The nigerian constitution pdf


 

(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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The Nigerian Constitution Pdf

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 .

This research work x-rayed federalism in Nigeria as the only basis upon which Nigeria can remain united despite its diversity and peculiar conditions in which the different tribal groups live in and proffers solutions to the challenges of the practice of federalism in Nigeria. The greatest problem of federalism in Nigeria today is the general problems of the true nature of the federal relationship as manifested in the intense rivalry and confrontation between the Federal and State Governments. This work recommends that the calls for the restructuring of federalism in Nigeria under the Constitution as amended should be implemented and federalism demands of them co-operation with one another in order to promote the welfare of the people through their combined powers. Introduction: Meaning, Origin and Concept of Federalism Federalism is a system of governmental organization whereby two or more independent states agreed to form a common government while retaining their distinctive autonomy. It is a concept that attempts to give meaning to a form of government in which, rather than being concentrated in one body, is decentralized between the central authority and the component units that come together out of one or more significant reasons, and to which there exist a constitutional stipulation of the nature and period of exercising the specific power to avoid clashes and a provision for a means of compromise when clashes are inevitable. A federalism or federal principles, denote the division of law making authorities in a federal set up between the central authority of the federation and the authority of the components or units of government and the vesting of autonomy to each of these different governmental authority in such a way that none can interfere with the legislative authority of the other. Federalism as a concept is traceable to the ancient twelve tribes of Israel and the league of Greek City States2. Federalism as a political arrangement has faced serious crises of conceptualization. This is because in the words of Elazar3, There have been several varieties of political arrangement to which the term has been applied.

Religious Law Religious Law 1 There shall be a Court of Appeal. Religious Law 1 An appeal shall lie from decisions of a Sharia Court of Appeal to the Court of Appeal as of right in any civil proceedings before the Sharia Court of Appeal with respect to any question of Islamic personal law which the Sharia Court of Appeal is competent to decide.

Religious Law 1 For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or any other law, the Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of not less than three Justices of the Court of Appeal and in the case of appeals from - a a sharia Court of Appeal if it consists of not less than three Justices of the Court of Appeal learned in Islamic personal law; … Sec. Religious Law 1 The Sharia Court of Appeal shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal law.

Religious Law 1 The sharia Court of Appeal of a State shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by the law of the State, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal Law which the court is competent to decide in accordance with the provisions of subsection 2 of this section. Customary Law Customary Law 1 There shall be a Court of Appeal.

Customary Law 1 An appeal shall lie from decisions of a customary Court of Appeal to the Court of Appeal as of right in any civil proceedings before the customary Court of Appeal with respect to any question of Customary law and such other matters as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. Customary Law 1 For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or any other law, the Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of not less than three Justices of the Court of Appeal and in the case of appeals from - … b a Customary Court of Appeal, if it consists of not less than three Justices of Court of Appeal learned in Customary law.

Customary Law The Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon by an Act of The National Assembly Exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Customary law. Customary Law 1 A Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall exercise appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involve questions of Customary law.

Customary Law 1 In exercising his powers under the foregoing provisions of this Chapter 9 in respect of appointments to the offices of Justices of the Supreme court and Justices of the Court of Appeal, the President shall have regard to the need to ensure that there are among the holders of such offices persons learned in Islamic personal law and persons learned in Customary law.

Citizenship and Nationality English 1 The following persons are citizens of Nigeria by birth-namely- a every person born in Nigeria before the date of independence, either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria; Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if neither of his parents nor any of his grandparents was born in Nigeria.

Citizenship and Nationality English 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, if the President is satisfied that - a he is a person of good character; b he has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria; and c he has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution. Citizenship and Nationality English 1 Any citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the renunciation.

Citizenship and Nationality English 1 The president may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Chapter, prescribing all matters which are required or permitted to be prescribed or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the provisions of this Chapter, and for granting special immigrant status with full residential rights to non-Nigerian spouses of citizens of Nigeria who do not wish to acquire Nigerian citizenship.

