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THE 1979 CONSTITUTION OF NIGERIA  








SUPPORTED BY

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LAGOS STATE JUDICIARY

JUSTICEMEDIA
                          INSTITUTE


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

CHAPTER I: General Provisions  

Part I: Federal Republic of Nigeria

1.        Supremacy of Constitution.

2.        The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

3.        States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.


Part II: Powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

4.        Legislative Powers.

5.        Executive powers.

6.        Judicial powers.

7.        Local Government system.

8.        New States and boundary adjustment.

9.        Mode of altering provisions of the Constitution

10.       Prohibition of State Religion.

11.       Public order and public security.

12.       Implementation of treaties.

 

CHAPTER II: Fundamental Objectives and Directives Principles of State Policy

13.     Fundamental obligations of the Government.

14.     The Government and the people

15.     Political objectives.

16.     Economic objectives.

17.     Social objectives.

18.     Educational objectives.

19.     Foreign policy objectives.

20.     Directive on Nigerian cultures

21.     Obligations of the mass media

22.     National ethics.

 

CHAPTER III: Citizenship

23.       Citizenship by Birth

24.       Citizenship by Registration.

25.       Citizenship by Naturalisation.

26.       Avoidance of Dual Citizenship.

27.       Deprivation of Citizenship.

28.       Persons deemed to be Nigerian citizens.

29.       Power to make regulations.

 

CHAPTER IV: Fundamental Rights

30.       Right to Life.

31.       Right to dignity of human persons.

32.       Right to personal liberty.

33.       Right to fair hearing.

34.       Right to private and family life.

35.       Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

36.       Right to freedom of expression and the press.

37.       Right to peaceful assembly and association.

38.       Right to freedom of movement.

39.       Right to freedom from discrimination.

40.       Compulsory acquisition of property.

41.       Restriction on and derogation from fundamental rights.

42.       Special jurisdiction of High Court and Legal aid.

 

CHAPTER V: The Legislature

Part I: National Assembly

A:        Composition and Staff of National Assembly

43.       Establishment of National Assembly.

44.       Composition of the Senate.

45.       Composition of the House of Representatives.

46.       President of the senate and speaker of the House of Representatives.

47.       Staff of the National Assembly. 

B:        Procedure for Summoning and Dissolution of National Assembly

48.       Oaths of members.

49.       Presiding at sittings of the National Assembly and at joint sittings.

50.       Quorum.

51.       Languages.

52.       Voting.

53.       Unqualified persons sitting or voting: penalties.

54.       Mode of exercising Federal Legislative power: general.

55.       Mode of exercising Federal Legislative power: money bills.

56.       Regulation of procedure.

57.       Vacancy not to invalidate proceedings.

58.       Committees.

59.       Sittings.

60.       Dissolution and issue of proclamations by president.

C:        Qualification for Membership of National Assembly and Right of   Attendance

61.       Qualifications for election.

62.       Disqualifications.

63.       Right of attendance of President.

64.       Tenure of seats of Members.

D:        Elections to the National Assembly

65.       Senatorial districts and Federal constituencies.

66.       Size of Senatorial districts and Federal constituencies.

67.       Periodical review of Senatorial districts and Federal constituencies.

68.      Time when alteration of senatorial districts or Federal constituencies    takes effects.

69.       Ascertainment of population.

70.       Time of Election to the National Assembly.

71.       Direct Election and franchise.

72.       Supervision of election.

73.     Power of the National Assembly as to determination of certain questions.

E:        Powers and Control over Public Funds

74.       Establishment of Consolidated Revenue Fund.

75.       Authorisation of expenditure from Consolidated Revenue Fund.

76.       Authorisation of expenditure in default of appropriations.

77.       Contingencies Fund.

78.       Remuneration of the President and certain other officers.

79.       Audit of Public accounts.

80.       Appointment of Auditor-General.

81.       Tenure of office of Auditor-General.

82.       Power to conduct investigations.

83.       Power as to matters of evidence.


Part II: House of Assembly of a State

A:        Composition and Staff of House of Assembly

84.       Establishment of House of Assembly for each State.

85.       Composition of the House of Assembly.

86.       Speaker of House of Assembly.

87.       Staff of house of Assembly.

B:        Procedure for Summoning and Dissolution of a House of Assembly

88.       Oaths of members.

89.       Presiding at sittings.

90.       Quorum.

91.       Languages.

92.       Voting.

93.       Unqualified persons sitting or voting: penalties.

94.       Mode of exercising legislative power of a State.

95.       Regulation of procedure.

96.       Vacancy or participation of strangers not to invalidate proceedings.

97.       Committees.

98.       Sittings.

99.       Dissolution and issue of proclamations by Governor.


C        Qualification for Membership of House of Assembly and Right of Attendance

100.    Qualifications for election.

101.     Disqualifications.

102.     Right of attendance of Governor.

103.     Tenure of seats of Members.


D         Elections to a House of Assembly

104.     State constituencies.

105.     Size of State constituencies.

106.     Periodical review of State constituencies.

107.     Time when alteration of state constituencies takes effect.

108.     Time of elections to Houses of Assembly.

109.     Direct election and franchise.

110.     Supervision and election.

111.    Power of National Assembly as to determination of certain questions.


E:       Powers and Control over Public Funds

112.   Establishment of Consolidated Revenue Fund.

113.    Authorisation of expenditure from Consolidated Revenue fund.

114.    Authorisation of expenditure in default of appropriations.

115.    Contingencies Fund.

116.    Remuneration of the governor and certain other officers.

117.    Audit of Public accounts.

118.    Appointment of Director of Audit of a State.

119.    Tenure of office of Director of Audit.

120.    Power to conduct investigations.

121.    Power as to matters of evidence.

 

CHAPTER VI: THE EXECUTIVE 

Part I: Federal Executive


A:       The President of the Federation

122.    Establishment of the office of President.

123.    Qualification for election as President.

124.    Election of the President: general.

125.    Election: single presidential candidate.

126.    Election: more than one presidential candidate.

127.    Tenure of office of President.

128.    Disqualification.

129.    Oaths of President.

130.    Establishment of office of Vice-President.

131.    Nomination and election of Vice-President.

132.    Removal of President from office.

133.    Permanent incapacity of President.

134.    Discharge of functions of President.

135.    Ministers of federal Government.

136.    Executive Responsibilities of Ministers.

137.    Oaths of Ministers.

138.    Attorney-General of the Federation.

139.    Special Advisers.


B:       Establishment of Certain Federal Executive Bodies

140.    Federal Commissions and Councils. 

141.    Appointment of Chairman and members.

142.    Tenure of the Office of members.

143.    Qualification for membership.

144.    Removal of members.

145.    Independence of certain bodies.

146.    Quorum and decisions.

147.    Powers and Procedure.

148.    Interpretation.


C:       Public Revenue

149.    Distributable pool account.

150.    Allocation of other revenues.

151.    Federal grants-in-aid of State revenue.

152.    Cost of collection of certain duties.

153.    Set-off.

154.    Sums charged on consolidated Revenue Fund.

155.    Provisions with regard to payments.

D:      The Public Service of the Federation

156.    Federal Civil Service Commission: power to delegate functions.

157.    Presidential appointments.

158.    Code of Conduct.

159.    Protection of pension rights.

160.    Public persecutions.

161.    Prerogative of mercy.


Part II:          State Executive


A:       The Governor of a State

162.    Establishment of office of Governor.

163.    Qualification for election as Governor.

164.    Election of Governor.

165.    Tenure of office of Governor.

166.    Disqualifications.

167.    Oaths of Governor.

168.    Establishment of the office of the Deputy Governor.

169.    Nomination and election of the Deputy Governor.

170.    Removal of Governor or Deputy Governor from office.

171.    Permanent incapacity of Governor or Deputy Governor.

172.    Discharge of functions of Governor.

173.    Commissioners of State Government.

174.    Executive responsibilities of Commissioners.

175.    Oaths of Commissioners.

176.    Attorney-General of a State.

177.    Special Advisers.


B:       Establishment of Certain State Executive Bodies

178.    State Commissions and Council.

179.    Appointment of Chairman and members.

180.    Tenure of office of the members.

181.    Qualification for membership.

182.    Removal of members.

183.    Independence of certain bodies.

184.    Quorum and decisions.

185.    Powers and procedure.

186.    Interpretation.


C:       The Public Service of A State

187.    State Civil Service Commission: Power of delegation

188.    Appointments by Governor.

189.    Code of Conduct.

190.    Protection of pension rights.

191.    Public prosecutions.

192.    Prerogative of mercy.


Part III: Supplemental


A:       National Population Census.

