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.
Table of Contents
- 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.
- What were the failures of the independence constitution?
- Why was the constitution regarded as a foreign designed constitution?
GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS
- Highlight the features of the 1960 Independence constitution.
- State 5 contributions of the independence constitution of 1960.
- Mention the names of Nigeria leaders before 1960s.
- Discuss the features of the Igbo pre-colonial political system.
- The first Nigeria prime minister was (a) Abubarka Tafawa Balewa (b) Shehu Shagari (c) Aguiyi Ironsi (d) Obafemi Awolowo
- The 1960 constitution adopted —– in Nigeria (a) Presidential system (b) parliamentary system (c) unitary system (d) confederal
- 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.
- Nigeria got her independence on (a) 2nd October 1960 (b) 1st October 1960 (c) 1st November 1960 (d) 3rd of February 1961
- The head of state under the 1960 constitution was (a) Nnamdi Azikiwe (b) Tafawa Balewa (c) Yakubu Gowon (d) Obafemi Awolowo
- Highlight the features of the independence constitution
- What were the achievements of the constitution?