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Summary

Nigeria’s federal legislative body, the National Assembly, consists of two houses—the House of Representatives and the Senate.  All members of the National Assembly are elected directly every four years. 

Although, as the consequence of being a former British colony, Nigeria started out with a parliamentary system of government at independence in 1960, it switched to a presidential system modeled after that of the United States in 1979.  This was done primarily to achieve a more enhanced separation of powers, and checks and balances, among the three branches of government.  To that end, in addition to its legislative mandate, the current Constitution accords the National Assembly extensive oversight powers.  These include control over the spending of federal funds, the authority to provide advice and consent for appointments to key executive positions, the power to approve all treaties negotiated by the executive, and the power to impeach the President and his deputy.  

Various elected and unelected officers are instrumental to the functioning of the National Assembly.  Key members of the National Assembly leadership include the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, the Chief Whip, and the Minority Whip.  Among the unelected officers of the National Assembly are the Clerk and the Sergeant-at-Arms. 

 Also crucial to the proper functioning of the body are the various committees.  While the Nigerian Constitution requires each house of the National Assembly to form two committees—a joint committee on finance and a public accounts committee—it permits each body to form as many other committees as it deems fit.  The National Assembly may establish various forms of committees: special committees, standing committees, ad hoc committees, and committees of the whole. 

The legislative process in Nigeria involves both houses of the National Assembly and the President.  Typically, once a bill (executive, private, or member’s bill) is introduced in the National Assembly, it goes through a rigorous process before it is enacted into law, which includes three readings of the bill, scrutiny by the relevant committee where amendments may be made, and presidential assent.

I.  Background

Nigeria, with an estimated population of around 187 million, is by far the most populous country in Africa.[1]  A federation, Nigeria has a three-tiered government structure including the federal government, thirty-six states,[2] and a federal capital (Abuja), as well as 768 local government areas within the states.[3] 

The history of the Nigerian legislature dates back to the Lagos Legislative Council of 1862, established under British colonial rule.  Nigeria, like most African states, is a colonial creation and, as in most other African countries that have gone through this experience, its annexation was not immediate.  For Nigeria, it began with the ceding of Lagos, through coercion, to the British Crown by King Dosunmu in 1861.[4]  A year later, Lagos was declared a Crown Colony and a legislative council was established to “advise and assist” the governor of the Colony who served as the head of both the executive and legislative bodies of the Colony.[5]  The members of the Council, who were appointed to their positions, did not have lawmaking power.[6]  Of the ten members of the Council at the time, only two were Nigerian.[7] 

The administration of British colonies in the region continued to evolve and by 1914 the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria was established by merging the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria (which by then included the Protectorate of Lagos) and the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria.[8]  For administrative purposes, the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria was divided into three regions: Lagos, the Northern Provinces, and the Southern Provinces.[9]  While Lagos’s Legislative Council was kept intact, a new legislative body, the Nigerian Council, was established for the rest of the Protectorate of Nigeria.[10]  Only six of the thirty-six members of the Council were Nigerian and the body had no legislative function.[11] 

Major changes were introduced to the legislative structure through a 1922 Constitution.  The Constitution abolished the Lagos Legislative Council and established a national legislative body with forty-six members, four of whom were elected.[12]  It accorded the body lawmaking power; however, its jurisdiction was limited to Lagos and the Southern Provinces.[13]  The Constitution also permitted members of the body to introduce bills as long as they were not finance-related.[14]

A 1946 Constitution introduced further reforms to the legislature.  A key reform under this Constitution created the foundation for the country’s current federal system by establishing three regional legislative bodies: the Northern Regional Council (headquartered in Enugu), the Western House of Assembly (seated in Ibadan), and the Eastern House of Assembly (with Kaduna as its headquarters).[15]  However, Nigeria remained a unitary state because, among other things, the role of the regional assemblies was restricted to advising the central government on all proposed bills except finance bills.[16] 

