HISTORY OF NIGERIAN CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
A constitution is a collection of rules and regulation that govern or guide the actions of a country. Constitution helps those in government to do their work and it also helps the citizens to know their duties and rights. Constitution can simply be referred as law.
Nigeria's first constitutions were enacted by order in council during the colonial era, when the country was administered as a Crown Colony. The constitutions enacted during this period were those of 1913 (which came into effect on 1 January 1914), 1922, 1946, 1951 and 1954.
BRIEF HISTORY OF NIGERIAN CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
After the annexation of Lagos by the British in 1861, a legislative and executive council was constituted for it. In 1862, Lagos and other British territories in the Gold coast, Sierra Leone and Gambia were by a commission dated 19 February 1866, placed under a Governor General based in Sierra Leone. However, they each had separate legislative councils.
In 1874, the Gold coast and Lagos were formed into a separate colony with a governor and legislative council based in the Gold coast.
In 1886, Lagos became a separate political entity with its own Governor, executive and legislative councils.
In 1906, the protectorate of Southern Nigeria and the colony of Lagos were amalgamated and called the colony and protectorate of Southern Nigeria.
By Article 4 of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate Order in Council 1906, the Legislative Council of Lagos was empowered to make laws for the protectorate of Southern Nigeria by ordinance.
In 1914, the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria was merged with the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria and they were referred to as the Colony and protectorate of Nigeria.
COLONIAL NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION
There were four major colonial constitutions in Nigeria; the colonial constitutions are the constitutions before the independence in 1960.The constitution are:
- The Clifford constitution of 1922
- The Richard's constitution of 1946
- The Macpherson constitution of 1951
- The Lyttleton constitution of 1954
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