Presentation on theme: "First constitution written in 1914 Eight constitutions between 1914 and 1995 Current constitution written in 1995 has been heavily amended since its inception."— Presentation transcript:
First constitution written in 1914 Eight constitutions between 1914 and 1995 Current constitution written in 1995 has been heavily amended since its inception Acceptance of “constitutionalism” as a guiding set of principles has eluded Nigeria
Nigeria is a relatively young country, achieving independence in 1960, this makes establishing legitimate government more difficult Fragmentation – tendency to fall apart along ethnic, regional, and/or religious lines. Contradictory Influence of the Past – British colonial “rule of law” vs. Military rule/Personalized authority
Corruption – both military and civilian rule tainted with corruption. Citizens question the payment of taxes that get deposited in personal bank accounts
Nigeria elects on federal level a head of state which is the President of Nigeria. The president is elected by the people. A person is eligible for the office of President if he or she is a citizen of Nigeria, at least 40 years of age, is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party. The constitution limits the President to only two terms of four years each in office.
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the head of state and head of the national executive of Nigeria. The President of Nigeria is also the commander-in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The current President of Nigeria is Goodluck Jonathan, who was sworn into office in May 2010.
The President is responsible for: assenting to and signing bills, referring a bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration of the bill's constitutionality, referring a bill to the Constitutional Court for a decision on the bill's constitutionality, summoning the National Assembly, or Parliament to an extraordinary sitting to conduct special business, making any appointments that the Constitution or legislation requires the President to make, other than as head of the national executive,
appointing commissions of inquiry, calling a national referendum in terms of an Act of Parliament, receiving and recognizing foreign diplomatic and consular representatives, appointing ambassadors, plenipotentiaries, and diplomatic and consular representatives, pardoning or reprieving offenders and remitting any fines, penalties or forfeitures, conferring honors
Legislative- National Assembly: bicameral lawmaking body of Nigerian legislators popularly elected to four-year terms; legislation can originate in either house, but a law does not become official until both houses pass it and the president consents
Senate: 109 members of three representatives from each of the 36 states and one from Federal Capital Territory, Abuja House of Representatives: 360 members. Members from both legislative bodies serve four-year terms and are popularly elected. The main function of the National Assembly is to pass laws for assent by the president.
Judiciary interprets laws in accordance with the constitution, which provides for federal and state courts and election tribunals. The Supreme Court, is the highest federal court of the land. Also a Court of Appeal and a Federal High Court. For the Federal capital territory in Abuja, in other words, Northern Nigeria where there is a dense population of Muslims, there is a High Court, Shari'ah Court of Appeal, and Customary Court of Appeal.
State courts are comprised of a High Court, Shari’ah Court of Appeal, and a Customary Court of Appeal. This common belief in the legitimacy for a religious doctrine to dictate their lives helps builds legitimacy in this country which is filled with corruption.
Thirty-six states have a popularly elected governor which serves a four year term, a unicameral State House of Assembly comprised of popularly elected representatives from local government areas.
The number of House of Assembly members in each state is comprised of three times the number of seats that it has in the House of Representatives. There are a total of 774 local government areas across Nigeria, comprised of a chairman and elected councilors.
Local government councils tend to local administrative matters. Local governments in the North implement Shari'a law in the Muslim states, which undermines the sovereignty and the authority of the national government since Shari'a law there supersedes national law.
Sharia law is the law of Islam. Sharia is cast from the Quran, the actions and words of Muhammad, and the collective reasoning and deductions of Muslim imams. Sharia law covers a wide range of subjects. The stipulations of the Sharia law, however, are unlike any other legal system in the world.
According to the Sharia law: Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand (above). Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death. Criticizing or denying Muhammad is a prophet is punishable by death. Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death. A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death. A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death. A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death. A woman can have 1 husband, but a man can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
A man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband's consent to divorce. A man can beat his wife for insubordination. Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman. A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s). A woman's testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man's. A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits. A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval). A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative. Meat to be eaten must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah
2007 elections: fraudulent with ballot box stuffing in some places, and empty ballot boxes elsewhere. Following the election of 2007 the transition of power from Obasanjo to Yar'Abdua was the first peaceful citizen-to- citizen transfer.
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) - one of the more established parties since it has run candidates for office since 1998. It is the party of Olusegun Obasanjo, who received about 62% of the vote in 2003. In 2007, Umaru Yar’Adua received almost 70% of the vote. The party almost gained the overwhelming majority in the National Assembly but because the elections were fraudulent, it is very difficult to know how much real support the PDP actually has.
All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) - Former General Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north, was the ANPP candidate in 2003 and 2007. In 2003, his running mate was Chuba Okadigbo, an Igbo from the southeast. Buhari received about 32% of the vote in 2003, and not quite 19% in 2007.
Action Congress (AC) - formed with the merger of the Alliance for Democracy, the Justice Party, the Advance Congress of Democrats, and several other minor political parties in September 2006. The party ran VP Atiku Abubakar, who defected from the People’s Democratic Party, as its presidential candidate in the 2007 presidential election. Abubakar was disqualified from the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, but the disqualification was later overturned by the Supreme Court. He received more than 7% of the vote.
The ruling People's Democratic Party won 2010 election 22,495,187 of the 39,469,484. That number far outstripped the votes for Muhammadu Buhari, of the Congress for Progressive Change, the main opposition party, which won 12,214,853. To avoid a runoff, Jonathan needed at least a quarter of the vote in two-thirds of the 36 states and the capital. He won that amount in 31 states. Only the PDP signed the results; representatives of the other parties refused to do so.
Bureaucracy A large employer dominated by Southern Nigerians, creating stronger north/south tensions, and whose size has grown dramatically with oil revenues There is a large amount of corruption because of the lack of accountability and political instability related to oil revenues; patron-client system.
Elections 4 year term limits by all elected officials; there are 36 states, and the 3 senators from each state are directly elected. politics seen as a zero-sum game
Media Nigerians get their information from radio, many privately owned newspapers and television common in towns and cities. All 36 states run their own radio stations, and there are over 100 private and state-owned local and national newspapers. Very few in Nigeria are literate.
CITIZENS AND SOCIETY Social Cleavages Nigeria is the most populous African country Many social cleavages originate in the colonial era with the British dividing people into artificial “tribes” who couldn’t unite cohesively in the post- colonial era “Ethnicity trumps citizenship, religion trumps ethnicity, power trumps religion.”
The conflict between Muslims and Christians shows that Nigeria's political system is not intact because "as the population grew and resources shrank, people began to fight over who had the right to the land and its resources..." Rampant illiteracy Aids crisis has created a large youth population with a dwindling elder population. Nationalism, or pride in all of Nigeria, only almost only occurs when an important soccer tournament, like the World Cup, is taking place.
North mostly Muslim (50%), ethnically Hausa-Fulani (29%) poor and lives in poverty. the strong Muslim population has illegally instituted Shari'a (Islamic) law People in the North generally distrust westernization and globalization. military leaders tend to come from the North the North is politically united
South mostly Christians fertile and oil rich, the South dominates the civil service bureaucracy. The Niger River Delta is area with the most oil reserves. 2/3 Nigerians live in rural areas with a feudal-like system of patron-client relationships
Since the restoration of civilian rule in May 1999, more than 10,000 Nigerians have died in civil strife Former president General Sani Abacha, who seized power in 93 after canceling presidential elections and jailing the presumed winner, reportedly made off with 4.3 billion from Nigeria’s treasury.
“419 men” is the name for people who accumulate fast wealth. It refers to the number of laws relating to fraud in the Nigerian penal code So called “419 men” are believed to have earned their wealth through scams and the international drug trade