LESSON NOTE ON GOVERNMENT – SSS 2
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
- The Executive Council was still dominated by Europeans.
- It defined Nigeria in terms of regions (Northern, Eastern and Western regions) in place of former provinces.
- Creation of regional Houses of assembly.
- Creation of the central Legislative Council.
- Limited legislative power to the regional assemblies.
- Retention of the elective principle.
- Northern region had bicameral legislature while other regions had unicameral legislature.
THE FAULTS IN THE RICHARDS CONSTITUTION
- There was no inputs of Nigerians in its writing.
- Elective franchise was still limited to Lagos and Calabar.
- Limited power was given to regional assemblies to legislate only on minor matters. The legislation were even subjected to ratification by the governor.
- The regions were unequally divided.
- 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.
- (a) What are the features of Richards constitution?
- (b) Highlight the shortcomings of Richards constitution
Constitutional Development in Nigeria
Clifford Constitution – 1922
Macpherson Constitution – 1951
Lyttleton Constitution – 1954
Independence Constitution – 1960
Post Independence Constitutions – 1963, 1979, 1989, 1999