Citizenship and Nationality English Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter III of this Constitution but subject to section 28 thereof, any person who became a citizen of Nigeria by birth, registration or naturalisation under the provisions of any other Constitution shall continue to be a citizen of Nigeria under this Constitution.

Citizenship and Nationality English 9. Jurisdiction and Access English 1 The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute between the Federation and a state or between states if and in so far as that dispute involves any question whether of law or fact on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.

Jurisdiction and Access English 1 The Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction, to the exclusion of any other court of law in Nigeria, to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal.

FREE: Download 1999 Nigerian Constitution (As Amended)

Jurisdiction and Access English 1 An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Federal High Court or a High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases - … c decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to the interpretation or application of this Constitution; d decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to whether any of the provisions of Chapter IV of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be, contravened in relation to any person; … Sec.

Jurisdiction and Access English 1 An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as of right from - a decisions of the code of Conduct Tribunal established in the Fifth Schedule to this Constitution; b decisions of the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunals; and c decisions of the Governorship Election Tribunals, on any question as to whether - i any person has been validly elected as a member of the National Assembly or of a House of Assembly of a State under this Constitution, … Sec.

Jurisdiction and Access English 1 Notwithstanding anything to the contained in this Constitution and in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, the Federal High Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of any other court in civil causes and matters — … q subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the operation and interpretation of this Constitution in so far as it affects the Federal Government or any of its agencies; … Sec.

Jurisdiction and Access English 1 Where any question as to the interpretation or application of this Constitution arises in any proceedings in any court of law in any part of Nigeria other than in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court or a High Court and the court is of the opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, the court may, and shall if any of the parties to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Federal High Court or a High Court having jurisdiction in that part of Nigeria and the Federal High Court or the High Court shall a if it is of opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, refer the question to the Court of Appeal; or b if it is of opinion that the question does not involve a substantial question of law, remit the question to the court that made the reference to be disposed of in accordance with such directions as the Federal High Court or the High Court may think fit to give.

Education English 1 Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels. Employment Rights and Protection English 3 The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that- a all citizens, without discrimination on any group whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment; b conditions of work are just and humane, and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, religious and cultural life; c the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment are safeguarded and not endangered or abused; … e there is equal pay for equal work without discrimination on account of sex, or on any other ground whatsoever; … Sec.

Employment Rights and Protection English Equality and Non-Discrimination English … 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. Equality and Non-Discrimination English 1 A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person: Obligations of Private Parties English It shall be the duty of every citizen to — … c respect the dignity of other citizens and the rights and legitimate interests of others and live in unity and harmony and in the spirit of common brotherhood; … Sec.

Judicial Protection English 6 The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section — … b shall extend, to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and to any persons in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person; … Sec. Judicial Protection English 1 Any person who alleges that any of the provisions of this Chapter has been, is being or likely to be contravened in any State in relation to him may apply to a High Court in that State for redress.

Judicial Protection English 2 An appeal shall lie from the decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court as of right in the following cases- … c decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to whether any of the provisions of Chapter IV 5 of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be, contravened in relation to any person; … Sec.

Judicial Protection English 1 An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Federal High Court or a High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases - … d decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to whether any of the provisions of Chapter IV 7 of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be, contravened in relation to any person; … Sec. Marriage and Family Life English 3 For the purpose of promoting national integration, it shall be the duty of the State to: Marriage and Family Life English 3 The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that- … h the evolution and promotion of family life is encouraged.

Marriage and Family Life English 1 An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Federal High Court or a High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases — … f decisions made or given by the Federal High Court or a High Court — … iv in the case of a decree nisi in a matrimonial cause or a decision in an admiralty action determining liability, … 2 Nothing in this section shall confer any of appeal — … b from an order absolute for the dissolution or nullity of marriage in favour of any party who, having had time and opportunity to appeal from the decree nisi on which the order was founded, has not appealed from that decree nisi; … Sec.