This changed with the enactment of the 1951 Constitution, which accorded the regional legislatures lawmaking powers on various regional issues enumerated in the Constitution.[17]  In addition, the Constitution enhanced the representative nature of both the central and regional legislatures by increasing the seats of the bodies that needed to be filled through an election.[18]  However, the 1951 Constitution did not provide a list of areas of legislative competencies for the central government, which meant that legislative powers of the central government “extended to and overlapped those of the regional governments.”[19]  The federal arrangement was further enhanced through the 1954 Constitution, which, among other things, clearly defined the legislative competencies of the federal and regional legislatures.[20]

More reforms were made in the years that followed.  For instance, in 1959 the Nigerian Senate was established and the Nigerian federal legislature, which until then had been a unicameral body, became bicameral.[21]  Most of the members of the newly-constituted, forty-eight member body were appointed to their seats.[22]  The number of states, which stood at four in 1963, had increased to thirty-six by 1991, where it stands today.[23]

At independence in 1960, Nigeria adopted a parliamentary system of government mirroring that of its former colonizer, the United Kingdom.[24]  The Governor-General, who served as the representative of the Queen and the Head of State, appointed the Prime Minister as the Head of Government, and his cabinet from among members of the legislature.[25]  In 1963, Nigeria severed ties with the British Monarchy and created the position of President as the Head of State.[26]  In 1979, Nigeria abolished the parliamentary system of government in favor of a presidential system of government, in large part for the purpose of achieving a sharper separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.[27]  Although Nigeria was a dictatorship from 1983 through 1998, the presidential system of government was reinstituted in 1999 (when Nigeria returned to a democratic system of government) and endures to this day.[28]

This report outlines the structure and role of the Nigerian federal legislature under the current (1999) Constitution.

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II.  Current Constitutional Status and Role

Nigeria has a presidential system of government consisting of three distinct branches: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary.[29]  The legislative branch, the National Assembly, which is said to have been modeled after the United States Congress, is a bicameral body with a 360-member House of Representatives and a 109-member Senate.[30]  At the state level, this power is vested in house assemblies whose seats range from twenty-four to forty members depending on the population of the particular state.[31] 

In addition to its legislative function, the National Assembly has broad oversight powers.  The ultimate power in this regard, as in the US, rests in the National Assembly’s power of the purse; except in instances where the Constitution itself specifies otherwise, spending any public funds requires the approval of the National Assembly.[32]  The Nigerian Constitution provides that “[n]o moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Act of the National Assembly.”[33]  The Constitution further provides that “[n]o moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.”[34]  It exercises this power in different ways, including vetting of proposals of the executive branch for funding various activities (mainly through the appropriations process); through audits of public accounts by the Auditor-General (who reports to the National Assembly); and through investigations of the conduct of persons, both natural and juridical, charged with implementation of laws or disbursement of any appropriated funds.[35] 

In addition, also as in the US, the National Assembly, specifically the Senate, plays a role in filling key executive positions.  Under the Constitution, staffing key executive positions, including the positions of Minister, Ambassador, and Commissioner, requires the advice and consent of the Senate.[36]  Further, the National Assembly exercises oversight over the power of the executive to enter into a treaty of any kind; before it can be implemented in Nigeria, a treaty must first be enacted into law by the National Assembly.[37]  Also, a key oversight role of the National Assembly is the power to remove chief executives, including the President, the Vice-President, a Governor, and a Deputy Governor, for “gross misconduct.”[38]  In exercising this power, the Constitution requires some input from the judiciary.[39]

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III. Structure and Composition

A.   Seat of Parliament

Since its creation, Nigeria has had two capitals: Lagos and Abuja.  The “borders of the modern state” of Nigeria were created in 1914 with the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates.[40]  Lagos was the seat of government until 1976 when Nigeria decided to create a new federal capital, Abuja.[41]  However, the move did not occur until 1991.[42] 

Abuja, the current federal capital, sits on 3,000 square miles of land carved out of three states: Niger, Plateau (now known as Nassarawa), and Kwara (today known as Kogi).[43]  Abuja, and more specifically the area where the National Assembly building is located, was inspired by the Washington, DC, National Mall design.[44]  According to one source,

