• Impeachment as an accountability measure in a presidential system. Views from Nigeria's Fourth Republic

      Francis, Suzanne; Fagbadebo, Omololu; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of St Thomas, 2014-12-01)
      Extant provisions of Nigeria’s presidential constitution seek to promote a culture of accountability through a system of checks and balances. Since Nigeria’s return to civil rule in May 1999, promotion of good governance through accountability government continues to be a challenge. All indications point to a worsening governance crisis in the midst of abundant resources. Besides, Nigeria’s socio-economic performance and visible poor service delivery depict a deepening governance crisis occasioned by mismanagement of public resources. The data collected by means of documents and literature indicates that the presidential system has checks and balances as measures to prevent the abuse of power. Impeachment is the major institutionally recognised legislative mechanism to hold the executive accountable. The puzzle since the inception of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic is the failure of the legislature to appropriate this statutory authority to police the execution of public policies in a manner that will conform to the constitutional requirements. While there are requisite constitutional provisions that mandate the legislature to ascertain its power over the executive, indicating Nigeria’s commitment to the promotion of good governance, the legislature has failed to appropriate these instruments to stimulate a responsible government that is open to promoting good governance. Using the theories of structural functionalism and elites, this paper argues that this legislative failure to appropriate the instrument of impeachment to instil the culture of responsible executive in policy process engenders the prevailing governance crisis in Nigeria. The paper concludes that a political system where systemic corruption prevails will reduce impeachment to a mere instrument of political vendetta.
    • Oil Corrupts Elections: The Political Economy of Vote-Buying in Nigeria

      Francis, Suzanne; Onapajo, Hakeem; Uzodike, Ufo; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (University of Florida, Center for African Studies, 2015-03)
      The extant perspectives on vote-buying have produced three central arguments around its causes, which are the factors of poverty, the electoral/voting system, and the nature of politics in the state. Going beyond these perspectives, this study presents the argument that vote-buying can also be explained by considering the nature of the political economy of a state, especially when the state is oil-‑dependent. The Nigerian case study demonstrates this argument. We employ the “oil-impedes-democracy” framework, which is a strand of the resource curse theory, to argue that the incidence of vote‑buying in Nigeria’s contemporary elections is prevalent because of the oil wealth associated with politics and elections in the state. This is because abundant oil wealth intensifies elite competition, which explains the use of all strategies to win elections including vote-buying. This is also facilitated by the fact that the political elite, especially the incumbent, have adequate access to oil wealth and spend it to “buy” elections and hold on to power. Voters, on their part, also prefer to sell their votes during elections to have a share of the “national cake” given their perception of the wealth associated with politics in Nigeria and the poor service delivery by politicians after assuming state offices.
    • Overcoming the (non)justiciable Conundrum: The Doctrine of Harmonious Construction and the Interpretation of the Right to a Healthy Environment in Nigeria

      Ako, Rhuks; Stewart, Ngozi; Ekhator, Eghosa O.; University of Hull; University of Benin; University of Chester (Springer, 2015-12-13)
      The legal framework regulating socio-economic rights in Nigeria is ambiguous. These rights, listed under Section II of the constitution titled Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles, are non-justiciable by virtue of section 6(6)(c) of the constitution. However, Nigeria as a dualist state has adopted (ratified and domesticated) the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (African Charter) in accordance with relevant constitutional provisions. Therefore, the provisions of the African Charter are (arguably) part and parcel of Nigeria’s laws, thus ‘justiciable’. This paper aims to critically examine the status of the socio-economic rights in Nigeria, specifically the right to a healthy environment. With extant literature arguing either for or against the existence of the right to a healthy environment in Nigeria this paper adopts a holistic approach by critically considering both sides of the argument. Premised on the doctrine of harmonious construction, the paper aims suggest a means to end the debate that currently the surrounds the existence and (non)justiciable nature of the ‘right’ to a healthy environment in Nigeria.
    • Power relations among institutions in Nigeria's Presidential System: Issues and Contentions

      Francis, Suzanne; Fagbadebo, Omololu; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (International Journal of Politics and Good Governance, 2016)
      The principle of separation of powers and the doctrine of checks and balances are the two major mechanisms that define power relations among branches of government in presidential system. These institutional control measures are meant to avert disproportionate exercise of power. The assumption of the culture of presidential system is the near absence of personalization of power. In Nigeria, power relations among the three branches of government are clearly defined to ensure the promotion of good governance. Nevertheless, residual and inherent powers of the executive tower above the other two branches of government. This paper discovered that the uneven distribution of powers among the arms of government hampers the operation of a system of checks and balances. Thus, the institutional safety valves become ineffective in the face a rising culture of corruption and impunity. The outcome is the preponderance of governance crisis and abuse of state power. Competition for power among political elites endangers good governance. The paper submits that an informed public capable of enforcing accountability is a sine qua non for a redirection of the culture of accountability in Nigeria’s presidential system.
    • Protecting and Promoting Women’s Rights in Nigeria: Constraints and Prospects

