8 Functions of Nigerian Constitution

Functions of Nigerian Constitution

In this post, we will look at the functions of the Nigerian Constitution. The Nigerian Constitution is Nigeria’s legal document, and this legal document is what validates every action of an individual, as well as that of the institution.

No individual or institution can take action without such action being bound by the Nigerian Constitution, everything is connected to the constitution.

Read Also: Constitutional Development in Nigeria; Historical Timeline, Problems, Prospects

8 Functions of Nigerian Constitution
Functions of Nigerian Constitution – Photo Source:

For instance, if somebody owns an organization, I mean private organization, that is, business outfit, what you will find out is that, though this business organization is a private organization, owned by someone, it is connected to the constitution.

Why must a private company, that is engaging in its private business connect to the constitution, you may ask? The answer is simple.

That company, for instance was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, and do not forget that, it is the Companies Allied Matters Act that established corporate affairs commission, this Act is a law made by the National Assembly, and once you registered with the corporate affairs commission, you are issued with a certificate of incorporation.

By this transaction, the company is connected to the Nigerian Constitution. Therefore, the Nigerian Constitution becomes important because everything is connected to it.

Read Also: The Process of Amending The Nigerian Constitution

What Is The Constitution

The Constitution is a legal document, a law, considered to be supreme in the land. In Nigeria context_the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is Nigeria’s legal document that contains all the laws observed in Nigeria. In the Nigerian Constitution, the fundamental right of every Nigerian is contained therein.

Functions Of To Nigerian Constitution

The Nigerian Constitution serves many purposes, and functions. In this article, we are going to look at the functions of the Nigerian Constitution together.

1. The Nigerian Constitution Watches Over Men And Institutions Actions

The Nigerian Constitution remains the supreme law of the federal republic of Nigeria_and so, it is above every other law.

Every action is null and void when it is not in line with the Nigerian Constitution, once an action is not consistent with what the constitution says, such an action is of no effect.

Therefore, the function of the Nigerian Constitution is that, it watches over the actions of men and institutions to ensure that they are compatible with the provision of the Nigerian Constitution otherwise, such action would be declared null and void and of no effect.

Read Also: 9 Functions of the Nigerian Bar Association

2. Nigerian Constitution Detects The Powers Of Three Arms Of Government

The actions and the activities of the three arms of government, that is, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary are well defined in the Nigerian Constitution, as well as their powers. The constitution considered the legislature as the most powerful arm of government with the powers to make the laws of the land, whereas, the Judiciary only interpret these laws. The powers of the Executive are to execute these laws. Therefore, the function of the Nigerian Constitution is to checkmate the powers of these three arms of government.

3. Nigerian Constitution States Procedures Of Of State Creation

There are procedures set out by the Nigerian Constitution should a state is to be created., and it is expected that such procedures be followed, whenever there is a need for state creation.

More so, there are procedures set out by the Nigerian Constitution in an event where there are boundary issues, that is, boundary adjustment of a state and or a local government has already existed.

Therefore, such procedures could be followed to create either a new state or adjust the boundary of the exited state.

4. Nigerian Constitution Empowers National Assembly To Enact International Treaty Into Law

The international treaty could be of immense benefit to Nigeria, depending on which of the area the Nigerian government is going into an international treaty for, nevertheless, the Nigerian Constitution has made provision, demanding that, until the National Assembly enact such international treaty into law, such treaty cannot be effective.

Therefore, any international treaty considered to be of benefit to Nigeria, the function of the Nigerian Constitution is that it has empowered the National Assembly to enact such a treaty into law.

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5. Nigerian Constitution Provides For Federal Character Reflection In Government’s Composition

The Nigerian Constitution has made provisions for federal character reflections in every composition of the Nigerian government.

In other words, any time the government is constituted, for instance, when the Executive council is constituted by the, say, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that executive council must reflect the federal character of Nigeria.

The same is applicable when it comes to the constitution of board members, as well as government agencies.

Therefore_the Nigerian constitution has helped, through its provision, in ensuring that, every state, region, and zone within the Nigerian federation is represented in government.

6. Nigerian Construction Provides Procedures For Citizenship

There is a provision in the Nigerian constitution that states the procedure upon which an individual can become Nigerian citizens.

Apart from becoming Nigerian citizen either by birth or nationality, there is a provision in the Nigerian constitution that states the number of years a foreigner can spend in Nigeria before he can be conferred the status of a citizen of Nigeria.

Accordingly, the Nigerian constitution has functioned in this aspect such that, people are accorded with their constitutional rights.

7. Nigerian Constitution Provides Provision For Renouncement Of Citizenship

Besides the Nigerian constitution’s provision of procedure for an individual to become a Nigerian citizen, it has also made provision, should individual wants to renounce his citizenship as a Nigerian.

In such a provision, the Nigerian constitution has states the procedure to follow, if someone wants to renounce his citizenship.

Any person has the freedom to say I do not want to be a Nigerian again, yes, he has that right, but such claim could only be authenticated by the approval of the Nigerian government.

Going by this, the Nigerian constitution has functioned with regard to allowing persons of freedom of choice.

8. Nigerian Constitution Provides For Fundamental Rights Of Nigerian Citizens

Every Nigerian citizen is accorded with the constitutional rights, the fundamental rights of Nigerians are enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

In other words, the Nigerian constitution is serving as the protector of the rights of the Nigerian citizens hence, every Nigerian citizen stands a chance of enjoying the following rights, rights such as, right to life, and right to dignity, and right to personal liberty, and right to fair hearing, and right to privacy, and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and right to freedom of expression, and right to freedom of assembly, and right to freedom of movement within Nigeria, and right to freedom from discrimination, and right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.

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No individual or institution can take action without such action being bound by the Nigerian Constitution, everything is connected to the constitution.

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Joseph Athanasius

Joseph Athanasius is a Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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