Marriage and Family Life English 1 The Sharia Court of Appeal shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal law.

Marriage and Family Life English 1 The sharia Court of Appeal of a State shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by the law of the State, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal Law which the court is competent to decide in accordance with the provisions of subsection 2 of this section.

Marriage and Family Life English Marriage and Family Life English 1. Participation in Public Life and Institutions English 1 A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person: Political Rights and Association English 4 The Government of a State shall ensure that every person who is entitled to vote or be voted for at an election to House of Assembly shall have the right to vote or be voted for at an election to a local government council.

Political Rights and Association English Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests: Political Rights and Association English 2 Every citizen of Nigeria, who has attained the age of eighteen years residing in Nigeria at the time of the registration of voters for purposes of election to a legislative house, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for that election.

Political Parties English No association by whatever name called shall function as a party, unless - … b the membership of the association is open to every citizen of Nigeria irrespective of his place of origin, circumstance of birth, sex, religion or ethnic grouping; … e the name of the association, its symbol or logo does not contain any ethnic or religious connotation or give the appearance that the activities of the association are confined to a part only of the geographical area of Nigeria; … Sec.

Electoral Bodies English The registration of voters and the conduct of elections shall be subject to the direction and supervision of Independent National Electoral Commission. Head of State English A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if - a he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth; b he has attained the age of forty years; c he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and d he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.

Vice-President English A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if - a he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth; b he has attained the age of forty years; c he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and d he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.

Vice-President English 1 In any election to which the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Chapter relate, a candidate for an election to the office of President shall not be deemed to be validly nominated unless he nominates another candidate as his associate from the same political party for his running for the office of President, who is to occupy the office of Vice-President and that candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of Vice-President if the candidate for an election to the office of President who nominated him as such associate is duly elected as President in accordance with the provisions aforesaid.

Government English 3 The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.

Government English 1 There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President. Legislature English 1 Subject to the provisions of section 66 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified for election as a member of: Legislature English 1 Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every Senatorial district or Federal constituency established in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Chapter shall return a member who shall be directly elected to the Senate or the House of Representatives in such manner as may be prescribed by an act of the National Assembly.

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure English Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria. Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure English 1 The Sharia Court of Appeal shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal law.

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure English 1 The sharia Court of Appeal of a State shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by the law of the State, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal Law which the court is competent to decide in accordance with the provisions of subsection 2 of this section.

Protection from Violence English 3 The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that- … f children, young persons and the age are protected against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect; … Sec.

Protection from Violence English 1 Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly - a no person shall be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment; b no person shall he held in slavery or servitude; and c no person shall be required to perform forced of compulsory labour.

Public Institutions and Services English 1 The State shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution. Status of the Constitution English 1 This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Status of the Constitution English It shall be the duty of every citizen to - a abide by this Constitution, respect its ideals and its institutions, … Sec. Status of International Law English 1 No treaty between the Federation and any other country shall have the force of law to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly. Religious Law English Religious Law English 1 An appeal shall lie from decisions of a Sharia Court of Appeal to the Court of Appeal as of right in any civil proceedings before the Sharia Court of Appeal with respect to any question of Islamic personal law which the Sharia Court of Appeal is competent to decide.

Religious Law English 1 For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or any other law, the Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of not less than three Justices of the Court of Appeal and in the case of appeals from - a a sharia Court of Appeal if it consists of not less than three Justices of the Court of Appeal learned in Islamic personal law; … Sec.

Religious Law English 1 The Sharia Court of Appeal shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal law. Religious Law English 1 The sharia Court of Appeal of a State shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by the law of the State, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal Law which the court is competent to decide in accordance with the provisions of subsection 2 of this section.

Customary Law English Customary Law English 1 An appeal shall lie from decisions of a customary Court of Appeal to the Court of Appeal as of right in any civil proceedings before the customary Court of Appeal with respect to any question of Customary law and such other matters as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. Customary Law English 1 For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or any other law, the Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of not less than three Justices of the Court of Appeal and in the case of appeals from - … b a Customary Court of Appeal, if it consists of not less than three Justices of Court of Appeal learned in Customary law.