193.    National Population census.

B:       Nigeria Police Force

194.    Establishment of Nigeria Police Force.

195.    Appointment of Inspector-General and control of Nigeria Police Force.

196.    Delegation of powers to the Inspector-General of Police.


C:       Armed Forces of the Federation

197.    Establishment and composition of the armed force of the Federation.

198.    Command and operational use.

199.    Establishment of body to ensure federal character of armed forces.

200.    Compulsory military service.


D:      Political Parties

201.    Prohibition of political activities by certain associations.

202.    Restrictions on formation of political parties.

203.    Constitution and rules.

204.    Aims and objects.

205.    Finances of political parties.

206.    Annual reports on finances.

207.    Prohibition of quasi-military organisations.

208.    Powers of the national assembly with respect to political parties.

209.    Interpretation.

 

CHAPTER VII: THE JUDICATURE


Part I: Federal Courts

A:       The Supreme Court of Nigeria

210.    Establishment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

211.    Appointment of Chief justices of Nigeria and justices of the Supreme Court.

212.    Original jurisdiction.

213.    Appellate jurisdiction.

214.    Constitution.

215.    Finality of determinations.

216.    Practice and procedure.


B: The Federal Court of Appeal

217.    Establishment of Federal Court of Appeal.

218.    Appointment of President and Justices of the Federal Court of Appeal.

219.    Jurisdiction.

220.    Appeals as of rights from a High Court.

221.    Appeals with leave.

222.    Exercise of right of appeal from a High Court in civil and criminal matters.

223.    Appeals from Sharia Court of Appeal of a State.

224.    Appeals from Customary Court of Appeal of a State.

225.    Appeals from Code of Conduct Tribunal and other courts and tribunals.

226.    Constitution of Federal Court of Appeal.

227.    Practice and procedure.


C: The Federal High Court

228.    Establishment of the Federal High Court.

229.    Appointment of Chief Judge and Judges.

230.    Jurisdiction.

231.    Powers.

232.    Constitution.

233.    Practice and procedure.


Part II: State Courts


A: High Court of a State

234.    Establishment of a High Court for each State.

235.    Appointment of Chief Judge and Judges.

236.    Jurisdiction: General

237.    Jurisdiction as to certain proceedings.

238.    Constitution.

239.    Practice and Procedure.


B:       Sharia Court of Appeal of a State.

240.    Establishment of Sharia Court of Appeal.

241.    Appointment of Grand Kadi and Kadis.

242.    Jurisdiction.

243.    Constitution.

244.    Practice and Procedure.


B:       Customary Court of Appeal of a State

245.    Establishment of Customary Court of Appeal.

246.    Appointment of President and Judges.

247.    Jurisdiction.

248.    Constitution.

249.    Practice and Procedure.


Part III: Supplemental

250.    Jurisdiction of State courts in respect of Federal causes.

251.    Enforcement of decisions.

252.    Appointment of persons leaned in Islamic personal law and Customary law.

253.    Disqualification of certain legal practitioners.

254.    Oaths of judicial officers.

255.    Tenure of office and pension rights of judicial officers.

256.    Removal of judicial officers from office.

257.    Vacancies.

258.    Determination of causes and matters.

259.    Reference of questions of law.

260.    Interpretation.

 

CHAPTER VIII: Federal Capital Territory and General Supplementary Provisions


Part I: Federal Capital Territory

261.    Federal Capital territory: ownership of lands.

262.    Capital of the Federation.

263.    Application of Constitution.

264.    Adaptation of certain references.


Part II: Miscellaneous Provisions

265.    Procedure for proclamation of state of emergency

266.    Resignations.

267.    Restrictions on legal proceedings.


Part III
: Transitional Provisions and Savings

268.    Citizenship.

269.    Staff of legislative houses.

270.    Standing Orders.

271.    Special provisions in respect of first election.

272.    System of revenue allocation.

273.    Debts.

274.    Existing law.

275.    Existing offices, courts and authorities.

276.    Succession to property, rights, liabilities and obligations.


Part IV
: Interpretation, Citation and Commencement

277.    Interpretation.

278.    Citation.

279.    Commencement.

 

 

Schedules

First Schedule

Part I: States of the Federation

Part II: Definition of Federal capital Territory

Second Schedule:

Part I: Exclusive Legislative List

Part II: Concurrent Legislative List

Part III: Supplemental and Interpretation

Third Schedule

Part I:  Federal Executive Bodies

Part II: State Executive Bodies

Fourth Schedule 

Functions of a Local Government Council

Fifth Schedule

Part I: Code of Conduct for Public Officers

Part II:          Specified Offices for the Purposes of the Code of Conduct

Sixth Schedule: Oaths

 

 

 

 

PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION

 

We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

 

HAVING firmly and solemnly resolved:

 

TO LIVE in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation under God dedicated to the promotion of inter-African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding:

 

AND TO PROVIDE for a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people

 

DO HEREBY MAKE, ENACT AND GIVE to ourselves the following Constitution:-

 

 

 

CHAPTER I: General Provisions

 

Part I: Federal Republic of Nigeria

Supremacy of the Constitution

1. (1) This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(2)      The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(3)      If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria

2. (1) Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(2)      Nigeria shall be a Federation consisting of States and a Federal Capital Territory.

States of the Federation and the Federal Capital territory

3. (1) There shall be 19 states in Nigeria, that is to say, Anambra, Bauchi, Bendel, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Gongola, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Sokoto.

(2)      Each state of Nigeria named in the first column of Part I of the First Schedule to this Constitution shall consist of the area shown opposite thereto in the second column of that Schedule.

(3)      The headquarters of the Government of each State shall be known as the Capital City of that State as shown in the third column of the said Part I of the First Schedule opposite the State named in the first column thereof.

(4)      The Federal Capital Territory shall be as defined in Part II of the said First Schedule.

(5)      The provisions of this Constitution in Part I of Chapter VIII hereof shall, in relation to the Federal Capital Territory, have effect in the manner set out thereunder.

PART II: Powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Legislative Powers

4. (1)  The legislative powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be vested in a National Assembly for the Federation which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

(2)      The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.

(3)      The power of the National Assembly to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List shall, save as otherwise provided in this Constitution, be to the exclusion of the Houses of Assembly of States.

(4)      In addition and without prejudice to the powers conferred by subsection (2) of this section, the National Assembly shall have power to make laws with respect to the following matters, that is to say:-

(a)      any matter in the Concurrent Legislative List set out in the first column of Part II of the Second Schedule to this Constitution to the extent prescribed in the second column opposite thereto; and

(b)      any other matter with respect to which it is empowered to make laws in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(5)      If any Law enacted by the House of Assembly of a State is inconsistent with any law validly made by the National Assembly, the law made by the National Assembly shall prevail, and that other Law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.

(6)      The legislative powers of a State of the Federation shall be vested in the House of Assembly of the State.

(7)      The House of Assembly of a State shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the State or any part thereof with respect to the following matters, that is to say:-

(a)      any matter not included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.

(b)      any matter included in the Concurrent Legislative List set out in the first column of Part II of the Second Schedule to this Constitution to the extent prescribed in the second column opposite thereto; and

(c)      any other matter with respect to which it is empowered to make laws in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(8)      Save as otherwise provided by this Constitution, the exercise of legislative powers by the National Assembly or by a House of Assembly shall be subject to the jurisdiction of courts of law and of judicial tribunals established by law; and accordingly, the National Assembly or a House of Assembly shall not enact any law that ousts or purports to oust the jurisdiction of a court of law or of a judicial tribunal established by law.

(9)      Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the National Assembly or a House of Assembly shall not, in relation to any criminal offence whatsoever, have power to make any law which shall have retrospective effect.

Executive powers

5. (1)  Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive powers of the Federation:

(a)      shall be vested in the President and may, subject as aforesaid and to the provisions of any law made by the National Assembly, be exercised by him either directly or through the Vice-President and Ministers of the Government of the Federation or officers in the public service of the Federation; and

(b)      shall extend to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, all laws made by the National Assembly and to all matters with respect to which the National Assembly has, for the time being, power to make laws.

(2)      Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive powers of a State:

(a)      shall be vested in the Governor of that State and may, subject as aforesaid and to the provisions of any Law made by a House of Assembly, be exercised by him either directly or through the Deputy Governor and Commissioners of the Government of that State or officers in the public service of the State; and

 

(b)      shall extend to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, all laws made by the House of Assembly of the State and to all matters with respect to which the House Of Assembly has for the time being power to make laws,

but such executive powers shall be so exercised as not to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive powers of the Federation or endanger the continuance of a Federal Government in Nigeria.

(4)      Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section:-

(a)      the President shall not declare a state of war between the Federation and another country except with the sanction of a  resolution of both Houses of the National Assembly sitting in a joint session; and

(b)      except with the prior approval of the Senate, no member of the armed forces of the Federation shall be deployed on combat duty outside Nigeria.

Judicial powers

6. (1)  The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the Federation.

(2)      The judicial powers of a State shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established, subject as provided by this Constitution, for a State.

(3)      The courts to which this section relates established by this Constitution for the Federation and for the States specified in subsection (5) (a) to (f) of this section shall be the only superior courts of record in Nigeria; and save as otherwise prescribed by the National Assembly or by the House of Assembly of a State, each court shall have all the powers of a superior court of record.

(4)      Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall be construed as precluding:-

(a)      any House of Assembly from establishing courts, other than those to which this section relates with subordinate jurisdiction to that of a High Court;

(b)      any House of Assembly, which does not require it, from abolishing any court established under paragraph (a) of this subsection or to which subsection 5 (e) and (f) of this section relates.

(5)      This section relates to:-

(a)      the Supreme Court of Nigeria;

(b)      the Federal Court of Appeal;

(c)      the Federal High Court;

(d)      a High Court of a State;

(e)      a Sharia Court of Appeal of a State;

(f)      a Customary Court of Appeal of a State;

(g)      such other courts as may be authorised by law to exercise jurisdiction on matters with respect to which the National Assembly may make laws; and

(h)      such other court as may be authorised by law to exercise jurisdiction at first instance or on appeal on matters with respect to which a House of Assembly may make laws.