[t]he Nigerian Authorities insisted that Aso Hill must be the most prominent element within the Federal Capital Territory.  Aso Hill is a huge granite outcrop (1,300 feet high) that dominates the landscape of Abuja and its vicinity visually and physically, giving the city a natural east-west axis.  Moreover, creating the image of a democratic landscape that emblemizes the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (patterned after the United States’ checks-and-balances system of government) was also an integral part of the Abuja urban design scheme.  As a result, a democratic shrine called the Three Arms Zone was created at the foot of the Aso Hill, making it the focal point of the city and the locus of power of the federal government of Nigeria.  Abuja’s Three Arms Zone is one Kilometer in diameter, and the buildings of the National Assembly, the Presidential Palace, and the Supreme Court are located within it.  From Aso Hill in the east end of the city, one moves through the ceremonial Abuja National Mall, which is also patterned after that of Washington D.C.  However, the axial view of the mall is flanked by high-rise federal office buildings on both sides . . . .[45]

One of the reasons for moving the capital from Lagos (which is located in the southwestern tip of the country) to Abuja (located literally in the middle of the country) was “to bring the seat of power closer to the other regions of the country” and to carve out a territory under the complete control of the federal government.[46]

 B.   National Assembly and Senate Membership

As noted above, Nigeria has a bicameral legislature, known as the National Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate.[47]  The House of Representatives is a 360-member body “representing constituencies of nearly equal population as far as possible.”[48]  The Senate has 109 members consisting of three members from each of the thirty-six states and one member from Abuja, the federal capital.[49]  The leaders of the House of Representatives (the Speaker and Deputy Speaker) and the Senate (the President and Deputy President) are elected from among the members of the bodies.[50]

Members of the National Assembly are elected directly by eligible voters in their districts.[51]

The Nigerian system regarding membership in the National Assembly is different from that of the US in two key ways: first, unlike in the US where members of the Senate are elected in statewide elections, members of the Nigerian Senate are elected from what are called senatorial districts of which there are three in each state, with Abuja being considered one senatorial district.[52]  Second, where the electoral districts are drawn by state legislatures in the US, in Nigeria this task is under the purview of the Independent National Electoral Commission, a constitutional body.[53]

C.   Role of the Speakers of the House of Representatives and the Senate

1.   Speaker of the House of Representatives

As noted above, the Speaker of the House of Representatives is elected from among the members of the body.  The Speaker, and in his absence his deputy, preside “at any sitting” of the body.[54]  Other functions of the Speaker include: preserving order and decorum, interpreting the Standing Orders, breaking vote ties, and appointing the leadership of committees.[55]     

The Speaker of the House of Representatives “is supposed to be an impartial chairman or umpire of the House.”[56]  He does not vote except to break ties.[57] 

2.   President of the Senate

As is the case with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate is elected to the position from among the members of the body.[58]  The President of the Senate, and in his absence the Deputy President, presides at any sitting of the Senate.[59]  Other functions of the President of the Senate include interpretation and enforcement of the rules of debate as well as signing writs, warrants, and subpoenas issued by the body.[60]

As is the case with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate does not vote except for the purpose of breaking ties.[61]

It appears that the President of the Nigerian Senate plays a role closer to that of the Speaker of the House in the US Congress.  For instance, the President of the Nigerian Senate, like the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, presides over joint sittings of the House of Representatives and the Senate.[62]  In addition, the President of the Nigerian Senate is second in the line of presidential succession following the Deputy President.[63]  However, the ascension of the President of the Senate to the presidency is temporary in nature; it is capped at three months during which time an election must be held to fill the vacancy.[64]

D.   Other Parliamentary Officers

In addition to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and their deputies, the leadership in the National Assembly, known to as the “principal officers” of the House of Representatives and the Senate include

  • the Majority Leader and his deputy,
  • the Minority Leader and his deputy,
  • the Chief Whip and his deputy, and
  • the Minority Whip and his deputy.[65] 

The functions of a Majority Leader, who is nominated to the position by the party with the highest number of seats in the respective house, include leading the business of the house, managing legislative schedules, and liaising with committee chairmen and other functionaries.[66]  The functions of the Chief Whip, also a person representing the party with the highest number of seats in the respective house, include maintaining order and decorum, organizing party members during debates and managing party business on the floor of the respective house.[67]  

