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Unformatted text preview: House of Representatives. The Senate is comprised of 109
members; three representatives from each of the 36 states and one from the Federal
Capital Territory, Abuja. There are 360 members of the House of Representatives.
Members from both legislative bodies serve four-year terms and are popularly
elected. The main function of the National Assembly is to pass laws for assent by
the president. Either house can originate legislation, but it does not become law
until formally passed by both houses and assented to by the president.
The Judiciary: The judiciary is responsible for the interpretation of laws in
accordance with the constitution, which provides for federal and state courts and
election tribunals. At the apex of the federal judiciary is the Supreme Court, which
is the highest court of the land. There is also a Court of Appeal and a Federal High
Court. For the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, there is a High Court, Shari'ah Court
of Appeal, and Customary Court of Appeal. State courts are comprised of a High
Court, Shari'ah Court of Appeal, and Customary Court of Appeal.
Each of the 36 states is administered by a popularly elected governor who serves a
four-year term. In addition, each state has a unicameral State House of Assembly,
comprised of popularly elected representatives from local government areas. The Nigeria Briefing Paper
Copyright © 2005 by College Board. All rights reserved. Available at apcentral.collegeboard.com. 20 number of House of Assembly members in each state is comprised of three times
the number of seats that it has in the House of Representatives. There are a total of 774 local government areas across Nigeria, comprised of a
chairman and elected councilors. Local government councils tend to local
administrative matters, including (but not limited to) the construction and
maintenance of public roads. The Military One cannot study Nigerian politics since independence without recognizing the
importance of the military in all aspects of political life. Even during civilian
administrations, the intimidating shadow of the military looms large. Unlike ethnicbased political parties that often operate explicitly on behalf of sectarian interests in
the legislative process, the military is often seen as a disciplined organization with
the capacity to make decisions efficiently and effectively. In addition, it is one of the
few institutions in the country that is national in character, since it is comprised of
people from all regions, ethnic groups, and religious predilections. While not
democratically inclined, the armed forces are also often characterized as more
representative than political parties and other institutions of government that are
subject to ethnic-based patronage. Indeed, military leaders have repeatedly
conveyed these rationales to the general public when assuming political power. However, this does not mean that the military has not been impacted by ethnic,
religious, or regional considerations. While all groups are represented, cleavages do
exist that have often influenced military officers in and out of power. A brief review
of the ethnic/religious/regional...
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