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INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION OF 1960

MAIN FEATURES AND PROVISIONS OF THE INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION OF 1960 The constitution retained the federal structure initially adopted by Lyttleton’s Constitution of 1954. Governors-General became Ceremonial Head of State for the Queen of England. It adopted the parliamentary system of government in Nigeria. There was a bicameral legislature for the federal and regional House of […]

MAIN FEATURES AND PROVISIONS OF THE INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION OF 1960

  • The constitution retained the federal structure initially adopted by Lyttleton’s Constitution of 1954.
  • Governors-General became Ceremonial Head of State for the Queen of England.
  • It adopted the parliamentary system of government in Nigeria.
  • There was a bicameral legislature for the federal and regional House of Assemblies.
  • Executive power was granted to the prime minister and premiers.
  • The senate was given power over money and other bills.
  • Dual government powers existed at federal and regional government.
  • The constitution embodied Fundamental Human Rights of citizens.
  • It adopted a right approach to constitutional amendments.
  • Federal legislatures had power to make laws during period of emergency.
  • Provisions for Nigerian citizenship were copiously detailed in the constitution.
  • The process for appointing Supreme Court and high court judges through the advice of the judicial service commission.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Why the 1960 constitution was named Independence Constitution?
  • Who were the head of state and head of government under the 1960 Independence Constitution?

ADVANTAGES OR ACHIEVEMENTS OF INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION

  • The attainment of nationalistic struggle was crowned with the independence constitution.
  • It was the greatest definition of the demise of colonialism which began in the late 19th century in Nigeria.
  • Nigeria became a sovereign state and was free to aspire to have international recognition by joining UNO, Commonwealth.
  • Nigeria joined other nations to seek trade relations and boost Nigeria’s foreign trade and improved living standard.
  • Attainment of independence meant increase in employment in the civil service and other sector of the economy.
  • The creation of public service commission by Nigerians.
  • Establishment of bicameral in our legislative system at the federal and regional government levels.
  • Introduction of accountability in the utilization of Nigeria revenue through the ministry of finance by the activity of department.

DISADVANTAGES AND WEAKNESSES OF INDEPENDENCE OF 1960

  • It still retained the Queen of England as the titular or ceremonial head of state represented by the Governor-General.
  • The privy council in Britain was the highest court of appeal for Nigeria.
  • Members of the senate were not directly elected but appointed by regional government.
  • It failed to clearly state the process and position for creation of states, the creation of mid-west was attended by many political tensions.
  • It was a foreign designed constitution supervised by the retreating British colonialist.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What were the failures of the independence constitution?
  • Why was the constitution regarded as a foreign designed constitution?

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Highlight the features of the 1960 Independence constitution.
  2. State 5 contributions of the independence constitution of 1960.
  3. Mention the names of Nigeria leaders before 1960s.
  4. Discuss the features of the Igbo pre-colonial political system.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The first Nigeria prime minister was (a) Abubarka Tafawa Balewa (b) Shehu Shagari (c) Aguiyi Ironsi                   (d) Obafemi Awolowo
  2. The 1960 constitution adopted —– in Nigeria (a) Presidential system (b) parliamentary system (c) unitary system (d) confederal
  3. The following were the provisions of the 1960 constitution except (a) It adopted a parliamentary system (b) The senate was given power over money (c) it introduced unicameral legislature (d) Governor general became the ceremonial president.
  4. Nigeria got her independence on (a) 2nd October 1960 (b) 1st October 1960 (c) 1st November 1960 (d) 3rd of February 1961
  5. The head of state under the 1960 constitution was (a) Nnamdi Azikiwe (b) Tafawa Balewa (c) Yakubu Gowon (d) Obafemi Awolowo

THEORY

  1. Highlight the features of the independence constitution
  2. What were the achievements of the constitution?

See also

CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

LYTTLETON CONSTITUTION OF 1954

CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

THE CLIFFORD’S CONSTITUTION OF 1922

CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

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