The National Assembly also has nonmember officers that carry out administrative functions necessary for the running of the body.  The administrative functions necessary for the National Assembly are the responsibility of the Clerk of the National Assembly; in addition, each house has a Clerk tasked with overseeing the administrative aspects of the body.[68]  Each house also has a Sergeant-at-Arms who is the chief security officer in the respective house and whose functions include maintaining order during sittings.[69]  

 E.  Committee System

The Constitution authorizes the House of Representatives and the Senate to form committees and imposes broad limits on how committees may be formed.  It states that either house may

appoint a committee of its members for such special or general purpose as in its opinion would be better regulated and managed by means of such a committee, and may by resolution, regulation or otherwise, as it thinks fit, delegate any functions exercisable by it to any such committee.[70]

In doing so, the respective house is free to determine the “number of members of a committee appointed under this section, their terms of office and quorum.”[71]  However, the appointing house may not “delegate to a committee the power to decide whether a bill shall be passed into law or to determine any matter which it is empowered to determine by resolution under the provisions of this Constitution.”[72]  This is a departure from the manner in which committees in the US Congress operate in which they have the power to kill bills and prevent their referral to the larger body by simply not voting on them.[73]  In Nigeria, the committees are only authorized to make recommendations and they must always report the matter before them to the appointing house.[74]

The Constitution mandates the formation of two committees.  It requires that the House of Representatives and the Senate “appoint a joint committee on finance consisting of an equal number of persons appointed by each House.”[75]  The job of the Joint Committee is to reconcile different versions of appropriations bills adopted in the Senate and the House of Representatives.[76]  Each house is also required to form a Public Accounts Committee to consider the report of the Auditor-General on the country’s public accounts.[77]

There are a number of different types of committees in the Nigerian National Assembly: special committees, standing committees, ad hoc committees, and committees of the whole.[78]  Referred to as “machinery committees,” special committees are formed for the term of the National Assembly and their role is to “facilitate the legislative process and assist in the smooth conduct of business.”[79]  Standing committees are permanent committees that “deal with subject-matters or specific areas of the work of the [l]egislature.”[80]  They exercise the legislative body’s oversight functions over the specific executive agencies within their purview, mainly by scrutinizing appropriations proposals.[81]  An ad hoc committee is a committee formed to handle a specific task, including conducting an investigation or a study of a particular issue, and dissolves at the conclusion of the task.[82]  The House of Representatives and the Senate form joint committees to deal with matters over which they share jurisdiction; some joint committees are standing committees, while others are ad hoc in nature.[83]  As is the case with the joint sittings of the National Assembly and the Senate, joint committees are chaired by a member of the committee nominated from the Senate.[84]  

Committees of the whole involve the entire membership of the respective house sitting as a committee and presided over by a chairman; the “principal function of the committee is deliberative and not enquiry.”[85]

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IV.  Elections

In Nigeria, National Assembly elections are held every four years.[86]  As noted above, there are three senatorial districts in each of the thirty-six states, and the Federal Capital, Abuja, is counted as one district, which brings the total number of senators to 109.[87]  For purposes of allocating seats in the House of Representatives, Nigeria is divided into 360 federal constituencies, each of which is represented by one member in the House of Representatives.[88]  

Members of the National Assembly are elected directly and any Nigerian citizen above the age of eighteen may register to vote.[89]

In addition to the other eligibility requirements (mainly on age, citizenship, and level of education), in order to compete for a seat in the National Assembly, a person must be a member of a political party and must be sponsored by that party.[90]  Nigeria does not permit independent candidacy.[91]

There are forty registered political parties in Nigeria.[92]  However, the last election, which took place in 2015, was mainly a contest between two main parties: the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC).[93]  While the PDP is the party that has governed Nigeria since its transition into democracy in 1998, the APC was formed only in 2013 through a coalition of four opposition parties: the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).[94]  The APC, led by General Mohammadu Buhari, the country’s incumbent President, won the presidency (with 53.96% of the votes) and the majority of the seats in the National Assembly—60 of the 109 seats in the Senate (55%) and 212 of the 360 seats in the House of Representatives (58.9%).[95]  The rest of the seats in the National Assembly went to the PDP with other small parties winning only eight seats in the House of Representatives.[96]