Customary Law English The Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon by an Act of The National Assembly Exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Customary law.

Customary Law English 1 A Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall exercise appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involve questions of Customary law.

Constitution Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria (PDF Download)

Opposition which is part of the pillar of good governance in the civilized world was silenced. Rather than promote local autonomy and diversity military rule sought to weaken dissent in the belief that only in so doing can the state be strengthened It is these weak institutions that the present State of Nigeria inherited. Without doubt, federalism holds the key to a stable and stronger Nigeria. True federalism has not been practiced in Nigeria and this explains her onerous challenges till date.

It seems obvious that much of the agitation for the dissolution or confederalisation of Nigeria is often inspired not by a lack of faith in a virile federal state of Nigeria per se, but because of the dissatisfaction or frustration with the inequities and abnormalities that characterized the current practices of federalism in Nigeria. Before we proffer solution let us further consider the federal features contained in her Constitution and the seeming flaws that have hindered her inability to practice true federalism.

Nigerian Constitution and the Challenges to the Practice of Federalism Following the provisions of section 2 1 , 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Nigeria is a federation consisting of thirty six states and a Federal Capital Territory.

102/93 Constitutional Rights Project / Nigeria

This involves the sharing of powers between the federal government and the state governments to foster easy administrations, cooperation and promote the principles of separation of power. It therefore appears that the basic goal of federalism in Nigeria is to promote the unity of the country while creating space for political autonomy of the different sections of Nigeria This goal has not been realized, as most of these states are incapable of standing for themselves financially.

While creation of states could be a means of securing self-determination of the minority ethnic groups in Nigeria in practice the majority ethnic groups have benefited much more from state creation to the disadvantage of the minority groups. As a result, agitations for creation of states have not abated as many ethnic groups have continued to demand for their own states.

Creation of states has not solved the problems of Nigerian federation as it has rather created more problems owing to none viability of these states in terms of resources. We shall hereunder consider other challenges associated with her federal Constitution and practices.

Nigerian Federal Constitution and the Amendment Process Federal constitutions are usually rigid in nature. In another sense its amendment requires a special procedure enshrined into it. The reason is to prevent any level of government from abusing the provision of the constitution.

The Nigerian constitution contained a special procedure for its amendment as contained in Section 9. Thus, to amend any provision of the Nigerian Constitution, it is not only that votes of at least two-thirds majority of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate National Assembly 22 must support such proposal, the amendment must be approved by resolution of not less than twenty-four 24 State Houses of Assembly out of the present thirty-six 36 States of the Federation.

Where the amendment touches on Section 9 dealing with amendments procedure or Section 8 touching on creation of States or Chapter 4 dealing with fundamental human rights , stricter condition of four- fifths majority of the State Houses of Assembly nationwide is required. The rigidity of the constitutional amendment procedure arises from diverse reasons e. While rigidity in an amendment process could check arbitrariness and ensure minority right protection, undue rigidity may as well be a means of shutting out opposition and fostering majority domination in a pluralistic federal society.

An amendment procedure such as in the case of state or additional local government creation, which requires input from the affected states or local government councils as the case may be will surely deny legitimate demand from a group for additional states or local government councils.

This fact is demonstrated by the absolute difficulty that has followed every attempt to create additional local government councils or states in Nigeria under a democratic government. Further referendum should be incorporated to form part of the constitutional amendment process. The absence of provision for referendum in the constitutional amendment has deprived Nigerians of the opportunity of effecting constitutional changes by popular votes.

Modern government and advanced democracies thrives on the employment of referendum, a form of direct democracy which gives the people the opportunity of deciding political and national issues on the basis of voting in favor or against specific matters Division of Powers under the Nigerian Federal Constitution The constitutional sharing or division of the governmental powers between different levels of government and amongst component units markedly differentiates federalism from other forms of governmental organizations.

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. 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.