The Constitution - Volume 6, Issue 2, 2006
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2006
Public officers and political activities: examining the dilemma between constitutional rights and contractual obligationsAuthor C.U. MmuozobaSource: The Constitution 6, pp 1 –20 (2006)More Less
This article examines the tension between the constitutional rights and contractual obligation of public officers. Whereas the constitutional right of public officers does not restrain the public officers in terms of their right to participate in political activities up to party level, their contractual obligations limit their capacity to exercise that right. The article argues that the constitution, especially the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the grundnorm, has supremacy over the contractual obligations of public officers in Nigeria emanating from the civil service rules which do not derive from an Act of the legislature to the extent of their inconsistency with the constitution. While not claiming the status of a res judicata on the subject, the article concludes by calling on the actors in the Nigerian justice system to give a definitive socio-legal value to its powers to adjudicate in matters between individual as well as between individuals and government.
Author J. Shola OmotolaSource: The Constitution 6, pp 21 –45 (2006)More Less
Federalism is generally seen as a formidable mechanism for managing plural societies. Little wonder that Nigerias struggle for sustainable democracy has so far been pursued within the federalist logic, though under conditions of perverse practices especially under successive military regimes. Scholars have made remarkable contributions in this regard. But despite these advances, very little is known as regards the role of certain key constitutional imperatives to the survival of a federal democracy. The process and mode of making the constitution, as one of the preconditions for constitutionalism, or the lack of it, as well as its contents especially with regard to power sharing among the federating units, through an essentially open, transparent and participatory process, are some of these core issues. What has the situation been like in the Nigerian context under the fledging fourth republic? This paper critically engages this question and argues that the 1999 constitution upon which the fledging fourth republic is anchored is highly defective and to that extent incapable of guaranteeing a federal democracy. Not only is the constitution divorced from, and above the society it is intended to govern, but also lopsided in its decentralisation of powers, responsibilities and resources in favour of the centre but to the detriment of the lower levels of governance. These constitutional anomalies, the article contends, must be remedied in order to sustain Nigerias federal democracy but requires more than the constitution offers.
Author Jibrin IbrahimSource: The Constitution 6, pp 46 –74 (2006)More Less
This article is set in the context of the constitutional reform debate underlined by tenure elongation of the civilian administration in Nigeria. It identifies three key challenges facing democratic development in Nigeria, namely, lack of will and capacity on the part of national legislature and the independent electoral commission (INEC) with regards to their responsibilities, the third term agenda of the incumbent administration and electoral integrity vis-à-vis the 2007 elections. On the first challenge, the article foregrounds the need by the national assembly to empower INEC as well as the need for INEC to commence a thorough preparation ahead of the 2007 elections. It argues that the intrusion of the third term agenda into the constitutional reform process has negated the original objective of democratising the grundnorm. With sufficient historical evidence, it notes that the tenure elongation project would end in a fiasco. The article gives abundant insight into the electoral process in Nigeria, its perversion and consequent rupture. It therefore advocates the need for an electoral geography that would map the electoral problems on the basis of zones as well as creatively address them and concludes that civic education is imperative to protect the integrity of the 2007 elections in Nigeria.
Author Odia OfeimunSource: The Constitution 6, pp 75 –98 (2006)More Less
This article is psycho-analysis of Nigerian presidents persona spawned in the controversial air of third term debate or tenure elongation. The article which draws a great deal of data from biographical and autobiographical texts on the president argues that the president bid for tenure elongation is real and thus bad business for presidential spin doctors who try to controvert public perception of the matter. The article further establishes pattern in the president s profile, namely, a single minded pursuit of fame and a disdain for collective victory, mortal fear for his lowly origin, his hierarchical perception of the world. These attributes, the article argues have shaped largely his polices in the Nigerias Fourth Republic. These include his embrace of Washington Consensus, the dubious agreement with the U.S on the Niger-Delta/ Gulf of Guinea as well as his kid gloves approach to dealing with his immediate constituency, the military and by contrast his disdain for other constituencies such as the media and the judiciary Given the presidents foibles and policy failures, the article concludes that the president has no business being in office.
Author Abolade AdenijiSource: The Constitution 6, pp 99 –123 (2006)More Less
The article focuses on the inspirational underlay of the international system, especially the supranational institutions, such as the League of Nation, its successor organisation, the United Nations and its specialized agencies such as the International Court of Justice, UNESCO and Security Council as well as the legal complex of these institutions (International Law). The article underscores new initiatives in the area of international public law, namely, the Landmine Treaty and the International Criminal Court. It argues that in spite of the overarching odds which the international system faces, the system has reduced substantially deadly conflicts in its collective security aspiration. It further argues that state sovereignty and the legal principles derived there from shape largely the anarchical international system and as such constitute a snag to the efficacy of international law. Whereas this reality has made collective security a distant cry, the article concludes that the extant institutions of the international system have recorded some laudable achievements vis-à-vis their aims and objectives including making inroads into new horizons.