RICHARDS CONSTITUTION 1946 – LESSON NOTE ON GOVERNMENT

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LESSON NOTE ON GOVERNMENT – SSS 2

lesson note on government Richards Constitution


RICHARDS CONSTITUTION 1946

After the regime of Hugh Clifford, there were three more governors (Graeme Thompson, Donald Cameron, and Bernard Bourdillon) before the enactment of the next constitution. Sir Bourdillon who ruled as the governor of Nigeria from 1935-1943 during the period when Britain was involved in the Second World War (1939 – 1945) had made a lot of improvement on the previous constitution before handing over to Sir Arthur Richards. Richards Constitution was then enacted in 1946 to replace Clifford Constitution of 1922.

OBJECTIVES OF RICHARDS CONSTITUTION

I. To introduce regionalism.
II. To involve every part of the country in the Legislative Council.
III. To allow more Nigerians participate in the affairs of the country.

FEATURES OF RICHARDS CONSTITUTION

  1. The Executive Council was still dominated by Europeans.
  2. It defined Nigeria in terms of regions (Northern, Eastern and Western regions) in place of former provinces.
  3. Creation of regional Houses of assembly.
  4. Creation of the central Legislative Council.
  5. Limited legislative power to the regional assemblies.
  6. Retention of the elective principle.
  7. Northern region had bicameral legislature while other regions had unicameral legislature.

THE FAULTS IN THE RICHARDS CONSTITUTION

  1. There was no inputs of Nigerians in its writing.
  2. Elective franchise was still limited to Lagos and Calabar.
  3. Limited power was given to regional assemblies to legislate only on minor matters. The legislation were even subjected to ratification by the governor.
  4. The regions were unequally divided.
  5. The governor still had veto power.

NOTE: list of Governors and Governors-General of Nigeria in the colonial era:

S No GOVERNORS/GOVERNORS-GENERAL OF NIGERIA PERIOD SOVEREIGN HEAD OF STATE (BRITISH MONARCHS)
1 Sir Frederick Lugard 1914 – 1919 George V
2 Sir Hugh Clifford 1919 – 1925 George V
3 Sir Graeme Thompson 1925 – 1931 George V
4 Sir Donald Cameron 1931 – 1935 George V
5 Sir Bernard Bourdillon 1935 – 1943 George V/Edward VIII/ George VI
6 Sir Arthur Richards 1943 – 1948 George VI
7 Sir John Stuart Macpherson 1948 – 1955 George V/Elizabeth II
8 Sir James Wilson Robertson 1955 – 1960 Elizabeth II
9 Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe 1960 – 1963 Elizabeth II

Source: World Library Foundation, by World Heritage Encyclopedia via www.worldlibrary.org assessed on April 25, 2020.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • (a) What are the features of Richards constitution?
  • (b) Highlight the shortcomings of Richards constitution

RELATED POSTS

Constitutional Development in Nigeria
Clifford Constitution – 1922
Macpherson Constitution – 1951
Lyttleton Constitution – 1954
Independence Constitution – 1960
Post Independence Constitutions – 1963, 1979, 1989, 1999

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