Constitution III

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In today’s class, we will be talking more about the constitution. Enjoy the class!

Post-Independence Constitution

Post-Independence Constitution

The post-independence constitutions are the constitutions made after Nigeria became an independent state free from colonial rule. These constitutions include:

  1. 1963 constitution (1st republic).
  2. 1979 constitution (2nd republic).
  3. 1993 constitution (3rd republic).
  4. 1999 constitution (4th republic).

Features of 1963 constitution

The 1963 constitution established Nigeria’s 1st republic under a parliamentary system of government replacing it with a presidential system of government where the president is elected directly by members of the federal legislature. Its features include:

  1. There was an increase in the number of seats in the federal legislature with the creation of the mid-western region.
  2. There was constitutional clarification on the creation of regions and adjustment of boundaries.
  3. The country changed from a monarch to a republic.
  4. There would be a Nigerian president duly elected.
  5. The Supreme Court assumed the position as the final court of appeal rather than a judicial committee of the Privy Council in Britain.

Different presidential constitutions

The presidential constitutions in Nigeria are:

  • 1979 presidential constitution.
  • 1989 presidential constitution
  • 1999 presidential constitution.
  1. 1979 presidential constitution:

    Military rule was terminated in 1979 after the death of the Nigerian military head of state. This gave rise to the 1979 constitution, which mandated that political parties and cabinet positions reflect the federal character of Nigeria. Political parties were brought back into the system. These parties were duly registered and elections took place in which Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the NPN was elected president.

  2. 1989 presidential constitution:

    This constitution was done during Babangida’s administration by three bodies set up by his administration. The constitution had a developed recommendation for the country’s political future. This constitution was a continuation of the 1979 presidential constitution with a little amendment.

  3. 1999 presidential constitution:

    This constitution ushered in the fourth republic, Gen Abdul Salam Abubakar in 1998 set up a committee to debate the constitution. The committee recommended the 1979 constitution with amendments as preferable to that of the 1995 constitution.

Elements of the presidential constitutions

 1. 1979:
  • The constitution set up Nigeria with a presidential system of government.
  • It operated a federal system of government
  • It brought in 19 state governments with a federal capital territory.
  • Three arms and three levels of government were introduced.
  • The tenure of the president, governors and legislators was four years.
2. 1989:
  • The constitution retained the presidential system of government.
  • Its federal system of government continues.
  • Composition of the legislature remains.
  • The federal capital territory (Abuja) was regarded as a state.
  • It defined 3 forms of citizenship (by birth, registration and naturalization).
3. 1999:
  • The presidential system was retained.
  • There were 778 local governments in the nation (Nigeria).
  • The judiciary was independent.
  • There is an opportunity for dual citizenship.
  • The multi-party system was reintroduced.
  • The right to vote (franchise) was limited to those who were up to 18 years and above.


In our next class, we will be talking about the Features of Colonial Administration.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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