Republican Constitution of 1963


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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

Republican Constitution of 1963 |


Nigeria obtained a Republican Constitution of 1963 and some changes were introduced by the constitutions.

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