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V.  Legislative Process

A.    General

The legislative power in Nigeria is shared by the National Assembly and the state legislatures.  The Nigeria Constitution enumerates the legislative mandate of the National Assembly in the Second Schedule.[97]  The National Assembly can legislate on matters enumerated under the Exclusive Legislative List in Part I of the Second Schedule to the exclusion of state legislatures, including on aviation, citizenship, marriage (except those contracted under Islamic or customary law), and prisons.[98]  In addition, the National Assembly shares with state legislatures the power to make laws on matters enumerated under the Concurrent Legislative List in Part II of the Schedule.[99]  State legislatures may legislate on any matter not listed in Part I of the Second Schedule.[100] 

The legislative power of the National Assembly is exercised by bills adopted in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.[101]  The same version of a bill, which may originate in either of the houses, must be adopted by both houses of the National Assembly.[102]  The legislative power of the National Assembly is checked through the veto power of the President, although this power is not absolute (see Part V(B)(6), below).

The adoption of what are known as “money bills”[103] is slightly different.  If a money bill is passed by one of the houses of the National Assembly and the other house does not adopt the same version within two months, the President of the Senate must arrange for the Joint Finance Committee to convene to resolve the differences.[104]  If the Committee fails to resolve the differences, the bill must be presented to the joint sitting of the National Assembly for a vote.[105]

B.   The Legislative Stages

There are three categories of bills: executive, private, and member’s bills.[106]  An executive bill is one initiated by any part of the executive branch.[107]  This kind of bill must be forwarded to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate with a cover letter from the country’s president.[108]  A member’s bill is a bill initiated by a member or a group of members of the National Assembly, while any bill not an executive bill or a member’s bill is known as a private bill.[109]  While anyone may initiate a bill, only a member of the National Assembly may introduce it on the floor of the House of Representatives or Senate.[110]  In addition, before any bill can be introduced, its financial implications must be calculated and attached to it.[111]

There are some differences in the manner in which executive bills and other bills are processed.  For instance, executive bills may be considered simultaneously by the House of Representatives and the Senate, whereas member’s bills and private bills are considered by one house of the National Assembly at a time.[112]  While an executive bill must be published only once in the gazette of the journal of the House of Representatives and Senate before it can be presented for consideration, member’s and private bills must be published three times.[113]

Although every bill must receive three readings before it can be adopted and no more than one reading can occur on the same day, the rules of the House of Representatives and Senate may be suspended to ensure an accelerated, same-day passage for certain urgent bills.[114]

1.  First Reading

At the first reading, the person sponsoring the bill presents it and the clerk reads its short title aloud.[115] 

2.  Second Reading

The second reading is the stage at which debate of a bill occurs.[116]  The sponsor of the bill (the Majority Leader in the case of executive bills) explains its basic aspects and benefits.[117]  Members wishing to participate in the debate are accorded five to seven minutes to speak, at which time they argue for the bill’s rejection or amendment; if, at the end of the debate, the bill receives the support of the majority of the house in which it is being considered, it passes to the next stage.[118]

3.  Committee Stage

The bill is next assigned to a select or standing committee for a more thorough examination.[119]  The relevant committee examines each provision and holds public hearings; however, while anyone may make suggestions, only members of the committee may propose an amendment.[120]  The committee then reports its findings on the bill with all the amendments, if any, back to the House of Representatives or the Senate for deliberation.[121]

Bills deemed important are referred to and examined by the entire house constituted as a committee of the whole in place of the select or standing committee.[122]

4.  Third Reading

Typically, there is not much debate and no amendments are made at the third-reading stage.[123]  However, a member who wishes to seek to amend the bill or introduce a provision may make a motion that the bill be recommitted before the motion for the third reading is acted upon; if the motion is agreed to, the proposed amendment is considered by the committee of the whole.[124]  This is followed by the third reading, where the bill is voted on and passed if it garners majority support.[125]