      Ekhator, Eghosa O.; University of Chester (Eleven International Publishing., 2019-06-27)
      Women in Nigeria face many challenges and discriminatory practices under some extant laws and customs. The Nigerian society is inherently patriarchal. This is due to the influence of the various religions and customs in many parts of Nigeria. Women are seen as the ‘weaker sex’ and discriminatory practices by the state and society (especially by men) are condoned. This chapter highlights some of the recent reforms that have impacted positively on the promotion and protection of women’s rights in Nigeria. These reforms include the appointment of female Justices to the Supreme Court and the enactment of laws such as the Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 amongst others. This paper contends that notwithstanding the development of these reforms and laws, women in Nigeria still face many state sanctioned discriminatory practices. The methodology adopted in this study is of a qualitative nature that consists of library based texts analysis.
    • Realizing Substantive Rights to Healthy Environment in Nigeria: A Case for Constitutionalization

      Ekhator, Eghosa O.; Anaebo, Onyeka K. (Sage, 2015-06-05)
      There has been never-ending debate concerning the right to a healthy environment and the extent to which the law has provided for or guaranteed the right in national and international contexts. Whilst some countries have expressly recognised the right to a healthy environment in their constitutions and subsidiary laws, others have relied on regional instruments and treaties to guarantee such rights, especially where domestic legislation is either lacking, inadequate or ineffective. This article will contend that constitutionalising (rather than regionalising before a human rights commission or treaty) environmental rights domestically would improve environmental outcomes in Nigeria. To further buttress the constitutionalisation argument, this article will undertake a critical analysis of the right to the environment in South Africa which has constitutionalised the right to the environment.
    • Regulation of Multinational Corporations in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria: Civil Society as Behaviour Modification Agents

      Ekhator, Eghosa O.; University of Chester (University of Benin, 2018)
      This article focuses on the roles of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the regulation of oil Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in Nigeria. Arguably, the void created in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria by the non-performance of government regulatory bodies and the non-implementation of existing legal enactments is gradually being filled by CSOs. CSOs in Nigeria have proved by their antecedents that they have major roles to play. Thus, CSOs have engaged in information gathering, standard setting and behavior modification activities. However, this paper focuses on behavior modification activities of CSOs in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. This article contends that the regulatory activities of CSOs in Nigeria have led to a somewhat ‘decentred regulatory approach’ in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. In decentred regulation, the state is one of many actors in the regulatory regime or process. Thus, the interactions inherent in decentred regulation are said to strengthen the regulatory process. Arguably, CSOs in Nigeria have engaged in the regulatory process in the oil and gas industry, thereby impacting positively on the regulatory paradigm. The interactions of the CSOS in the oil and gas industry are at the core of this paper.
    • Traditional Oath-Taking as an Anti-Corruption Strategy in Nigeria

      Ekhator, Eghosa O.; University of Chester (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Nigeria, 2019)
      The concept of corruption is culture-bound. In the UK, it is unusual and criminal for public officers to accept gifts. However, corruption is seen to be part of the culture of many developing (especially Asian and African) countries. In Nigeria, corruption is seen to be a negative part of the administrative or bureaucratic culture and a way of life. This paper will argue that because of the institutional failures of the Nigerian state in the area of corruption, recourse to the ‘traditional’ oath-taking akin to the variant used in customary arbitration cases amongst many communities (in Nigeria) to corruption cases might be a useful strategy to help fight the scourge of corruption. Furthermore, this chapter suggests that the Nigerian government should extend the jurisdiction of customary courts (via constitutional amendment) to try corruption cases arising from the anti-corruption statutes enacted since the return of democracy in 1999. This will reduce the pressure on the superior courts of records in the country.
    • Women and the Law in Nigeria: A Reappraisal

      Ekhator, Eghosa O.; University of Chester (Bridgewater State University, 2015)
      Women in Nigeria face many challenges and discrimination under some extant laws. This paper will focus on some of these laws and their impacts on women in Nigeria. The first section will focus on a brief history of Nigeria as a background to the paper. Nigeria’s unique legal system will be briefly highlighted. The second section of the paper will highlight aspects of Nigerian laws accentuating discrimination against women. Some of these laws will include the Labour Act, the Police Act, customary practices and sexual violence laws amongst others. The third part of the paper will focus on the reforms of the extant laws. Some of these reforms include judicial activism of judges in Nigeria, regional and international treaties which Nigeria has signed and ratified (and in some cases, domesticated), and the social activist roles of the Civil Society Groups or Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria. The fourth section will proffer some recommendations. The final section will be the concluding part of the paper