Know Your Constitution: Part 1

Know Your Constitution

The 1999 Constitution

SECTION 11(1)

The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part therefore with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order and providing, maintaining and securing of such supplies and service as may be designed by the National Assembly as essential supplies and services. 

(The National Assembly is tasked with making laws that promote/maintain public order and public order. They are also tasked with providing, securing and maintaining supplies or services (essential supplies/services) to ensure that public order and safety are maintained)


SECTION 11(2)

Nothing in this section shall preclude a House of Assembly from making laws with respect to the matter referred to in this section, including the provision for maintenance and securing of such supplies and services as may be designated by the National Assembly as essential supplies and services. 

(This section shall not prevent the House of Assembly from making laws that provide, supply and maintain essential supplies and services as directed by the National Assembly)


SECTION 11(3)

During any period when the Federation is at war the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part therefore with respect to matters not included in the Exclusive Legislative List as may appear to it to be necessary or expedient for the defense of the Federation.

(In times of war, the National Assembly is tasked with making laws that, though they may not be part of the Exclusive Legislative List, would be necessary for the defence of the Federation by maintaining peace and order.) 


SECTION 11(4)

At any time when any House of Assembly of a State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that State with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the State: Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the Governor or the Deputy Governor of the State from office. 

(Where a State House of Assembly cannot perform its functions, the National Assembly shall step in and make laws for the peace and good governance of that State until such House of Assembly is able to resume its functions. The laws made by the National Assembly during such a period shall be deemed to be made by the State House of Assembly as long as it doesn’t try to remove a Governor or Deputy Governor of that state.)


SECTION 11(5)

For the purposes of subsection (4) of this section, a House of Assembly shall not be deemed to be unable to perform its functions so long as the House of Assembly can hold a meeting and transact business. 

(As long as there are meetings or sessions partaken by the members of a House of Assembly, it cannot be said that the House of Assembly is unable to function.)


SECTION 12(1)

No treaty between the Federation and any other country shall have the force of law to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly. 

(No treaty entered into by Nigeria with any other country will be enforced as law within Nigeria except the National Assembly passes it into law.)


SECTION 12(2)

The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to matters not included in the Exclusive Legislative List for the purpose of implementing a treaty. 

(Where a treaty is to be implemented as law in Nigeria or in a part of Nigeria, the National Assembly can make laws regarding matters not included in the Exclusive Legislative List for this purpose.)


SECTION 12(3)

A bill for an Act of the National Assembly passed pursuant to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall not be presented to the President for assent, and shall not be enacted unless it is ratified by a majority of all the House of Assembly in the Federation.

(Before a Bill mentioned in Section 12(2) can be presented for the go ahead of the President, a majority of all the House of Assembly must accept it.)

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