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Title: The law and politics of constitution making in Nigeria, 1900-1989 : issues, interests and compromises
Author: Mamman, Tahir
ISNI:       0000 0001 3617 7930
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1991
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This thesis is a study of the constitution making processes in Nigeria from the colonial inception to the 1989 Constitution which is scheduled to usher in a putative third republic. Although apparently covering a wide scope, its boundary is limited by its perspective. Constitution making in any polity is essentially a political process where all the major, relevant and active interests seek to protect and advance themselves. Consequently, the focus of the research is on determining these competing interests, their interactions, compromises, winners and losers, etc. Attempts were made to provide the criteria for class identification in Nigeria to serve as a guide for determining class based action. The value of the work is threefold. First, it makes a modest but important contribution to an ongoing debate on whether or not Nigeria's post independence constitutional processes in particular were grounded in class interest, in the tradition of Charles Beard's interpretation of the constitution of the U.S.A. Second, it disputes and in large measure seeks to contradict some of the earlier widely held assumptions and assertions regarding the making of some of the constitutions, especially the Macpherson Constitution, 1951.Finally, it attempts to provide a complete and realistic account of the constitutional evolution of Nigeria less the military rule, from its inception as a country up to 1989. The method of investigation was largely analytical using official records, official reports, communications of key officials, biographical data, etc. Theoretical guidance was significantly drawn from political economy writings in politics, history and law. Eventually, the analysis revealed the existence and interplay of important interest configurations, reducing class to a subtle rather than an obvious phenomenon in the constitutional process. But overwhelmingly, the entire process was elitist and self serving with the mainstream of the population left in the margin in the composition of the constitutional bodies, the setting of agenda and the institutions and mechanisms established for governing the country. Finally, it found that there was a great deal of continuity of the values and institutions established for colonial ends with little or no will manifested in the constitutional process to break with the past. Rather what transpired was an expansion of institutions and creation of formulae in the constitution to accommodate a new breed of elites who were able to manipulate potential cleavages in the society to serve personal ends.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DT Africa ; KR Africa