5.  Joint Conference Committee

If the House of Representatives and the Senate adopt different versions of a bill, a Joint Conference Committee is constituted to reconcile the differences.  Members of the Committee deliberate only on the parts of the bill where there is disagreement; no new item may be introduced at this stage.[126]  If either chamber of the National Assembly refuses to accept the decision of the Committee, the bill dies unless it is a money bill, as described above, in which case it is referred to a joint sitting of the National Assembly for a vote and enacted if it garners majority support.[127]

6.  Assent

The Nigerian President plays a crucial role in the lawmaking process through the constitutionally guaranteed veto power, which may be exercised over any legislation adopted by the National Assembly.  The Constitution states,

[w]here a bill has been passed by the House in which it originated, it shall be sent to the other House, and it shall be presented to the President for assent when it has been passed by that other House and agreement has been reached between the two Houses on any amendment made on it.[128]

If the President refuses to sign the bill into law within thirty-days of its referral to his desk, the bill dies unless the National Assembly overrides the presidential veto by passing the bill again with the support of at least a two-thirds majority in each chamber.[129]

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Prepared by Hanibal Goitom
Foreign Law Specialist
February 2017


[1] Nigeria, United Nations Data, http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=NIGERIA (last visited Jan. 10, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/MS99-FFJC.

[2] These are: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.  Constitution of Nigeria (1999), § 3(1), available on the International Centre for Nigerian Law (ICFNL), at http://www.nigeria-law.org/Constitution OfTheFederalRepublicOfNigeria.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/8UMY-M47D.

[3] Id.

[4] S.G. Ehindero, The Constitutional Development of Nigeria: 1849–1989 at 1 (1991).

[5] Id.; Timothy I. Ojo, 1 Nigerian Legislature: Historical Survey of Colonial Administration in Nigeria before Independence 40, 101 (1997).

[6] Edet J. Tom & Amadu J. Attai, The Legislature and National Development: The Nigerian Experience, 2(9) Global J. Arts Human. & Soc. Sci. 63, 67 (Nov. 2014).

[7] Id.

[8] Ehindero, supra note 4, at 2.

[9] Ojo, supra note 5, at 104.

[10] Id.

[11] Id.; Tom & Attai, supra note 6, at 67.

[12] Ehindero, supra note 4, at 4; Nigeria (Legislative Council) Order in Council, 1922, §§ 4, 5, 6 & 39, Supplement to the Nigerian Gazette (No. 1) (Jan. 4, 1923).

[13] Ehindero, supra note 4, at 5; Nigeria (Legislative Council) Order in Council, 1922, § 23.

[14] Nigeria (Legislative Council) Order in Council, 1922, §§ 27 & 28.

[15] Nigeria (Legislative Council) Order in Council, 1946, §§ 33–35, 33(50) Extraordinary Nigeria Gazette (Sept. 9, 1946).

[16] Nigeria (Legislative Council) Order in Council, 1946 § 53; Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, Banana Peel: The Burden of Legislature in Nigeria 40 (2009).

[17] Nigeria (Constitution) Order in Council, 1951 § 91 (June 30, 1951), Nigeria Gazette Supplement (Jan.–June 1951).

[18] Ehindero, supra note 4, at 14; Nigeria (Constitution) Order in Council, 1951 §§ 19, 30, 36 & 67.

[19] Id. § 81; D.I.O. Ewelukwa, Historical Introduction to the Nigerian Constitution 132 (1993).

[20] Nigeria (Constitution) Order in Council, 1954, § 51, 41(43) Supplement to the Nigeria Gazette Extraordinary (Sept. 3, 1954); Ewelukwa, supra note 19, at 150–51.

[21] Nigeria (Constitution) (Amendment No. 3) Order in Council, 1959, § 5, 46(66) Supplement to the Official Gazette Extraordinary (Oct. 27, 1959); Ewelukwa, supra note 19, at 167.

[22] Nigeria (Constitution) (Amendment No. 3) Order in Council, 1959, § 6.

