SS3 LESSON NOTE FOR WEEK 7
THE REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION OF 1963
A Republican form of government can be defined as a sovereign state headed by a president, elected for a fixed term of office. Nigeria became a republic in 1963.
MAIN FEATURES OF THE REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION OF 1963 OR SOME CHANGES INTRODUCED BY THE 1963 REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION
1. The Republican constitution of 1963 established a Republican Government in Nigeria.
2. The Queen of England ceased to be the Head of State of Nigeria.
3. The Queen was replaced with the president who became the constitutional Nigerian Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
4. The President was to be elected by secret ballot by a joint session of both houses of the federal legislature.
5. The supreme court of Nigeria rather than the Privy Council in Britain, became the final Court of Appeal.
6. The constitution abolished the Judicial Service Commission and the power for the appointment, transfer and promotion were vested on the Prime Minister.
7. The President was not made executive one but ceremonial one.
8. Some emergency powers were conferred on the federal government.
9. The Federal Supreme Court was given the power of judicial review.
10. The office of the Prime Minister was strengthened but made accountable to the parliament.
ADVANTAGES OF THE FIRST REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION
1. An elected president became the head of state to replace the British Monarch who was Nigeria’s head of state under the independence constitution.
2. The Supreme Court became the final court of appeal instead of the British Privy Council.
3. The rights of citizens were fully guaranteed and entrenched.
4. The decision making of the country now fully involved Nigerians
5. British undue external influence ceased.
6. The supreme court was given the power to check the excesses or unconstitutional actions of the executive and the legislature.