Eleven Constitutional Grievances for Rejecting the 1999 Constitution & Every INEC Activity Geared Towards Any Election in Nigeria
by Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya
The document being paraded today as the constitution of Nigeria, upon which the current governance, politics, and politicking are premised, is a fraud and a charade. The last and the only people-generated, citizen-agreed, authentic, and genuine constitution of Nigeria was terminated on January 15, 1966. From that date till 1975, Nigeria was ruled by military decrees until the late Murtala Muhammed contracted to Prof Ben Nwabueze the writing of what later became the 1979 Constitution, which was basically a compilation of the various preceding military decrees & edicts into a supposed constitution.
After the short-lived democratic period of 1979 to 1983, came another military era which culminated in the production of decree #24 through which General Abdulsalami Abubakar contracted the writing of the 1999 Constitution to Prof. Auwalu Yadudu. Therefore, from 1966 till date, Nigeria has never had a constitution that was made, enacted, and given by the people of Nigeria to themselves. What exists today is rather a dossier of impositions by military autocratic rulers packaged and named the “Federal Constitution.” The worst is the so-called 1999 Constitution for which the following eleven grievances underscore the rejection of that constitution and everything that are associated with it.
Lying in the Preamble of the Constitution
The preamble to the 1999 Constitution started with the statement; “We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. This phrase is not only a lie but an outright falsehood that gives the impression that the entire people of Nigeria participated in the making of that Constitution. A more outrageous statement can be found in the ending paragraph of the same preamble which stated that the people of Nigeria “Do hereby make, enact and give to ourselves the following Constitution”. Put in another way, Abdulsalami Abubakar and his client, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu, committed forgery by claiming that the peoples of Nigeria were participants in the making of the 1999 Constitution.
Lying on the Indivisibility, Indissolubility, & “Federation Status” of Nigeria
There was no time during the writing of the 1999 Constitution that General Abdulsalami Abubakar or Prof. Auwalu Yadudu conducted a referendum or even an opinion poll to conclude that the concept of Nigeria is indivisible and indissoluble. Throughout that 1999 Constitution, there is no portion where the GPS (global positioning system) or longitude and latitude of the territory called Nigeria were clearly defined. So, how can anyone reading that constitution know the exact boundaries of Nigeria with other countries?
This claim of indivisibility and indissolubility is further rubbished by the judgment of the World Court on October 22, 2002, which ceded Bakassi Peninsula to the Cameroons. The 2011 amendment of the 1999 Constitution never addressed the distortion of the territory of Nigeria by this court judgment. Yet, Section-2(1) copiously stated that Nigeria shall be indivisible and indissoluble when in, actual fact, a part of it has been removed without any constitutional amendment to recognize the removed portion.
The claim in Section-2(2) that Nigeria shall be a “Federation” is false because a federation is a union of constitutions. There is only one constitution covering the entire Nigerian geopolitical space. Nigeria was a proper federation up till January 15, 1966, by virtue of the union of four constitutions (one from each region) plus the federal constitution agreed to by the Northern, Easter, Western and Midwest Regional governments. With a UNITARY constitution written by one man, it is an outright falsehood, therefore, to claim that Nigeria “shall be a Federation”.
The 1999 Constitution Absolves Government Officials from Court Pronouncements on Any Act of Negligence or Criminality
In a people-oriented constitution, those in government are held accountable by the same constitution. However, in the case of the Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, Section-6(6c) legally absolves government officials of any wrongdoing or negligence while in office. This means that those in government can misuse their positions and the assets of the state and will still be protected by the 1999 Constitution, courtesy of this section.
Unfettered & Uncontrolled Access to the Treasury Given to the Executive Branch at Federal & State Levels
The Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written constitution of Nigeria effectively handed over the keys of the treasury to the executive branch at the federal and state levels of governance. This was done through appropriation provisions in Sections 81, 82, 121, & 122 of the 1999 Constitution. In doing so, the executive branch continues to fleece the citizenry of their commonwealth with constitutional cover and protection. No wonder those aspiring to elective and appointive positions spend money like a drunken sailor, keeping in mind that they will recover same and even more because of this unfettered access and control of the treasury while, at the same time, enjoying constitutional immunity.
Disproportionate & Arbitrary Creation of 36 States to Favor the Arewa North
A total of thirty-six states were created using military decrees and this was done exclusively by Northern military officers of the Nigerian Army namely Yakubu Gowon (12 states), Murtala Mohammed (7 states), Ibrahim B. Babangida (12 states), and Sanni Abacha (5 states). In all these state creations, the creators made sure that more states were created in the Northern Region than the entire Southern three regions even though the money that sustains the country comes from the Southern regions. Today, there are 19 states in the North and 17 in the South. What this means is that money generated from the will be used to sustain the states in the North.
Even though Abdulsalami Abubakar did not create any state, the Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria made matters worse by granting to the North 401 Local Government Areas (LGA) out of 774, 58 Senate seats out of 109, and 191 House of Reps seats out of 360. This 1999 Constitution also stipulates, at least, one mandatory ministerial slot for each state. This means that the, by default, must have a minimum of 19 ministers. It is also worthy to note that 13 out of the 16 topmost military institutions in Nigeria are located in the North and the remaining 3 are all located in Lagos state.
This disproportionate allocation of states, LGA’s, and allied political seats/positions was ratified in Section-3, Section-48, Section-49, and Schedule-1(Part-I & Part-II) of the Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. Please, note that the North relies so much on this disproportionate number of states to wield influence when it comes to any discourse related to constitutional amendment as stipulated in Section-9 of the 1999 Constitution.
