A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENTIAL POWERS UNDER THE 1999 NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENTIAL POWERS UNDER THE 1999 NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION

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ABSTRACT

Constitutional power, being the power fashioned out through the sovereign free will of the people, is basically meant to regulate the conduct of both the government and the governed. It is central to politics. The 1999 Nigerian Constitution vests executive powers in the President who is the Chief Executive. Similarly, the 1999 Constitution confers on the President, the power to assent to bills and modify existing laws. Even though there is provision for delegation of powers, such delegates act only for and on behalf of the President hence such acts are acts of the President. In a country like Nigeria, whose history, especially as regards executive Presidency dates back only to 1979, it is obviously difficult to attempt to imbibe the political model of the United States of America whose executive Presidency is centuries old, without obstacles. When such powers as are conferred by sections 5, 58 and 315 as well as other specifically granted powers in the Constitution are vested in one man called the President, without effective checks and balances, and without a clear frontier as in section 5(1)(b), the tendency is that such powers will be misused. Power, it is said, “tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”1. It is in the light of the foregoing that this thesis examines the gamut of the powers vested in the President, particularly as exercised since the coming into being of the 1999 Constitution.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGES
TITLE PAGE
DECLARATION
CERTIFICATION
DEDICATION
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT
TABLE OF STATUTES
TABLE OF CASES
CHAPTER ONE: GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
1.4 JUSTIFICATION
1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATION
1.7 LITERATURE REVIEW
1.8 ORGANISATIONAL LAYOUT
CHAPTER TWO
2.0 THE CONCEPT OF POLITICAL POWER
2.1 Normative View of Power
2.2 Post-Modern View of Power
2.3 Pragmatic View of Power
2.4 The Crux of Political Power
2.5 THE NATURE OF PRESIDENTIAL POWERS
2.5.1 Origin of Executive Presidency
2.5.2 The nature of executive power exercisable by the President
2.5.3 The Specific Grant Theory
2.5.4 The Residual Power Theory
2.5.5 The Inherent Power Theory
2.5.6 Power and Prospect of Arbitrariness: Checks and Balances
2.6 GENESIS OF THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY IN THE 1999
CONSTITUTION
2.6.1 History of Executive Powers of the President
2.7 BASIC FEATURES OF THE 1999 NIGERIAN
CONSTITUTION
2.7.1 Basic Features of the Constitution
2.7.2 It is Presidential in Nature
2.7.3 Its Supremacy
2.7.4 Its Written and Rigid Nature
2.7.5 Its Republican Nature
2.7.6 Its Federal Nature
2.7.7 Separation of Powers
2.7.8 Rule of Law and Basic Rights
CHAPTER THREE
3.0 A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENTIAL POWERS
UNDER THE 1999 NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION
3.1 POWER TO EXECUTE AND MAINTAIN THE
CONSTITUTION
3.2 SECURITY POWERS
3.3 POWER TO APPOINT AND REMOVE FROM OFFICE
3.3.1 Ministers and Special Advisers
3.3.2 Power to Appoint Federal Attorney-General
3.3.3 Civil Service of the Federation
3.3.4 Power Over Commissions and Councils
3.3.5 Judicial Appointments
3.4 POWER OVER PUBLIC REVENUE
3.5 PREROGATIVE OF MERCY
3.6 EMERGENCY POWERS
3.7 POWER OVER EXISTING LAWS
CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 A CRITIQUE OF THE EXERCISE OF EXECUTIVE
POWERS IN THE 1999 CONSTITUTION
4.1 Power to act within the Ambit of the Constitution
4.2 Maintenance of Public Safety and Order
4.3 Power to Appoint and Remove from Office
4.4 Command and Operational use of the Armed
Forces
4.5 Emergency Powers
4.6 Rule Making Power And The Separation Of
Powers
4.6.1 Implications of Presidential Power under sections 58 and
315 of the Constitution
CHAPTER FIVE
5.1 SUMMARY
5.1.1 Powers of the President
5.2 OBSERVATIONS
5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS
5.3.1 Redefine the power of the President under section 5(1)(b)
5.3.2 Decentralise the Police Force
5.3.3 Strengthen National Defence Council
5.3.4 President should obtain concurrence before exercising
emergency powers
5.3.5 Divest the President of Power to make rules
5.4 CONCLUSION


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