(6)      The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section –

(a)      shall extend, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this constitution, to all inherent powers and sanctions of a court of law;

(b)      shall extend, to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and any person in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person;

(c)      shall not, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act or omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy set out in Chapter II of this Constitution; and

(d)      shall not, as from the date when this section comes into force, extend to any action or proceedings relating to any existing law made on or after 15th January, 1966 for determining any issue or question as to the competence of any authority or person to make any such law.

Local government system

7. (1)  The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.

(2)      The person authorised by law to prescribe the area over which a local government council may exercise authority shall-

(a)      define such area as clearly as practicable; and

(b)      ensure, to the extent to which it may be reasonably justifiable, that in defining such area regard is paid to –

(i)       the common interest of the community in the area;

(ii)      traditional association of the community; and

(iii)      administrative convenience.

(3)      It shall be the duty of a local government council within the State to participate in economic planning and development of the area referred to in subsection (2) of this section and to this end an economic planning board shall be established by a Law enacted by the House of Assembly of the State.

(4)      The Government of a State shall ensure that every person who is entitled to vote or be voted for at an election to House of Assembly shall have the right to vote or be voted for at an election to a local government council.

(5)      The functions to be conferred by Law upon local government councils shall include those set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Constitution.

(6)      Subject to the provisions of this Constitution –

(a)      the National Assembly shall make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to local government councils in the Federation; and

(b)      the House of Assembly of a State shall make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to local government councils within the State.

New States and boundary adjustment

8. (1)  An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of creating a new State shall only be passed if-

(a)      a request, supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in each of the following, namely –

(i)       the Senate and the House of Representatives;

(ii)      the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and

(iii)     the local government councils in respect of the area,

is received by the National Assembly;

(b)      a proposal for the creation of the State is thereafter approved in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of the people of the area where the demand for creation of the State originated;

(c)      the result of the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of all the States of the Federation supported by a simple majority of members of the Houses of Assembly; and

(d)      the proposal is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly.

(2)      An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of boundary adjustment of any existing State shall only be passed if-

(a)      a request for the boundary adjustment, supported by two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding and the area affected by the boundary adjustment) in each of the following, namely-

(i)       the Senate and the House of Representatives,

(ii)      the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and

(iii)     the local government councils in respect of the area,

is received by the National Assembly; and

(b)      a proposal for the boundary adjustment is approved by –

(i)       a simple majority of members of each House of the National Assembly, and

(ii)      a simple majority of members of the House of Assembly in respect of the area concerned.

Mode of altering provisions of the Constitution

9. (1)  The National Assembly may, subject to the provision of this section, alter any of the provisions of this Constitution.

(2)      An Act of the National Assembly for the alteration of this Constitution, not being an Act to which section 8 of this Constitution applies, shall not be passed in either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of that House and approved by resolution of the Houses of Assembly of not less than two-thirds of all the States.

(3)      An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of altering the provisions of this section, section 8 or Chapter IV of this Constitution shall not be passed by either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is approved by the votes of not less than four-fifths majority of all the members of each House, and also approved by resolution of the House of Assembly of not less than two-third of all States.

(4)      For the purposes of section 8 of this Constitution and of subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the number of members of each House of the National Assembly shall, notwithstanding any vacancy, be deemed to be the number of members specified in sections 44 and 45 of this Constitution.

Prohibition of State Religion

10.     The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion.

Public order and public security

11. (1)The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order and providing, maintaining and securing of such supplies and services as may be designated by the National Assembly as essential supplies and services.

(2)      Nothing in this section shall preclude a House of Assembly from making laws with respect to the matters referred to in this section, including the provision for maintenance and securing of such supplies and services as may be designated by the National Assembly as essential supplies and services.

(3)      During any period when the Federation is at war the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part therefore with respect to matters not included in the Exclusive Legislative List as may appear to it to be necessary or expedient for the defence of the Federation.

(4)      At any time when any House of Assembly of a State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that State with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the State.

 (5)     For the purposes of subsection (4) of this section, a House of Assembly shall not be deemed to be unable to perform its functions so long as the House of Assembly can hold a meeting and transact business.

Implementation of treaties

12. (1) No treaty between the Federation and any other country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly.

(2)      The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to matters not included in the Exclusive Legislative List for the purpose of implementing a treaty.

(3)      A bill for an Act of the National Assembly passed pursuant to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall not be presented to the President for assent, and shall not be enacted, unless it is ratified by a majority of all the House of Assembly in the Federation.

 

CHAPTER II: Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy

Fundamental obligations of Government

13.     It shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government, and of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this Chapter of this Constitution.

The Government and the People

14. (1) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice.

(2)      It is hereby, accordingly, declared that:

(a)      sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority;

(b)      the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government: and

(c)      the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(3)      The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.

(4)      The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.

Political Objectives

15. (1) The motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.

(2)      Accordingly, national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited.

(3)      For the purpose of promoting national integration it shall be the duty of the State to:

(a)      provide adequate facilities for and encourage free mobility of people, goods and services throughout the Federation;

(b)      secure full residence rights for every citizen in all parts of the Federation;

(c)      encourage inter-marriage among persons from different places of origin, or of different religious, ethnic or linguistic association or ties; and

(d)      promote or encourage the formation of associations that cut across ethnic, linguistic, religious and or other sectional barriers.

(4)      The State shall foster a feeling of belonging and of involvement among the various people of the Federation, to the end that loyalty to the nation shall override sectional loyalties.

(5)      The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.

Economic Objectives

16. (1) The State shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution:

 (a)     control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity;

(b)      without prejudice to its right to operate or participate in areas of the economy other than the major sectors of the economy, manage and operate the major sectors of the economy;

(c)      without prejudice to the right of any person to participate in areas of the economy within the major sector of the economy, protect the right of every citizen to engage in any economic activities outside the major sectors of the economy.

(2)      The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring:

(a)      the promotion of a planned and balanced economic development;

(b)      that the material resources of the community are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good;

(c)      that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group; and

(d)      that suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment and sick benefits are provided for all citizens.

(3)      A body shall be set up by an Act of the National Assembly which shall have power;

(a)      to review from time to time the ownership and control of business enterprises operating in Nigeria and make recommendations to the President on the same; and

(b)      to administer any law for the regulation of the ownership and control of such enterprises.

(4)      For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section –

(a)      the reference to the "major sectors of the economy" shall be construed as a reference to such economic activities as may from time to time be declared by a resolution of each House of the National Assembly to be managed and operated exclusively by the Government of the Federation; and until a resolution to the contrary is made by the National Assembly, economic activities being operated exclusively by the Government of the Federation on the date immediately preceding the day when this section comes into force, whether directly or through the agencies of a statutory or other corporation or company, shall be deemed to be major sectors of the economy;

(b)      "economic activities" includes activities directly concerned with the production, distribution and exchange of wealth or of goods and services; and

(c)      "participate" includes the rendering of services and supplying of  goods.

Social Objectives

17. (1)          The State social order is founded on ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.

(2)      In furtherance of the social order-

(a)      every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law;

(b)      the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced;

(c)      governmental actions shall be humane;

(d)      exploitation of human or natural resources in any form whatsoever for reasons, other than the good of the community, shall be prevented; and

(e)      the independence, impartiality and integrity of courts of law, and easy accessibility thereto shall be secured and maintained.

(3)      The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that-

(a)      all citizens without discrimination on any ground whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunities to secure suitable employment;

(b)      conditions of work are just and humane, and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, religious and cultural life;

(c)      the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment are safeguarded and not endangered or abused;

(d)      there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons:

(e)      there is equal pay for equal work without discrimination on account of sex, or on any other ground whatsoever;

(f)      children, young persons and the aged are protected against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect; and

(g)      provision is made for public assistance in deserving cases or other conditions of need;

Educational Objectives

18. (1) Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.

(2)      Government shall promote science and technology.

(3)      Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end Government shall as and when practicable provide-

(a)      free, compulsory and universal primary education;

(b)      free secondary education;

(c)      free university education; and

(d)      free adult literacy programme.

Foreign Policy Objectives

19.     The State shall promote African Unity, as well as total political, economic, social and cultural liberation of Africa and all other forms of international co-operation conducive to the consolidation of universal peace and mutual respect and friendship among all peoples and States, and shall combat racial discrimination in all its manifestations.

Directive on Nigerian Culture

20.     The State shall protect and enhance Nigerian culture.

Obligations of the Mass Media

21.     The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.

National Ethics

22.     The national ethics shall be Discipline, Self-reliance and Patriotism.

 

CHAPTER III: Citizenship

 

Citizenship by birth

 

23. (1) The following persons are citizens of Nigeria by birth, namely-

(a)      every person born in Nigeria before the date of independence, either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria:

          Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if neither of his parents nor any of his grandparents was born in Nigeria.

(b)      every person born in Nigeria after the date of independence either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria; and

(c)      every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria.

(2)      In this section, "the date of independence" means the 1st day of October 1960.

Citizenship by registration

24. (1) Subject to the provisions of section 26 of this Constitution, a person to whom the provisions of this section apply may be registered as a citizen of Nigeria, if the President is satisfied that –

(a)      he is a person of good character;

(b)      he has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria; and

(c)      he has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Sixth Schedule to this Constitution.

(2)      The provisions of this section shall apply to-

(a)      any woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria; or

(b)      every person of full age and capacity born outside Nigeria any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria.