Revenue Allocation & Sharing Skewed Against the South in Favor of The North
There is no arguing the fact that Southern Nigeria is responsible for generating all the money coming into the coffers of Nigeria’s central government. In particular, the Southsouth and Southeast geopolitical zones generate over 90% of the export income through the exploration and sale of crude oil and natural gas. These two regions, however, receive the least amount of money from the central purse in Abuja because of the Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. In Section-162 of the said constitution, the criteria for money sharing are; geographical size, number of LGA’s, and population density for each state. This means, for example, that Bayelsa state, which produces so much in oil and gas, will receive far less amount of money than Kano or Sokoto state that contributes nothing in terms of revenue generation. Each of the two Northern states’ monthly subvention is greater than Bayelsa state because of their respective size, number of LGA’s, and estimated population density.
Creation of the 68-Item Federal Exclusive Legislative List (https://goo.gl/s1L2N2)
Without the consent of the citizens of Nigeria, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu summarily expropriated 68 items from their natural owners to the central government under Section-4(2) with a detailed listing of those items in Schedule-2(Part-I) of the 1999 Constitution. By virtue of these 68 items on the exclusive list, the central government effectively stripped the original owners of the resources of their rights to explore, exploit, and manage the sales of these resources. It also deprived the state governors of the ability to provide adequate policing and security of the citizens within their respective states. Because of this exclusive list, certain developmental projects and infrastructural initiatives cannot be embarked upon by either the state government or even private organizations as doing so will be going contrary to extant constitutional provisions. This has left the states, communities, and individuals poorer, grossly deprived, unproductive and underdeveloped.
Blanket Immunity to the President, State Governors, & their Deputies as Well as Those Who Committed Heinous Crimes Between 1966 And 1999
The Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria provided a blanket legal and prosecutorial immunity to the president, his vice, the 36 state governors and their deputies while they are in office as stated in Section-308. To also protect those who were in government in the past, Section-6(6d) gave another blanket immunity from legal action for those who looted the treasury as well as those who committed genocide and other heinous crimes between January 15th, 1966 and May 29th, 1999. It is, therefore, not surprising why well-known genocidists like Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abba Kyari, Muhammadu Buhari, and Theophilus Danjuma are walking freely today without repercussions for their murderous pasts.
Mediocrity-promoting Federal Character & Quota System
Mediocrity is entrenched in the lives of the citizenry by the Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria through the establishment of Federal Character Commission as stipulated in Section-153(1c). Other constitutional provisions that engender mediocrity, rent-sharing mentality and dismal performance include Sections 14(3), 84(4), 223(1b), etc. This inherent support for mediocrity by the 1999 Constitution accounts for the lackluster performance in governance, productivity and other aspects of Nigerians’ national life. It is a well-known fact that different admission and hiring criteria are used for different regions of the country. Specifically, standards and criteria are lowered for indigenes of the North while those from the South require very stringent and higher standards for the same circumstances.
Acknowledgment & Elevation of Land Use Decree/Act Over & Above the 1999 Constitution
The Land Use Decree was promulgated in 1978 by General Olusegun Obasanjo-led ruling junta and re-baptized as “Land Use Act” in the Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. Whereas every law is required to be subordinate to the country’s constitution as noted in Section-315(1), the Land Use Act is one of the four laws that are exempted from this subordination as stated in Section-315(5).
The Land Use Act has made it possible for the government at Abuja and state capitals to access and use any land they deem fit in Nigeria and may or may not pay any compensation to the natural owners of such lands. It is this Land Use Act that the Caliphate-controlled central government of Nigeria is relying upon to forcefully create grazing routes and cattle colonies in any and every part of Nigeria.
Oaths of Allegiance/Office That Handcuff Those in Power & Stop Them from Doing the Right Thing
The Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria ended with an oath of allegiance and oath of office for all public office holders. The common thread in both oaths is the undertaking by the oath-taker to preserve, protect, and defend the so-called constitution. Therefore, irrespective of the inherent errors and intended lopsidedness (skewed in favor of the Arewa North) of the 1999 Constitution, the oath-taker must comply and obey the fraud. For instance, because of the contents of the oaths, state governors are handicapped and helpless in the face of deplorable conditions of the infrastructures in the South which are in the 68-item federal exclusive legislative list because the Caliphate-controlled central government does not care about the maintenance of such infrastructure. The 1999 Constitution bars the state governments from doing anything regarding any of the items contained in the federal exclusive legislative list.
In conclusion, the Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria is so fundamentally flawed that the best solution is the document’s total repudiation and rejection. A truly federal constitution is generated, written, enacted, and agreed upon by the federating constituents and NOT written by one man as in the cases of Prof. Ben Nwabueze (1979 Constitution) and Prof Auwalu Yadudu (1999 Constitution). Those from the Southern region of Nigeria who still daydream on improving this 1999 Constitution by way of amendment, are advised to read Section-9 of the 1999 Constitution in order to understand how impossible it is to achieve any amendment when such amendment is not in the interest of the North (see Grievance #5).
Let me remind those who are working tirelessly to convince people to obtain their so-called permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) and to participate in the INEC-controlled electoral processes that, at the end of it all, whoever comes to power at any level of governance must subscribe to Schedule-7 of that Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-written 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. The day we reject and throw the Prof Auwalu Yadudu-written concoction into the trash shall be the day our current nightmare will be over, and a new glorious dawn shall begin for the various constituent nations that make up the British-created criminality and contraption called UNITARY Nigeria.
Dr. Okenwa Nwosu perfectly captured it in his treatise by stating that “for Nigeria, the first order of business in Restructuring things is to trash the fraudulent and imposed 1999 Constitution and then to ask stakeholders, who are the true owners of Nigeria, to first agree to continue together or separately and thereafter, to craft a brand-new constitution to clarify the agreed path forward”.