[23] Ogbonnia, supra note 16, at 41.

[24] Ojo, supra note 5, at 150.

[25] Nigeria (Constitution) Order in Council, 1960, Second Schedule, §§ 33& 81 (Oct. 1, 1960), Annual Volume of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (1960).

[26] Ehindero, supra note 4, at 26.

[27] Id. at 37–41.

[28] Ogbonnia, supra note 16, at 48–50.

[29] D.A. Guobadia, The Legislature and Good Governance under the 1999 Constitution, in Nigeria: Issues in the 1999 Constitution 43 (I.A. Ayua et al. eds. 2000).

[30] Ken Nnamani, The National Assembly in Perspectives: 1999–2005, 1(001) Nigeria J. Legis. Aff. 1, 2 (2006); Constitution of Nigeria (1999), §§ 4, 47, 48 & 49; Nigeria, CIA World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ni.html (last updated Jan. 12, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/5VPA-VCVV.

[31] Id. §§ 4, 90 & 91.

[32] Jadesola O. Akande, The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 at 182 (2000).

[33] Constitution of Nigeria (1999) § 80.

[34] Id.

[35] Id. §§ 80, 81, 85, 88, 89 & 129; Guobadia, supra note 29, at 47–55.

[36] Constitution of Nigeria §§ 147, 171 & 192.

[37] Id. § 12.

[38] Id. §§ 143 & 188.

[39] Id.

[40] Toyin Falola & Matthew M. Heaton, A History of Nigeria 6 (2008).

[41] Federal Capital Territory Act No. 6 of 1976, § 1, 6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, Cap. F6 (rev. ed. 2006), available on the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) website, at http://lawsofnigeria.placng.org/ laws/F6.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/N4PK-NRGV.

[42] Falola & Heaton, supra note 40, at 190.

[43] History of Abuja, Global Shapers Community Abuja, http://abujaglobalshapers.org/history (last visited Jan. 9, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/7CJX-C3GF; Nnamdi Elleh, Architecture and Politics of Nigeria: The Study of a Late Twentieth-Century Enlightenment-Inspired Modernism at Abuja, 1900–2016 at xlii (2017).

[44] The Three Arms Zone, Global Shapers Community Abuja, http://abujaglobalshapers.org/the-three-arms-zone (last visited Jan. 9, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/Q94N-8KXL.

[45] 1 (letters A–F) Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Architecture 9–10 (R. Stephen Sennott ed., 2004).

[46] Falola & Heaton, supra note 40, at 190.

[47] Constitution of Nigeria § 47.

[48]  Id. § 49.

[49] Id. § 48.

[50] Id. § 50.

[51] Id. § 77.

[52] Id. §§ 71 & 300.

[53] Id. § 153.

[54] Id. § 53.

[55] Standing Orders of the House of Representative, Order VII (July 22, 2008).  Note that the version of the Standing Orders used for this report, the only version the author was able to locate, is dated and it is very likely that it has been amended since 2008.

[56] Emanuel Okon & Aquaowo Essien, Law-Making Processes in Nigeria at the National and State House of Assembly 163 (2005).

[57] Constitution of Nigeria § 56.

[58] Id. § 50.

[59] Id. § 53; Senate Standing Orders 2007 as Amended § 25 (2007).  Note that while this is the latest version of the Senate Standing Orders located for this report, it is likely that there have been amendments since 2007.

[60] Senate Standing Orders § 25. 

[61] Id.; Constitution of Nigeria § 56.

[62] Constitution of Nigeria § 53

[63] Id. § 146. 

[64] Id.

[65] Principal Officers of the House of Representatives, National Assembly, http://www.nassnig.org/house_of_ representatives_principal_officers (last visited Jan. 5, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/TU5C-4PVY; Principal Officers of the Senate, National Assembly, http://www.nassnig.org/senate_principal_officers (last visited Jan. 5, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/MD9X-YG8Q.

[66] Senate Standing Orders, supra note 59, § 28; Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, supra note 55, Order VII.

[67] Senate Standing Orders, supra note 59, § 31; Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, supra note 55, Order VII.