Citizenship by Naturalisation

25.(1)Subject to the provisions of section 26 of this Constitution, any person who is qualified in accordance with the provisions of this section may apply to the President for the same of a certificate of naturalisation.

(2)      No person shall be qualified to apply for the grant of a certificate of naturalisation, unless he satisfies the President that –

(a)      he is a person of full age and capacity;

(b)      he is a person of good character;

(c)      he has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria;

(d)      he is, in the opinion of the Governor of the State where he is or he proposes to be resident, acceptable to the local community in which he is to live permanently, and has been assimilated into the way of life of Nigerians in that part of the Federation;

(e)      he is a person who has made or is capable of making useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of Nigeria;

(f)      he has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Sixth Schedule to this Constitution; and

(g)      he has, immediately preceding the date of his application, either-

(i)       resided in Nigeria for a continuous period of 15 years; or

(ii)      resided in Nigeria continuously for a period of 12 months, and during the period of 20 years immediately preceding that period of 12 months has resided in Nigeria for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than 15 years.

Avoidance of dual Citizenship

26. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this section, a person shall forfeit forthwith his Nigerian citizenship if he acquires or retains the citizenship or nationality of a country other than Nigeria.

(2)      Any registration of a person as a citizen of Nigeria or the grant of a certificate of naturalisation to a person who is a citizen of a country other than Nigeria at the time of such registration or grant shall be conditional upon effective renunciation of the citizenship or nationality of that other country within a period of not more than 12 months from the date of such registration or grant.

(3)      A citizen of Nigeria by birth shall not forfeit his Nigerian citizenship if, within 12 months of the coming into force of the provisions of this chapter or of his attaining the age of 21 years( whichever is the later)he renounces the citizenship or nationality of any other country which he may possess.

Deprivation of citizenship

27. (1)The President may deprive a person, other than a person who is a citizen of Nigeria by birth or by registration, of his citizenship, if he is satisfied that such a person has within a period of 7 years after becoming naturalized been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 3 years.

  (2)    The President shall deprive a person, other than a person who is citizen of Nigeria by birth, of his citizenship, if he is satisfied from the records of proceedings of a court of law or other tribunal, or after due inquiry in accordance with regulations made by him, that –

(a)      the person has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal towards the Federal Republic of Nigeria; or

(b)      the person has, during any war in which Nigeria was engaged, unlawfully traded with the enemy or been engaged in or associated with any business that was in the opinion of the president carried on in such a manner as to assist the enemy of Nigeria in that war, or unlawfully communicated with such enemy to the detriment of or with intent to cause damage to the interest of Nigeria.

Persons deemed to be Nigerian citizens.

28.     For the purposes of this Chapter, a parent or grandparent of a person shall be deemed to be a citizen of Nigeria if at the time of the birth of that person such parent or grandparent would have possessed that status by birth if he had been alive on the date of independence; and in this section, "the date of independence" has the meaning assigned to it in section 23 (2) of this Constitution.

Power to make regulations

29. (1) The president may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Chapter, prescribing all matters which are required or permitted to be prescribed or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the provisions of this Chapter, and for granting special immigrant status with full residential rights to non-Nigerian spouses of citizens of Nigeria who do not wish to acquire Nigerian citizenship.

(2)      Any regulations made by the president pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be laid before the National Assembly.


CHAPTER IV: Fundamental Rights

 

Right to life

30. (1)Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.

(2)      A person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section, if he dies as a result of the use, to such extent and in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably necessary –

(a)      for the defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property:

(b)      in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; or

(c)      for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny.

Respect to dignity of human person

31. (1) Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly –

(a)      no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment;

(b)      no person shall he held in slavery or servitude; and

(c)      no person shall be required to perform forced of compulsory labour.

(2)      For the purposes of subsection (1) (c) of this section, "forced or compulsory labour" does not include –

(a)      any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;

(b)      any labour required of members of the armed forces of the Federation or the Nigeria Police Force in pursuance of their duties as such or; in the case of persons who have conscientious objections to service in the armed forces of the Federation, any labour required instead of such service;

(c)      any labour required which is reasonably necessary in the event of any emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community; or

(d)      any labour or service that forms part of –

(i)       normal communal or other civic obligations for the well-being of the community.

(ii)      such compulsory national service in the armed forces of the Federation as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly, or

(iii)     such compulsory national service which forms part of the education and training of citizens of Nigeria as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

Right to personal liberty

32. (1) Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure permitted by law –

(a)      in execution of the sentence or order of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty;

(b)      by reason of his failure to comply with the order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation imposed upon him by law;

(c)      for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of the order of a court or upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence, or to such extent as may be reasonably necessary to prevent his committing a criminal offence;

(d)      in the case of a person who has not attained the age of 18 years for the purpose of his education or welfare;

(e)      in the case of persons suffering from infectious or contagious disease, persons of unsound mind, persons addicted to drugs or alcohol or vagrants, for the purpose of their care or treatment or the protection of the community; or

(f)      for the purpose of preventing the unlawful entry of any person into Nigeria or of effecting the expulsion, extradition or other lawful removal from Nigeria of any person or the taking of proceedings relating thereto:

Provided that a person who is charged with an offence and who has been detained in lawful custody awaiting trial shall not continue to be kept in such detention for a period longer than the maximum period of imprisonment prescribed for the offence.

(2)      Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right to remain silent or avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice.

(3)      Any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed in writing within twenty-four hours (and in a language that he understands) of the facts and grounds for his arrest or detention.

(4)      Any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with subsection (1) (c) of this section shall be brought before a court of law within a reasonable time, and if he is not tried within a period of –

(a)      2 months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who is in custody or is not entitled to bail; or

(b)      3 months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who has been released on bail,

          he shall (without prejudice to any further proceedings that may be brought against him) be released either unconditionally or upon such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears for trial at a later date.

(5)      In subsection (4) of this section, the expression "a reasonable time" means –

(a)      in the case of an arrest or detention in any place where there is a court of competent jurisdiction within a radius of 40 kilometres, a period of one day; and

(b)      in any other case, a period of 2 days or such longer period as in the circumstances may be considered by the court to be reasonable.

(6)      Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained shall be entitled to compensation and public apology from the appropriate authority or person; and in this subsection, "the appropriate authority or person" means an authority or person specified by law.

(7)      Nothing in this section shall be construed –

(a)      in relation to subsection (4) of this section, as applying in the case of a person arrested or detained upon reasonable suspicion of having committed a capital offence; and

(b)      as invalidating any law by reason only that it authorises the detention for a period not exceeding 3 months of a member of the armed forces of the federation or a member of the Nigeria Police Force in execution of a sentence imposed by an officer of the armed forces of the Federation or of the Nigeria police force, in respect of an offence punishable by such detention of which he has been found guilty.

Right to fair hearing

33. (1)In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.

(2)      Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this section, a law shall not be invalidated by reason only that it confers on any government or authority power to determine questions arising in the administration of a law that affects or may affect the civil rights and obligations of any person if such law –

(a)      provides for an opportunity for the persons whose rights and obligations may be affected to make representations to the administering authority before that authority makes the decision affecting that person; and

(b)      contains no provision making the determination of the administering authority final and conclusive.

(3)      The proceedings of a court or the proceedings of any tribunal relating to the matters mentioned in subsection (1) of this section (including the announcement of the decisions of the court or tribunal) shall be held in public.

(4)      Whenever any person is charged with a criminal offence, he shall, unless the charge is withdrawn, be entitled to a fair hearing in public within a reasonable time by a court or tribunal:

 (5)     Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty;

Provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts.

(6)      Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled –

(a)      to be informed promptly in the language that he understands and in detail of the nature of the offence;

(b)      to be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;

(c)      to defend himself in person or by legal practitioners of his own choice;

(d)      to examine, in person or by his legal practitioners, the witnesses called by the prosecution before any court and to obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court on the same conditions as those applying to the witnesses called by the prosecution; and

(e)      to have without payment the assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand the language used at the trial of the offence.

(7)      When any person is tried for any criminal offence, the court shall keep a record of the proceedings and the accused person or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall be entitled to obtain copies of the judgment in the case within 7 days of the conclusion of the case.

(8)      No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence heavier than the penalty in force at the time the offence was committed

(9)      No person who shows that he has been tried by any court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for a criminal offence having the same ingredients as that offence save upon the order of a superior court.

(10)    No person who shows that he has been pardoned for a criminal offence shall again be tried for that offence.

(11)    No person who is tried for a criminal offence shall be compelled to give evidence at the trial.

(12)    Subject as otherwise provided by this Constitution, a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty therefore is prescribed in a written law, and in this subsection, a written law refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a Law of a State, any subsidiary legislation or instrument under the provisions of a law.

 (13)   The proceedings of a court or the proceedings of any tribunal relating to the matters mentioned in subsections (1) and (4) of this section (including the announcement of decisions of the court or tribunal) shall be held in public:

Provided that-

(a)          a court or such a tribunal may exclude from its proceedings persons other than parties thereto or their legal practitioners in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, the welfare of persons who have not attained the age of 18 years, the protection of the private lives of the parties or to such extent as it may consider necessary by reason of special circumstances in which publicity would be contrary to the interests of justice;

 

(b)          if in any proceedings before a court or such a tribunal a Minister of the Government of the Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State satisfies the court or tribunal that it would not be in the public interest for any matter to be publicly disclosed, the court or tribunal shall make arrangements for evidence relating to that matter to be heard in private and shall take such other action as may be necessary or expedient to prevent the disclosure of the matter.

