Chapter I, Part II – Powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Chapter I, Part II – Powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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.

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.

(3) The executive powers vested in a State under subsection (2) of this section shall be so exercised as not to:-

(a) impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive powers of the Federation;

(b) endanger any asset or investment of the Government of the Federation in that State; or

(c) 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.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (4) of this section, the President, in consultation with the National Defence Council, may deploy members of the armed forces of the Federation on a limited combat duty outside Nigeria if he is satisfied that the national security is under imminent threat or danger:

Provided that the President shall, within seven days of actual combat engagement, seek the consent of the Senate and the Senate shall thereafter give or refuse the said consent within 14 days.

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 (1) 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) the National Assembly or 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) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly, which does not require it, from abolishing any court which it has power to establish or which it has brought into being.

(5) This section relates to:-

(a) the Supreme Court of Nigeria;

(b) the Court of Appeal;

(c) the Federal High Court;

(d) the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;

(e) a High Court of a State

(f) the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;

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

(h) the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;

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

(j) 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

(k) 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 to any persons 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 of 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;

(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.

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, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, 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 council 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.

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.

(3) A bill for a Law of a House of Assembly for the purpose of creating a new local government area 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 local government area) in each of the following, namely –

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

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

is received by the House of Assembly;

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

(c) the result of the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of the members in each local government council in a majority of all the local government councils in the State; and

(d) the result of the referendum is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of the House of Assembly.

(4) A bill for a Law of House of Assembly for the purpose of boundary adjustment of any existing local government area shall only be passed if-

(a) a request for the boundary adjustment is 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 House of Assembly in respect of the area, and

(ii) the local government council in respect of the area,

is received by the House of Assembly; and

(b) a proposal for the boundary adjustment is approved by a simple majority of members of the House of Assembly in respect of the area concerned.

(5) An Act of the National Assembly passed in accordance with this section shall make consequential provisions with respect to the names and headquarters of State or Local government areas as provided in section 3 of this Constitution and in Parts I and II of the First Schedule to this Constitution.

(6) For the purpose of enabling the National Assembly to exercise the powers conferred upon it by subsection (5) of this section, each House of Assembly shall, after the creation of more local government areas pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, make adequate returns to each House of the National Assembly

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 altertion 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 48 and 49 of this Constitution.

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

11.(1) The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part therefore with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order and providing, maintaining and securing of such supplies and service as may be designed 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 matter 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:

Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the Governor or the Deputy Governor of the State from office.

(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.

12.(1) No treaty between the Federation and any other country shall have the force of law 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 he 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.