Constitutionalism and good governance in Nigeria (1999-2014)

  • Lateef Ogboye
  • Abubakri Yekini
Keywords: constitution, constitutionalism, good governance, transparency, accountability


Nigeria operates a governmental system based on a written constitution. The idea of constitution and constitutionalism is of a more recent one as the country has witnessed a long era of military rule. While the country, at present, has a written constitution which in reality, was derived from a military decree, there has been constant debate as to whether what the country has is really a constitution and whether the subsequent civilian regimes are constitutional governments. This paper attempts to analyse the constitutional development of Nigeria with a view to really determining at what point it can be said that Nigeria had a constitution. The various determinants of constitutionalism are to be x-rayed and juxtaposed with the activities of the government particularly the fourth and fifth republics. The paper concludes that constitutionalism is a relative term even though there are some benchmarks. Nigeria’s constitutionalism is an evolving one even if certain factors are militating against its full entrenchment. Some basic recommendations are offered as to how real constitutionalism could be actualised in Nigeria.

Key words: constitution, constitutionalism, good governance, transparency, accountability