Right to private and family life

34.     The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.

Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

35. (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2)      No person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if such instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own, or religion not approved by his parent or guardian.

(3)      No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any place of education maintained wholly by that community or denomination.

(4)      Nothing in this section shall entitle any person to form, take part in the activity or be a member of a secret society, and for the purposes of this subsection, “a secret society” means a society or association not being a solely cultural or religious body, that uses secret signs, oaths, rites or symbols-

(a)      whose meetings or other activities are held in secret; and

(b)      whose members are under oath, obligation or other threat to promote the interest of its members, or to aid one another under all circumstances without due regard to merit, fair play or justice,

to the detriment of the legitimate expectation of those who are not members.

Right to freedom of expression and the press

36. (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.

(2)      Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions:

Provided that no person, other than the Government of the Federation or of a State or any other person or body authorised by the President, shall own, establish or operate a television or wireless broadcasting station for any purpose whatsoever.

(3)      Nothing in this section shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society –

(a)      for the purpose of preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of courts or regulating telephony, wireless broadcasting, television or the exhibition of cinematograph films; or

(b)      imposing restrictions upon persons holding office under the Government of the Federation or of a State, members of the armed forces of the Federation or members of the Nigeria Police Force.

Right to peaceful assembly and association

37.     Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests:

Provided that-

(a)          the provisions of this section shall not derogate from the powers conferred by this Constitution on the Federal Electoral Commission with respect to political parties to which that Commission does not accord recognition;

(b)          a person elected to a legislative house as a candidate who was not sponsored by any political party shall not be entitled to join or declare himself to be a member of a political party until the general election next following his election as such candidate.

Right to Freedom of movement

38. (1) Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.

(2)      Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society-

(a)      imposing restrictions on the residence or movement of any person who has committed or is reasonably suspected to have committed a criminal offence in order to prevent him from leaving Nigeria; or

(b)      providing for the removal of any person from Nigeria to any other country-

(i)       to be tried outside Nigeria for any criminal offence, or

(ii)      to undergo imprisonment outside Nigeria in execution of the sentence of a court of law in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty:

Provided that there is reciprocal agreement between Nigeria and such other country in relation to such matter.

Right to freedom from discrimination

39. (1)A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-

(a)      be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or

(b)      be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.

(2)      No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.

(3)      Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes restrictions with respect to the appointment of any person to any office under the State or as a member of the armed forces of the Federation or member of the Nigeria Police Forces or to an office in the service of a body corporate established directly by any law in force in Nigeria.

Compulsory acquisition of property

40. (1) No movable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law that, among other things –

(a)      requires the prompt payment of compensation therefor; and

(b)      gives to any person claiming such compensation a right of access for the determination of his interest in the property and the amount of compensation to a court of law or tribunal or body having jurisdiction in that part of Nigeria.

(2)      Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as affecting any general law-

(a)      for the imposition or enforcement of any tax, rate or duty;

(b)      for the imposition of penalties or forfeiture for breach of any law, whether under civil process or after conviction for an offence;

(c)      relating to leases, tenancies, mortgages, charges, bills of sale or any other rights or obligations arising out of contracts.

(d)      relating to the vesting and administration of property of persons adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt or insolvent, of persons of unsound mind or deceased persons, and of corporate or unincorporate bodies in the course of being wound-up;

(e)      relating to the execution of judgments or orders of court;

(f)      providing for the taking of possession of property that is in a dangerous state or is injurious to the health of human beings, plants or animals;

(g)      relating to enemy property;

(h)      relating to trusts and trustees;

(i)       relating to limitation of actions;

(j)      relating to property vested in bodies corporate directly established by any law in force in Nigeria;

(k)      relating to the temporary taking of possession of property for the purpose of any examination, investigation or enquiry;

(l)       providing for the carrying out of work on land for the purpose of soil-conservation; or

(m)     subject to prompt payment of compensation for damage to buildings, economic trees or crops, providing for any authority or person to enter, survey or dig any land, or to lay, install or erect poles, cables, wires, pipes, or other conductors or structures on any land, in order to provide or maintain the supply or distribution of energy, fuel, water, sewage, telecommunication services or other public facilities or public utilities.

(3)      Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria shall vest in the Government of the Federation and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

Restriction on and derogation to fundamental rights

41. (1) Nothing in sections 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 of this Constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society-

(a)      in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

(b)      for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.

(2)      An Act of the National Assembly shall not be invalidated by reason only that it provides for the taking, during periods of emergency, of measures that derogate from the provisions of section 30 or 32 of this Constitution; but no such measures shall be taken in pursuance of any such act during any period of emergency save to the extent that those measures are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of emergency:

Provided that nothing in this section shall authorise any derogation from the provisions of section 30 of this Constitution, except in respect of death resulting from acts of war or authorise any derogation from the provisions of section 33(8) of this Constitution.

(3)      In this section, a " period of emergency" means any period during which there is in force a Proclamation of a state of emergency declared by the President in exercise of the powers conferred on him under section 265 of this Constitution.

Special jurisdiction of High Court and legal aid

42. (1) Any person who alleges that any of the provisions of this Chapter has been, is being or likely to be contravened in any State in relation to him may apply to a High Court in that State for redress.

(2)      Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a High Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear and determine any application made to it in pursuance of this section and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcement or securing the enforcing within that State of any right to which the person who makes the application may be entitled under this Chapter.

(3)      The Chief Justice of Nigeria may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of a High Court for the purposes of this section.

(4)      The National Assembly –

(a)      may confer upon a High Court such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this section; and

(b)      shall make provisions-

(i)       for the rendering of financial assistance to any indigent citizen of Nigeria where his right under this Chapter has been infringed or with a view to enabling him to engage the services of a legal practitioner to prosecute his claim, and

(ii)      for ensuring that allegations of infringement of such rights are substantial and the requirement or need for financial or legal aid is real.


CHAPTER V: The Legislature

Part I: National Assembly

A - Composition and Staff of National Assembly

Establishment of the National Assembly

43.     There shall be a National Assembly for the Federation which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

Composition of the Senate

44.     Subject to the provisions of Chapter VIII and other provisions of this Constitution the Senate shall consist of 5 Senators from each State.

Composition of the House of Representatives

45.     Subject to the provisions of Chapter VIII and other provisions of this Constitution the House of Representatives shall consist of 450 members.

President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives

46. (1) There shall be-

(a)      a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and

(b)      a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.

(2)      The President or Deputy President of the Senate or the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives shall vacate his office -

(a)      if he ceases to be a member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of the Senate or the House of Representatives; or

(b)      when the House of which he was a member first sits after any dissolution of that House; or

(c)      if he is removed from office by a resolution of the Senate or of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of that House.

Staff of the National Assembly

47.     There shall be a Clerk to the National Assembly and such other staff as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly, and the method of appointment of the Clerk and other staff of the National Assembly shall be as prescribed by that Act.

 

B - Procedure for Summoning and Dissolution of National Assembly

Oaths of members

48. (1) Every member of the Senate or the House of Representatives shall, before taking his seat, take and subscribe the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of membership prescribed in the Sixth Schedule to this Constitution, but a member may before taking the oaths take part in the election of a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, as the case may be, of a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(2)      The President and Deputy President of the Senate and the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives shall take and subscribe the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of membership prescribed as aforesaid before the Clerk of the National Assembly.

Presiding at sittings of the National Assembly and at joint sittings

49. (1) At any sitting of the National Assembly -

(a)      in the case of the Senate, the President of the Senate shall preside, and in his absence the Deputy President shall preside; and

(b)      in the case of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of that House shall preside, and in his absence the Deputy Speaker shall preside.

(2)      At any joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives the President of Senate shall preside, and in his absence the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall preside.

(3)      In the absence of the person mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this section, such member of the Senate or the House of Representatives as the Senate or the House of Representatives may elect for that purpose shall preside.

Quorum

50.(1)If objection is taken by any member of the Senate or the House of Representatives present that there are present in the House of which he is a member (besides the person presiding fewer than one-third of all the members of that House and that it is not competent for the House to transact business, and after such interval as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the House, the person presiding ascertains that the number of members present is still less than one-third of all the members of the House, he shall adjourn the House.

(2)      The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply in relation to a joint sitting of both Houses of the National Assembly as they apply in relation to a House of the National Assembly as if references to the Senate or the House of Representatives and a member of either Houses are references to both Houses and to any member of the National Assembly, respectively.

Languages

51.     The business of the National Assembly shall be conducted in English, and in Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba when adequate arrangements have been made therefor.

Voting

52. (1)Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution any question proposed for decision in the Senate or the House of Representatives shall be determined by the required majority of the members present and voting; and the person presiding shall cast a vote whenever necessary to avoid an equality of votes but shall not vote in any other case.

(2)      Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, the required majority for the purpose of determining any question shall be a simple majority.

(3)      The Senate or the House of Representatives shall by its rules provide -

(a)      that a member of the House shall declare any direct pecuniary interest he may have in any matter coming before the House for deliberation;

(b)      that the House may by resolution decide whether or not such member may vote, or participate in its deliberations, on such matter;

(c)      the penalty, if any, which the House may impose for failure to declare any direct pecuniary interest such member may have; and

(d)      for such other matters pertaining to the foregoing as the House may think necessary,

but nothing in the foregoing provisions shall enable any rules to be made to require any member, who signifies his intention not to vote on or participate in such matter, and who does not so vote or participate, to declare any such interest.

