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In today’s class, we will be talking about the republican constitution of 1963. Enjoy the class!
Republican Constitution of 1963
FEATURES OF THE REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION OF 1963
Nigeria obtained a Republican Constitution of 1963 and some changes were introduced by the constitutions.
- It enthroned a Republican Constitution in Nigeria.
- Queen of England was no longer head of state.
- The Queen was replaced with the president who became Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
- The president to be elected by secret ballot of the joint session of the two houses of the Federal Assembly.
- Supreme Court replaced the Privy Council as the highest court of appeal in Nigeria.
- It strengthened the Fundamental Human Rights.
- It abolishes the Judicial Service Commission and made the prime minister the sole appointee of judges.
- The Prime Minister’s office strengthened with the departure of the Governor-General.
- The office of the Governors at the regional level ceases, while the premiers assumed total executive government powers.
- The director of public prosecution was brought under political control.
- Membership of the house of senate and representative was increased from 44 to 56 and 305 to 312 respectively.
- Federal government assumed some emergency powers over the legislative arm.
- The Supreme Court was given the power of judicial review.
- The process for the creation of states and boundary adjustment was embodied in the 1963 Republican Constitution.
MERITS OF THE 1963 REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION
- The elected president became head of state instead of British Monarch.
- The constitution was autochthonous meaning, it was a home-based or derived constitution.
- Supreme Court became the final court of appeal in the land.
- Right of citizens was fully guaranteed and entrenched.
- Nigerians were in complete control of decision making and implementation.
- British influence over the country in any aspect was terminated.
- Supreme Court was given the power to check the excesses or unconstitutional actions of the executive and the legislature.
DEMERIT OF THE 1963 REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION
- The President represents a minority interest of members of the House of Representatives instead of a majority vote of the electorates.
- The legislative and the executive arm of government were fused.
- It permitted carpet crossing where elected members could easily change allegiance for personal rewards.
- It had parliamentary supremacy instead of constitutional supremacy.
- Prime minister was accountable to the parliament and not to the people.
- It exposes the legislative system to bribery and corruption since the legislature holds aces; they could easily be swayed to secure their compromise.
- Mention the achievements of the 1963 Republican Constitution.
- Why is the 1963 Constitution regarded a home-based constitution?
- Highlight 4 shortcomings of the republican constitution of 1963.
- Explain the composition of the federal legislature under the 1963 republican constitution
- What is Carpet Crossing? (a) Define indirect rule (b) Give 5 reasons for the introduction of indirect rule.
In our next class, we will be talking about the Second Republican Constitution of 1979. We hope you enjoyed the class.
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