian democracy, variability

The Nigerian National Assembly and the Oversight of Constituency Fund (Published)

Given that legislature possess power to provide constituency services, an understanding of this function is instrumental in appraising constituency fund with respect to legislative oversight. While different nomenclatures of constituency fund exist across national cases (Pork Barrel in the United States, Constituency Development Fund in Zambia), a defining feature of its operation in Nigeria opens a vacuum to be filled to ensure probity in the management of the fund. Drawing on a desk review interviews from key respondents on the one hand, and data from BudgIT reports on federal constituency projects in Nigeria on the other hand, this study examines the framework for the operation of constituency fund and analyze the extent of utilization of constituency fund in Nigeria. The study explores the use of oversight tools for effective management of constituency fund. Findings from the study showed that the modalities involved in the operation of constituency fund in Nigeria permit corruption and embezzlement of fund to hold sway. Findings also suggest relevant oversight tools such as routine oversight, audit queries etc. capable of ensuring proper and actual implementation of constituency fund.

Keywords: Legislature, constituency fund, constituency project, national assembly, oversight

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.   

Keywords: Constitution, Executive, Immunity, Judicial Officer, Legislature, Tenure of Office


Controversy shrouds the role of Nigerian Legislature in national development. Though some believe that the legislature has contributed significantly to the development of the nation, many others are of the view that since from its inception as a sovereign state legislature in Nigeria has not shown a significant and genuine commitment to the social, economic and political wellbeing of the country. This work assesses the role of Nigerian legislature in national development. The work is of the view that legislature is a veritable instrument and institution for national development whose effectiveness is determined by some local variables. The descriptive-diachronic methodology was used in comprehending and interpreting the role of the legislature in national development. For Nigerian legislature to be instrument of national development, the work suggests among others the need for moral politicians.

Keywords: Corruption, Development, Legislature, Morality

Executive, Legislative Relations in Parliamentary and Presidential Government (Published)

The need to build a good working relationship between the executive and the legislature in both presidential and parliamentary system of government is germane to this study. The paper opines that the agenda of socio-economic and political development, growth and sustainability is contingent on the system of government in operation. The paper attempts to highlight the basic characteristics of both presidential and parliamentary system of government for better appreciation and understanding of the discourse under review. Of particular importance in this study is the fact that a contention about which system of government among the two is best is to beg the question. The centrality of the argument however tilts towards partiamentarism, which the author has practically refuted as being mundane and baseless. The argument here is that the workings of a system is not a function of the coloration of the system in operation; but the general behavioural repertoire of political actors in positions of authority. The political entity could therefore work well or marred depending on the parametres of rulership idiosyncrasies in place at any point in time. The paper ends up with concluding remarks and suggestions for effectice future governance in Nigeria.

Keywords: Democracy and Political Stability, Executive, Good Governance, Legislature, Parliamentarism, Presidentialism