Unqualified persons sitting or voting: penalties

53.     Any person who sits or votes in the Senate or the House of Representatives knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so shall be guilty of an offence and shall upon conviction be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding N1000, or such higher term of imprisonment or a fine of a greater sum as may be prescribed for each day on which he sits or votes.

Mode of exercising Federal legislative power: general

54. (1)The power of the National Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and, except as otherwise provided by subsection (5) of this section, assented to by the President.

(2)      A bill may originate in either the Senate or the House of Representatives and shall not become law unless it has been passed and, except as otherwise provided by this section and section 55 of this Constitution, assented to in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(3)      Where a bill has been passed by the House in which it originated, it shall be sent to the other House; and it shall be presented to the President for assent when it has been passed by that other House and agreement has been reached between the 2 Houses on any amendment made on it.

(4)      Where a bill is presented to the President for assent, he shall within 30 days thereof signify that he assents or that he withholds assent.

(5)      Where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each House by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.

Mode of exercising Federal legislative power: money bills

55. (1) The provisions of this section shall apply to:

(a)      an appropriation bill or a supplementary appropriation bill including any other bill for the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation of any money charged thereon or any alteration in the amount of such a payment, issue or withdrawal; and

(b)      a bill for the imposition of or increase in any tax, duty or fee or any reduction, withdrawal or cancellation thereof.

(2)      Where a bill to which this section applies is passed by one of the Houses of the National Assembly but is not passed by the other House within a period of 2 months from the commencement of a financial year, the President of the Senate shall within fourteen days thereafter arrange for and convene a meeting of the joint finance committee to examine the bill with a view to resolving the differences between the 2 Houses.

(3)      Where the joint finance committee fails to resolve such differences then the bill shall be presented to the National Assembly sitting at a joint meeting, and if the bill is passed at such joint meeting, it shall be presented to the President for assent.

(4)      Where the President, within 30 days after the presentation of the bill to him fails to signify his assent or where he withholds assent, then the bill shall again be presented to the National Assembly sitting at a joint meeting, and if passed by two-thirds majority of members of both houses at such joint meeting, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.

(5)      In this section, "joint finance committee" refers to the joint committee of the National Assembly on finance established pursuant to section 58(3) of this Constitution.

Regulation of procedure

56.     Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Senate or the House of Representatives shall have power to regulate its own procedure, including the procedure for summoning and recess of the House.

Vacancy not to invalidate proceedings

57.     The Senate or the House of Representatives may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in the proceedings of the House shall not invalidate those proceedings.

Committees

58. (1)The Senate or the House of Representatives may appoint a committee of its members for such special or general purpose as in its opinion would be better regulated and managed by means of such a committee, and may by resolution, regulation or otherwise, as it thinks fit, delegate any functions exercisable by it to any such committee.

(2)      The number of members of a committee appointed under this section, their terms of office and quorum shall be fixed by the House appointing it.

(3)      The Senate and the House of Representatives shall appoint a joint committee on finance consisting of an equal number of persons appointed by each House and may appoint any other joint committee under the provisions of this section.

(4)      Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorising such House to delegate to a committee the power to decide whether a bill shall be passed into law or to determine any matter which it is empowered to determine by resolution under the provisions of this Constitution, but the committee may be authorised to make recommendations to the House on any such matter.

Sittings

59.     The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each sit for a period of not less than 181 days in a year.

Dissolution and issue of proclamations by President

60. (1)The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each stand dissolved at the expiration of a period of 4 years commencing from the date of the first sitting of the House.

(2)      If the Federation is at war in which the territory of Nigeria is physically involved and the President considers that it is not practicable to hold elections, the National Assembly may by resolution extend the period of four years mentioned in subsection (1) of this section from time to time but not beyond a period of 6 months at any one time.

(3)      Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the person elected as the President shall have power to issue a proclamation for the holding of the first session of the National Assembly immediately after his being sworn in, or for its dissolution as provided in this section.

C - Qualifications for Membership of National Assembly and Right of Attendance

 

Qualifications for election

 

61.    Subject to the provisions of section 62 of this Constitution-

 

(a)      a person shall be qualified for election as a member of the Senate, if he is a citizen of Nigeria and has attained the age of 30 years; and

(b)      a person shall be qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives, if he is a citizen of Nigeria and has attained the age of 21 years;

Disqualifications

62. (1)          No person shall be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives if-

(a)      he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, has made a declaration of allegiance to such a country;

(b)      under any law in force in any part of Nigeria, he is adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind;

(c)      he is under a sentence of death imposed on him by any court of law in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment for an offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) exceeding 6 months imposed on him by such a court or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court;

(d)      within a period of less than 10 years before the date of an election to a legislative house, he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of a contravention of the Code of Conduct;

(e)      he is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Nigeria;

(f)      he is a person employed in the public service of the Federation or of any State.

(2)      Where in respect of any person who has been      adjudged to be a lunatic; declared to be of unsound mind; sentenced to death or imprisonment; or adjudged or declared bankrupt, any appeal against the decision is pending in any court of law in accordance with any law in force in Nigeria, subsection (1) of the section shall not apply during a period beginning from the date when such appeal is lodged and ending on the date when the appeal is finally determined or, as the case may be, the appeal lapses or is abandoned, whichever is earlier; and for the purposes of this subsection, an "appeal" includes any application for an injunction or an order of certiorari, mandamus, prohibition or habeas corpus, or any appeal from any such application.

Right of attendance of President

63. (1)The President may attend any joint meeting of the National Assembly or any meeting of either House of the National Assembly, either to deliver an address on national affairs including fiscal measures, or to make such statement on the policy of government as he considers to be of national importance.

(2)      A Minister of the Government of the Federation shall attend either House of the National Assembly if invited to explain to the House the conduct of his Ministry, and in particular when the affairs of that Ministry are under discussion.

(3)      Nothing in this section shall enable any person who is not a member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives to vote in that House or in any of its committees.

Tenure of seats of members

64. (1) A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if -

(a)      he becomes a member of another legislative house.

(b)      any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, would cause him to be disqualified for election as a member;

(c)      he ceases to be a citizen of Nigeria;

(d)      he becomes President, Vice-President, Governor, Deputy Governor or a Minister of the Government of the Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State;

(e)      save as otherwise prescribed by this Constitution, he becomes a member of a commission or other body established by this Constitution or by any other law.

(f)      without just cause he is absent from meetings of the House of which he is a member for a period amounting in the aggregate to more than one-third of the total number of days during which the House meets in any one year; or

(g)      being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected;

Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of 2 or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

(2)      A member of the Senate or the House of Representatives shall be deemed to be absent without just cause from a meeting of the House of which he is a member, unless the person presiding certifies in writing that he is satisfied that the absence of the member from the meeting was for a just cause.

 

D - Elections to National Assembly

 

Senatorial districts and Federal constituencies

 

65.     Subject to the provisions of section 66 of this Constitution, the Federal Electoral Commission shall -

(a)      divide each State of the Federation into 5 Senatorial districts for purposes of elections to the Senate; and

(b)      divide the Federation into 450 Federal constituencies for purposes of elections to the House of Representatives.

Size of Senatorial districts and Federal Constituencies

66.     No Senatorial district or Federal constituency shall fall within more than one State, and the boundaries of each district or constituency shall be that such that the number of inhabitants thereof is as nearly equal to the population quota as is reasonably practicable.

Periodical review of Senatorial districts and Federal constituencies

67. (1)The Federal Electoral Commission shall review the division of States and of the Federation into Senatorial districts and Federal constituencies at intervals of not less than 10 years, and may alter the districts or constituencies in accordance with the provisions of this section to such extent as it may consider desirable in the light of the review.

(2)      Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the Commission may at any time carry out such a review and alter the districts or constituencies in accordance with the provisions of this section to such extent as it considers necessary, in consequence of any amendment to section 3 of this Constitution or any provision replacing that section, or by reason of the holding of a census of the population, or pursuant to an Act of the National Assembly.

Time when alteration of Senatorial districts or Federal constituencies take effect

68.     Where the boundaries of any Senatorial district or Federal constituency established under section 65 of this Constitution are altered in accordance with the provisions of section 67 hereof, that alteration shall come into effect after it has been approved by each House of the National Assembly and after the current life of the Senate (in the case of an alteration to the boundaries of a Senatorial district) or the House of Representatives (in the case of an alteration to the boundaries of a Federal constituency).

Ascertainment of population

69.     For the purposes of section 66 of this Constitution, the number of inhabitants of Nigeria or any part thereof shall be ascertained by reference to the 1963 census of the population of Nigeria or the latest census held in pursuance of an Act of the National Assembly after the coming into force of the provisions of this Part of this Constitution.

Time of election to the National Assembly

70. (1) Elections to each House of the National Assembly shall be held on a date to be appointed by the Federal Electoral Commission.

(2)      The date mentioned in subsection (1) of this section shall not be earlier than 60 days before and not later than the date on which the House stands dissolved, or where the election to fill a vacancy occurring more than 3 months before such date; not later than one month after the vacancy occurred.

Direct election and franchise

71. (1)Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every Senatorial district or Federal constituency established in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Constitution shall return one member who shall be directly elected to the Senate or the House of Representatives in such manner as may be prescribed by an act of the National Assembly.

