oa The Constitution - Public officers and political activities: examining the dilemma between constitutional rights and contractual obligations



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.


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