Constitutional Development | London Constitutional, Effects & Implementation

London Constitutional Conference Convened to address concerns related to Lyttleton’s 1954 constitution, the 1957 Constitutional Conference resulted in significant decisions: Immediate self-government for the Eastern and Western regions post-conference. Northern region’s independence by 1959. Establishment of the Prime Minister’s office for the federation. Introduction of a House of Chiefs in the Eastern region, mirroring Northern […]

London Constitutional Conference

Convened to address concerns related to Lyttleton’s 1954 constitution, the 1957 Constitutional Conference resulted in significant decisions:

  1. Immediate self-government for the Eastern and Western regions post-conference.
  2. Northern region’s independence by 1959.
  3. Establishment of the Prime Minister’s office for the federation.
  4. Introduction of a House of Chiefs in the Eastern region, mirroring Northern and Western regions.
  5. Formation of a bicameral legislature with the creation of a Senate in the Central Legislature.
  6. Designation of Southern Cameroon as a region with the appointment of a premier.
  7. Expansion of the Federal House of Representatives from 184 to 320 members.
  8. Universal adult suffrage for Federal and regional legislatures in the East, West, Lagos, and Southern Cameroon; adult male suffrage for the northern legislature.
  9. Commission of inquiry for each region’s affairs.
  10. Governor-General’s appointment of an ad-hoc committee to divide the country into single-member constituencies.
  11. Regional premiers appointed from the majority representation in regional house assemblies.
  12. Governor-General to appoint a prime minister from the party securing a majority in the House of Representatives.

 

Effects And Implementation Of The 1957 Decisions

  1. Eastern and Western regions achieved self-government on August 8, 1957.
  2. On September 2, 1957, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Deputy Leader of NPC, became the Prime Minister.
  3. Southern Cameroon became a separate region with its premier.
  4. Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa formed a coalition National government comprising NPC, NCNC, and AG.
  5. Ex-officio British officials, except the Governor-General, ceased to be executive council members.
  6. Withdrawal of reserved and veto powers of the Governor-General.
  7. Willinks Commission formed to address minority fears.

 

Willinks Commission Of Inquiry

Examined minority fears, with recommendations including:

  1. Inclusion of a bill of rights in the constitution for minority human rights protection.
  2. No alteration of the boundary between the northern and western regions.
  3. Federal Police Force to safeguard minority rights.
  4. Non-Muslims in the north given the option of trial in non-Muslim courts.
  5. Establishment of special development boards for Niger Delta areas.
  6. Majority parties required to gain minority support.
  7. Joint federal and regional government management of a special minorities commission.

 

Lagos Constitutional Conference Of 1958

The final pre-independence conference in 1960 made key recommendations:

  1. Nigeria’s independence on October 1, 1960.
  2. Consideration of state creation to address minority concerns.
  3. Plebiscites on February 11 and 12, 1961.
  4. Northern region’s self-independence in 1959.
  5. Acceptance of Willinks’ recommendation against state creation, opting for fundamental human rights entrenchment in the 1960 constitution.
  6. Approval of the constitution’s amendment process and boundary adjustment procedures.

 

Multiple-choice questions:

  1. (b) 1958
  2. (a) to entrench fundamental human rights in the constitution
  3. (a) Lagos
  4. (a) 1959
  5. (a) Alhaji Tafawa Balewa

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