(2)      Every citizen of Nigeria, who has attained the age of 18 years residing in Nigeria at the time of the registration of voters for purposes of election to a legislative house, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for that election.

Supervision of election

72.     The registration of voters and the conduct of elections shall be subject to the direction and supervision of the Federal Electoral Commission.

Power of the National Assembly as to determination of certain questions

73.-(1) The National Assembly shall make provisions as respects -

(a)      persons who may apply to the competent High court for the determination of any question as to whether -

(i)       any person has been validly elected as a member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives,

(ii)      the term of office of any person has ceased, or

(iii)     the seat in the Senate or in the House of Representatives of a member of that House has become vacant;

(b)      circumstances and manner in which, and the conditions upon which, such application may be made; and

(c)      powers, practice and procedure of the competent High Court in relation to any such application.

(2)      In this section, “competent High Court” has the meaning assigned to it in section 237 of this constitution.

 

E - Powers and Control over Public Funds

 

Establishment of Consolidated Revenue Fund

 

74.-(1)All revenues or other moneys raised or received by the Federation (not being revenues or other moneys payable under this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly into any other public fund of the Federation established for a specific purpose) shall be paid into and form one Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

(2)      No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by this Constitution or where the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of section 75 of this Constitution.

(3)      No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Act of the National Assembly.

(4)      No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.

Authorisation of expenditure from Consolidated Revenue Fund

75.-(1)The President shall cause to be prepared and laid before each House of the National Assembly at any time in each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Federation for the next following financial year.

(2)      The heads of expenditure contained in the estimates (other than expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation by this Constitution) shall be included in a bill, to be known as an Appropriation Bill, providing for the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure and the appropriation of those sums for the purposes specified therein.

(3)      If in respect of any financial year it is found -

(a)      that the amount appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient; or

(b)      that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by the Act,

a supplementary estimate showing the sums required shall be laid before each House of the National Assembly and the heads of any such expenditure shall be included in a Supplementary Appropriation Bill.

Authorisation of expenditure in default of appropriations

76.     If the Appropriation Bill in respect of any financial year has not been passed into law by the beginning of the financial year, the President may authorise the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government of the Federation for a period not exceeding 6 months or until the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act, whichever is the earlier:

Provided that the withdrawal in respect of any such period shall not exceed the amount authorised to be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation under the provisions of the Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly for the corresponding period in the immediately preceding financial year, being an amount proportionate to the total amount so authorised for the immediately preceding financial year.

Contingencies Fund

77. (1)The National Assembly may by law make provisions for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund for the Federation and for authorising the President, if satisfied that there has arisen an urgent and unforeseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists, to make advances from the Fund to meet the need.

(2)      Where any advance is made in accordance with the provisions of this section, a Supplementary Estimate shall be presented and a Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be introduced as soon as possible for the purpose of replacing the amount so advanced.

Remuneration of the President and certain other officers

78. (1) There shall be paid to the holders of the offices mentioned in this section such salaries and allowances as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

(2)      The salaries and allowances payable to the holders of the offices so mentioned shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

(3)      The salaries payable to the holders of the said offices and their conditions of service, other than allowances, shall not be altered to their disadvantage after their appointment.

(4)      The offices aforesaid are the offices of President, Vice-President, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice of the Supreme Court, President of the Federal Court of Appeal, Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Judge of the Federal High Court, the Auditor-General for the Federation and the Chairmen and members of the following executive bodies, namely the Federal Civil Service Commission, the Federal Electoral Commission,  the Federal Judicial Service Commission, Police Service Commission and the National Population Commission.

(5)      Provisions may be made by an Act of the National Assembly for the grant of a pension or gratuity to or in respect of a person who has held office as President or Vice-President and was not removed from office as a result of impeachment; any pension granted by virtue of any provision made in pursuance of this subsection shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

(6)      The recurrent expenditure of judicial offices of the Federation (in addition to salaries and allowances of the judicial officers mentioned in subsection (4) of this section) shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

Audit of Public accounts

79. (1) There shall be an Auditor-General for the Federation who shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of section 80 of this Constitution.

(2)      The public accounts of the Federation and of all offices, courts and authorities of the Federation, including all persons and bodies established by law entrusted with the collection and administration of public moneys and assets, shall be audited and reported on by the Auditor-General; and for that purpose, the Auditor-General or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall have access to all the books, records, returns and other documents relating to those accounts.

(3)      The Auditor-General shall submit his reports to each House of the National Assembly and each House shall cause the reports to be considered by a committee of the House of the National Assembly responsible for public accounts.

(4)      In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution, the Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person.

Appointment of Auditor-General

80. (1)The Auditor-General for the Federation shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Federal Civil Service Commission subject to confirmation by the Senate.

(2)      Power to appoint persons to act in the office of the Auditor-General shall vest in the President.

(3)      Except with the sanction of a resolution of the Senate, no person shall act in the office of the Auditor-General for a period exceeding 6 months.

Tenure of office of Auditor- General

81. (1) A person holding the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation shall be removed from office by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed for inability to discharge the functions of his-office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or for misconduct.

(2)      The Auditor-General shall not be removed from office before such retiring age as may be prescribed by law, save in accordance with the provisions of this section.

Power to conduct investigations

82. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, each House of the National Assembly shall have power by resolution published in its journal or in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation to direct or cause to be directed investigation into -

(a)      any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws, and

(b)      the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for -

(i)       executing or administering laws enacted by National Assembly, and

(ii)      disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.

(2)      The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it -

(a)      to make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and

(b)      to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.

Power as to matters of evidence

83. (1) For the purposes of any investigation under section 82 of this Constitutional and subject to the provisions thereof, the Senate or the House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with section 58 of this Constitution shall have power -

(a)      to procure all such evidence, written or oral, direct or circumstantial, as it may think necessary or desirable, and examine all persons as witnesses whose evidence may be material or relevant to the subject matter;

(b)      to require such evidence to be given on oath;

(c)      to summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place or produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, and to examine him as a witness and require him to produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, subject to all just exceptions; and

(d)      to issue a warrant to compel the attendance of any person who, after having been summoned to attend, fails, refuses or neglects to do so and does not excuse such failure, refusal or neglect to the satisfaction of the House or the committee in question, and to order him to pay all costs which may have been occasioned in compelling his attendance or by reason of his failure, refusal or neglect to obey the summons, and also to impose such fine as may be prescribed for any such failure, refused or neglect; and any fine so imposed shall be recoverable in the same manner as a fine imposed by a court of law.

(2)      A summons or warrant issued under this section may be served or executed by any member of the Nigeria Police Force or by any person authorised in that behalf by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may require.

 

 Part II: House of Assembly of a State

    A - Composition and Staff of House of Assembly

Establishment of House of Assembly of Each State

84.     There shall be a House of Assembly for each of the States of the Federation.

Composition of House of Assembly

85.     Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a House of Assembly of a State shall consist of three or four times the number of seats which that State has in the House of Representatives, and the members of the House of Assembly shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.  

Speaker of the House of Assembly

86. (1) There shall be a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of a House of Assembly who shall be elected by the members of the House from among themselves.

(2)      The Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly shall vacate his office -

(a)      if he ceases to be a member of the House of Assembly otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of the House;

(b)      when the House of which he was a member first sits after any dissolution of House; or

(c)      if he is removed from office by a resolution of House of Assembly by the votes of not less than two-third majority of the members of the House.

Staff of House of Assembly

87.     There shall be a Clerk to a House of Assembly and such other staff as may be prescribed by a Law enacted by the House of Assembly, and the method of appointment of the Clerk and other staff of the House shall be as prescribed by that Law.


    B - Procedure for Summoning and Dissolution of House of Assembly

Oaths of Members

88. (1) Every person elected to a House of Assembly shall before taking his seat in that House, declare his assets and liabilities in the manner prescribed in this Constitution and subsequently take and subscribe before the Speaker of the House, the Oath of Allegiance and oath of membership prescribed in the Sixth Schedule to this Constitution, but a member may, before taking the oaths, take part in the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

(2)      The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of a House of Assembly shall declare their assets and liabilities in the manner prescribed by this Constitution and subsequently take and subscribe to the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of membership prescribed as aforesaid before the Clerk of the House of Assembly.

Presiding at Sittings

89. (1) At any sitting of a House of Assembly, the Speaker of that House shall preside, and in his absence the Deputy Speaker shall preside.

(2)      In the absence of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House, such member of the House as the House may elect for a purpose shall preside.

Quorum

90.     If objection is taken by any member of a House of Assembly present that there are present in that House (besides the person presiding) fewer than one-third of all the members of that House and that it is not competent for the House to transact business, and after such interval as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the House, the person presiding ascertains that the number of members present is still less than one-third of all the members of the House, he shall adjourn the House.

Languages

91.     The business of a House of Assembly shall be conducted in English, but the House may in addition to English conduct the business of the House in one or more other languages spoken in the State as the House may by resolution approve.

Voting

92. (1) Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, any question proposed for decision in a House of Assembly shall be determined by the required majority of the members present and voting; and the person presiding shall cast a vote whenever necessary to avoid an equality of votes but shall not vote in any other case.

(2)      Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, the required majority for the purpose of determining any question shall be a simple majority.

