Features of Republic constitution of 1963
- The British queen ceased to be Nigerian head of state
- Privy council was replaced by the supreme court as the highest court of appeal in Nigeria
- The constitution retained the parliamentary system of government and laid down the procedures for creation of more region or states
- The name of the governor general was changed to president
- The president was empowered to appoint judges of the supreme court and the high court of Lagos instead of the judicial service commission
- The constitution retained the emergency power conferred on the federal government
- The constitution also guaranteed fundamental human right
- There was also a revenue allocation formula based on need, national interest and balanced development
- The 1963 constitution established the process for the creation of new regions as well as for the alteration of the existing regional boundaries
- Merit of Republic constitution of 1963
- Nigeria was accorded full political independence as a republican state as the queen was no longer the head of state
- The Nigerian supreme court became the highest court of appeal instead of privacy counci
- Emergency power has conferred on the federal government
- The constitution established fundamental human rights (the liberty of the citizen)
The constitution review of 1963: the republican constitution
The improved provisions included the following:
An indigenous head of state to be elected as a constitution president by a secret ballot of the national parliament, thus, making the position independent of the queen.
Shortcomings of the constitution
Despite the fact that the republican constitution of 1963 was on improvement on the independence constitution of 1960, some critics have also identified some lapses in some of its provisions, however, one consolation was that the critics accented that the collapse of the constitution was more as a result of its operation by the politicians, than as a result of its comments, as no constitution can be perfect on itself.
Thus, the constitution, as in the case of that of 1960 was operated with tribal and ethnic bias, as its operators became corrupt without regards to its provisions. Al these provided the background for the first military coup on 15th January 1966, which over threw the first civilian government and the subsequent suspension of the constitution, and counter-coup in six months later that year, which was bloodier than the January coup. The civil war that result following the counter-coup kept the military in politics without constitution, for the country, till 1979, when another constitution came into force.