Functions of the 1999 constitution
- The Preamble:
A constitution contains a preamble which declare its aspiration
Table of Contents
- The political structure
It states the structure of government; whether unitary or Federal and at the same time defines the division of powers among the component units in the state.
- The political institutions
The constitution also defines the powers and functions of there institutions such as the executive, Legislative and Judicial, Arms of government.
- The Party System
The constitution also reveals the type of party system to adopt – one party, two-party or multi party systems.
- Fundamental Human Rights
It defines the rights of citizens, their duties and obligations to the state.
- Tenure of Office of government
The 1979 constitution states that a government should stay in office for four years.
- It allows for proper documentation and entrenchment of Fundamental human rights.
- It allays the fear of domination by the majority over the minority groups.
- Procedure for amendment is clearly stated i.e 2/3 majority of both houses.
- It served as easy reference for judges at the law courts while deciding cases.
- It ensures political stability.
The 1999 constitution maintained the Executive presidential system of government in which the president is the Head of State, the Head of Government in Chief of the Armed Forces. It provides for clear separation of powers among organs of government.
Under the 1999 constitution, the executive powers of a state shall be vested in the Governor of that state and may be exercised by him either directly or through the Deputy Governor and commissioners of the Government of that state or officers in the public service of the state, while the Judicial powers of the Federation and the state are vested in the courts established for the federation and the states and the supreme court of Nigeria remains the highest court of Appeal for Nigeria.
The National Assembly shall remain Bicameral in nature with 109 members in the House of Senate (3 senators per state, and 1 for Abuja) while the house of Representatives has 360 members, each representing the 360 Federal constituencies.
The long list of local Government functions are state there
- It defines the educational qualification, therefore it reduces illiteracy and inexperience in government
- There is greater political awareness through local government administration
- It paves ways for civilian administration in Nigeria
- It states the rights and duties of citizens
- It upholds the principle of checks and balances which checks the excesses of those in authority.
DEMERITS OF THE 1999 CONSTITUTION
- The constitution was imposed by the Military head of state
- It is difficult to amend due to the rigidity nature of the constitution
- The constitution was drafted to favour Abacha’s and Abdulsalam’s the then Military helmsmen.
- The constitution vested too much power on the president and the Federal government.
- There is too much centralization of the Judiciary which negates the principle of Federalism
Treat Akwa Past Question Papers
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