[68] Constitution of Nigeria § 51; National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Legislators and the Legislature: A Guide for the Legislatures in Nigeria 85 (Sonny Gwanle Tyoden ed., 2014).

[69] Senate Standing Orders, supra note 59, § 36; Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, supra note 55, Order VII.

[70] Constitution of Nigeria § 62.

[71] Id.

[72] Id.

[73] National Secretariat of the Nigerian Legislatures, A Handbook on the Legislative Practice and Procedure of the National Assembly 88 (2004).

[74] Id.; Constitution of Nigeria § 62.

[75] Constitution of Nigeria § 62.

[76] Id. § 59.

[77] Id. § 85.

[78] National Secretariat of the Nigerian Legislatures, supra note 73, at 89–95.

[79] Id. at 89.

[80] Id. at 91.

[81] Id. at 92.

[82] Ray Eseagbon, The Nigerian Legislative Process: Bills, Budgetary Control and Committee System 179–80 (2005).

[83] National Secretariat of the Nigerian Legislatures, supra note 73, at 93.

[84] Akintola A. Jimoh, Law, Practice and Procedure of Legislature 119 (1999).

[85] Eseagbon, supra note 82, at 180.

[86] Constitution of Nigeria §§ 64, 76.

[87] Id. §§ 48 & 71.

[88] Id. §§ 49 & 71.

[89] Id. § 77.

[90] Id. § 65.

[91] Frequently Asked Questions, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), http://www.inecnigeria. org/?page_id=28 (last visited Feb. 2, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/P32N-U9YD; European Union Election Observation Mission, Final Report: General Elections 28 March 2015, 11 April 2015 at 18 (July 2015), http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/nigeria/docs/eu-eom-nigeria-2015-final-report_en.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/A676-4BGB.

[92] Political Parties, Independent National Electoral Commission, http://www.inecnigeria.org/?page_id=18 (click on the term “Political Parties” in the top bar) (last visited Jan. 4, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/YM5Z-XVTB.

[93] Alexander Thurston, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Background to Nigeria’s 2015 Elections at 7 (Jan. 2015), https://www.csis.org/analysis/background-nigeria%E2%80%99s-2015-elections, archived at https://perma.cc/DER8-MSVY.

[94] Id. at 7 & 8.

[95] European Union Election Observation Mission, supra note 91, at 7.

[96] Id.

[97] Constitution of Nigeria § 4.

[98] Id.

[99] Id.

[100] Id.

[101] Id. § 58.

[102] Id.

[103] A money bill includes

  • (a)     an appropriation bill or a supplementary appropriation bill, including any other bill for the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation of any money charged thereon or any alteration in the amount of such a payment, issue or withdrawal; and
  • (b)   a bill for the imposition of or increase in any tax, duty or fee or any reduction, withdrawal or cancellation thereof.  Id. § 59.

[104] Id.

[105] Id.

[106] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, http://www.nassnig.org/page/the-legislative-process (last visited Jan. 6, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/DEF7-NQ4W.

[107] Senate Standing Orders, supra note 59, § 76.

[108] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, supra note 106.

[109] Senate Standing Orders, supra note 59, § 76.

[110] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, supra note 106.

[111] Id.

[112] Id.

[113] Id.

[114] Id.

[115] Senate Standing Orders, supra note 59, § 78; Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, supra note 55, Order XII; Ogbonnia, supra note 16, at 258.

[116] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, supra note 106.

[117] Id.; Ese Malemi, The Nigerian Constitutional Law: With Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) – Rules 2009 at 208 (3d ed. 2008).

[118] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, supra note 106.

[119] Malemi, supra note 117, at 208.

[120] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, supra note 106.

[121] Malemi, supra note 117, at 209.

[122] Id. at 208.

[123] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, supra note 106; Malemi, supra note 117, at 209.

[124] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, supra note 106; Malemi, supra note 117, at 209.

[125] Id.

[126] The Legislative Process, National Assembly, supra note 106.

[127] Id.; Constitution of Nigeria § 59.

[128] Constitution of Nigeria § 58.

[129] Id.

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Last Updated: 03/23/2017