(3)      A House of Assembly shall by its rules provide -

(a)      that a member of the House shall declare any direct pecuniary interest he may have in any matter coming before the House for deliberation;

(b)      that the House may by resolution decide whether or not such member may vote or participate in its deliberations, on such matter;

(c)      the penalty, if any, which the House may impose for failure to declare any direct pecuniary interest such member may have; and

(d)      for such other matters pertaining to the foregoing as the House may think necessary,

but nothing in this subsection shall enable any rules to be made to require any member, who signifies his intention not to vote on or participate in such matter, and who does not so vote or participate, to declare any such interest.

Unqualified Persons Sitting or Voting: penalties

93.     Any person who sits or votes in a House of Assembly of a State knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so shall be guilty of an offence and shall upon conviction be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding N1, 000 or such higher term of imprisonment or a fine of a greater sum as may be prescribed for each day on which he sits or votes.

Mode of exercising Legislative power of a State

94. (1) The power of a House of Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by the House of Assembly and, except as otherwise provided by this section, assented to by the Governor.

(2)      A bill shall not become Law unless it has been duly passed and, subject to subsection (1) of this section, assented to in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(3)      Where a bill has been passed by the House of Assembly it shall be presented to the Governor for assent.

(4)      Where a bill is presented to the Governor for assent he shall within thirty days thereof signify that he assents or that he withholds assent.

(5)      Where the Governor withholds assent and the bill is again passed by the House of Assembly by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the Governor shall not be required.

Regulation of Procedure

95.     Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a House of Assembly shall have power to regulate its own procedure, including the procedure for summoning and recess of the House.

Vacancy or participation of strangers not to invalidate proceedings

96.     A House of Assembly may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in the proceedings of the House shall not invalidate such proceedings.

Committees

97. (1) A House of Assembly may appoint a committee of its members for any special or general purpose as in its opinion would be better regulated and managed by means of such a committee, and may by resolution, regulation or otherwise as it thinks fit delegate any functions exercisable by it to any such committee.

(2)      The number of members of a committee appointed under this section, their term of office and quorum shall be fixed by the House of Assembly.

(3)      Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorising a House of Assembly to delegate to a committee the power to decide whether a bill shall be passed into Law or to determine any matter which it is empowered to determine by resolution under the provisions of this Constitution, but such a committee of the House may be authorised to make recommendations to the House on any such matter.

Sittings

98.     A House of Assembly shall sit for a period of not less than 181 days in a year.

Dissolution and issue of proclamations by Governor

99. (1) A House of Assembly shall stand dissolved at the expiration of a period of four years commencing from the date of the first sitting of the House.

(2)      If the Federation is at war in which the territory of Nigeria is physically involved and the President considers that it is not practicable to hold elections, the National Assembly may by resolution extend the period of four years mentioned in subsection (1) of this section from time to time but not beyond a period of 6 months at any one time.

(3)      Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the person elected as the Governor of a State shall have power to issue a proclamation for the holding of the first session of the House of Assembly of the State concerned immediately after his being sworn in, or for its dissolution as provided in this section.

 

C -Qualification for Membership of House of Assembly and Right of Attendance

Qualifications for election

100.    Subject to the provisions of section 101 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified for election as a member of a House of Assembly if he is a citizen of Nigeria and has attained the age of 21 years.

Disqualifications

101. (1) No person shall be qualified for election to a House of Assembly if -

(a)      he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, has made a declaration of allegiance to such a country;

(b)      under any law in force in any part of Nigeria, he is adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind;

(c)      he is under a sentence of death imposed on him by any court of law in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment for an offence involving dishonesty (by whatever name called) exceeding 6 months imposed on him by such a court or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court;

(d)      within a period of less than ten years before the date of an election to the House of Assembly, he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of a contravention of the Code of Conduct;

(e)      he is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any part of Nigeria;

(f)      he is a person employed in the public service of the Federation or of any State.

(2)    Where in respect of any person who has been adjudged to be a lunatic; declared to be of unsound mind; sentenced to death or imprisonment; or adjudged or declared bankrupt, any appeal against the decision is pending in any court of law in accordance with any law in force in Nigeria, subsection (1) of this section shall not apply during a period beginning from the date when such appeal is lodged and ending on the date when the appeal is finally determined or, as the case may be, the appeal lapses or is abandoned, whichever is earlier; and for the purpose of this subsection, an “appeal” includes any application for an injunction or an order of certiorari, mandamus, prohibition or habeas corpus, or any appeal from any such application.

Right of attendance of Governor

102. (1) The Governor of a State may attend a meeting of a House of Assembly of the State either to deliver an address on State affairs or to make such statement on the policy of government as he may consider to be of importance to the State.

(2)     A Commissioner of the Government of a State shall attend the House of Assembly of the State if invited to explain to the House of Assembly the conduct of his Ministry, and in particular when the affairs of that Ministry are under discussion.

(3)     Nothing in this section shall enable any person who is not a member of a House of Assembly to vote in that House or in any of its committees.

Tenure of seats of members

103. (1) A member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if -

          (a)      he becomes a member of another legislative house;

(b)      any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of that House, would cause him to be disqualified for election as such a member;

          (c)      he ceases to be a citizen of Nigeria;

(d)      he becomes President, Vice-President, Governor, Deputy Governor or a Minister of the Government of the Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State;

(e)      save as otherwise prescribed by this Constitution, he becomes a member of a commission or other body established by this Constitution or by any other law;

(f)      without just cause he is absent from meetings of the House of Assembly for a period amounting in the aggregate to more than one-third of the total number of days during which the House meets in any one year; or

(g)      being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected:

Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

 (2)     A member of a House of Assembly shall be deemed to be absent without just cause from a meeting of the House of Assembly unless the person presiding certifies in writing that he is satisfied that the absence of the member from the meeting was for a just cause.

 

    D - Elections to a House of Assembly

State Constituencies

104.    Subject to the provisions of section 105 of this Constitution, the Federal Electoral Commission shall divide every state in the Federation into such number of State constituencies as is equal to three or four times the number of Federal constituencies within that  State.

Size of State constituencies

105.    The boundaries of each State constituency shall be such that the number of inhabitants thereof is as nearly equal to the population quota as is reasonably practicable.

Periodical review of State constituencies

106. (1)The Federal Electoral Commission shall review the division of every State into constituencies at intervals of not less than ten years, and may alter such constituencies in accordance with the provisions of this section to such extent as it may consider desirable in the light of the review.

(2)      The Federal Electoral Commission may at any time carry out such a review and alter the constituencies in accordance with the provisions of this section to such extent as it considers necessary in consequence of any alteration of the boundaries of the State or by reason of the holding of a census of the population of Nigeria in pursuance of an Act of the National Assembly.

Time when alteration of State constituencies takes effect

107.    Where the boundaries of any State constituency established under section 104 of this Constitution are altered in accordance with the provisions of section 106 of this Constitution, that alteration shall come into effect after it has been approved by the House of Assembly and after the current life of the House.

Tenure of elections to Houses of Assembly

108. (1) Elections to a House of Assembly shall be held on a date to be appointed by the Federal Electoral Commission.

(2)      The date mentioned in subsection (1) of this section shall not be earlier than sixty days before and not later than the date on which the House of Assembly stands dissolved, or where the election is to fill a vacancy occurring more than three months before such date, not later than one month after the vacancy occurred.

Direct election and franchise

109. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every State constituency established in accordance with the provisions of this part of this Chapter shall return one member who shall be directly elected to a House of Assembly in such manner as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

(2)      Every citizen of Nigeria, who has attained the age of eighteen years residing in Nigeria at the time of the registration of voters for purposes of election to any legislative house, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for that election.

Supervision of election

110. The registration of voters and the conduct of elections shall be subject to the direction and supervision of the Federal Electoral Commission.

Power of National Assembly as to the determination of certain questions

111. (1) The National Assembly shall make provisions as respects –

(a)      persons who may apply to the competent High Court for the determination of any question as to whether -

(i)       any person has been validly elected as a member of a House of Assembly,

                   (ii)      the term of office of any person has ceased, or

(iii)     the seat in a House of Assembly of a member of that House has become vacant;

(b)      circumstances and manner in which, and the conditions upon which, such application may be made; and

(c)      powers, practice and procedure of the competent High Court in relation to any such application.

(2)      In this section, “competent High Court” has the meaning assigned to it in section 237 of this Constitution.

 

 E - Powers and Control over Public Funds

 Establishment of Consolidated Revenue Fund

112. (1) All revenues or other moneys raised or received by a State (not being revenues or other moneys payable under this Constitution or any Law of a House of Assembly into any other public fund of the State established for a specific purpose) shall be paid into and form one Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State.

(2)      No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the Fund by this Constitution or where the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Appropriation Law, Supplementary Appropriation Law or Law passed in pursuance of section 113 of this Constitution.

(3)      No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the State, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by a Law of the House of Assembly of the State.

(4)      No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State or any other public fund of the State except in the manner prescribed by the House of Assembly.

Authorisation of expenditure from Consolidated Revenue Fund

113. (1) The Governor shall cause to be prepared and laid before the House of Assembly at any time before the commencement of each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the State for the next following financial year.

(2)      The heads of expenditure contained in the estimates, other than expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State by this Constitution, shall be included in a bill, to be known as an Appropriation Bill, providing for the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure and the appropriation of those sums for the purposes specified therein.

 (3)     If in respect of any financial year, it is found -

(a)