The Doctrine Of Separation Of Power In A Presidential System Of Government (A Critique Of The Fourth Republic)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


Abstract


Presidential system of government is a system of government where the executive branch of government exist alongside legislature and judiciary which serves as watch dog.

The objective of the study is to find out whether separation of power in Nigerian presidential system of government in the fourth republic help to improve or engender the protection OF civil liberty and freedom of citizen’s in Nigeria.

It was found out that the separation of power practiced in Nigeria does not guarantee civil liberty and freedom of citizen’s in Nigerian fourth republic.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the problem
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Statement of Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 Scope of the study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the study
  • 1.9 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Historical Evolution of the Doctrine of separation of Power.
  • 2.3 The Application of Doctrine of separation of powers in the presidential system of government
  • 2.4 A critique the Doctrine of separation of power s in Nigeria’s four the republic (1999 – 2012).
  • 2.5 Merits of Doctrine of Separation of power in presidential system of government
  • 2.6 The demerit of Doctrine of separation of powers in presidential system of government
  • 2.7 Limitation of Doctrine of separation of power in a presidential system of government
  • References

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Sources / methods of data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Sampling technique
  • 3.6 Validity and reliability of measuring instruments
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data
  • 4.3 Analysis of data
  • 4.4 Test of Hypothesis
  • 4.5 Interpretation of results

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

The presidential system of government also called a congressional system of government is a system of government where an executive branch exists along side legislature and judiciary. The president exercise ultimate power with little or no limitation of such powers as assigned to him by the constitution. It origin can be traced back to the medical monarchies of France, England and Scotland in which executive authority was rested in the crown not in the meeting or the estate of the parliament.

According to (Ugu and Vincent 2007) the presidential system of government is a system whereby the president wields the ultimate power of government. Under this system, the president is not just a mere figure head like is the case of parliamentary system but the head of state and the head of government with all rights, powers, privileges and immunities.

Beings the chief executive, the president bears all burden of government and is answerable to the people for the effective and efficient discharge of his duties. He combines both functions of head of state and head of government in the administration of Sovereign state (Bassy 2002).

Okoli and Okoli (1990) described the presidential system of government as a form of government in which the presidential is dominant. Thus, in presidential system of government, the president combines the important rules of:

  1. The chief executive
  2. Ceremonial head of state and the very symbol of authority
  3. The commander – in – chief of the arm forces and
  4. The leader of his political party

The cardinal feature of the presidential system of government is that the president and cabinet are not members of the legislature. However, the members of the presidential cabinet may be summon before the legislature to answer questions on any irregularities on behalf of their respective departments or ministries.

Furthermore, no bill passed by the legislature becomes law until the presidential gives his assent to such bill. Hence there is considerable separation of powers, functions and functionaries (omolayo and Anowolagu, 1987). The doctrine of separation of powers was first propounded by John Locke and first used by Baron Montesquieu in his book titled “The spirit of the laws” published in 1948 which implies that the functions of government must be divided into three areas visa viz, the executive, the legislative and judiciary, in such a away and manner that these arms must be combined to exercise it’s own functions without encroaching upon the functions of the other arms (Appadoric: 1968).

Hence the doctrine of separation of power implies that the law- making powers of government must be exercised by the legislature elected by the people through a popular election while the law implementation power should be exercise by the executive and the law adjudication power exercise by the judiciary (Okoli and Okoli: 1990). The essence of doctrine of separation of power is to ensure limit excess usage of governmental powers, preservation of civil liberty and avoidance of tyranny (Appaoria 1986)

Nigeria as a sovereign political entity adopted the presidential system of government on first of October 1979 propounded out by the 1979 constitution that ushered in the third republic under the leadership of President Shehu Shargari. The system did not last long as it was terminated in December, 1983 due to military intervention that brought in Buhari and idiagbon through a successful coup – detat (Bassy: 2002).

However, in May 1999, Nigeria again adopted the presidential system of government under the leadership of president, Olusegun Obasanjo; which marked the beginning of the fourth republic. This system is still in place till date. This research work, however solely intend to critically assess the application of the concept of separation of power in Nigeria’s presidential system of government in the fourth republic (1999 to 2012)


1.2 Statement Of Problem

The fundamental of the application of the doctrine of separation of power in the presidential system of government tends to guarantee civil liberty and freedom of the citizens as well as eliminates tyrannical government.

Unfortunately, the period between May 1999 to date under which Nigeria has practiced presidential system of government, the state has experienced very severe abuses of the civil liberties and freedoms of the Nigerian citizen’s as well as the promulgation of obnoxious laws which constitutes tyrannical system of government. It is these excesses usage of powers which branches the rules of law and separation of powers that these research works intend to address.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The objective of this study is to critically asses the extend to which doctrine of separation of power is applied in Nigeria presidential system of government of the fourth republic (1999 to 2012) in other to guarantee the civil liberty and freedom of the citizens as well as elimination of tyranny in government of the Nigeria state.


1.4 Research Questions

  1. Does the application of the doctrine of separation of power in Nigeria presidential system of government in the fourth republic engender the protection of civil liberty and freedom of citizens in Nigeria?
  2. Does the application of doctrine of separation of powers in Nigeria presidential system of government in the fourth republic completely eliminate tyranny of governmental powers?
  3. Does true separation of power really exist in Nigeria presidential system of government of the fourth republic?
  4. Does separation of power really curtail the excessive usage of governmental powers by the president in the presidential system of the fourth republic?

1.5 Statement Of Hypothesis

  1. Hi: Presidential system of government encourage tyranny and abuse of power by the president.
    Ho: Presidential system of government does not encourage tyranny and abuse of power by the president.
  2. Ho: There is no true separation of power in the presidential system of government of the fourth republic.
    Hi: There is true separation of power in the presidential system of government of the fourth republic.
  3. Ho: The application of doctrine of separation of power does not guarantee civil liberty and freedom or citizens in Nigerian fourth republic.
    Hi: The application of doctrine of separation of power Guarantee’s civil liberty and freedom of citizen’s in the Nigeria fourth republic.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

This research work when completed will be of paramount and tremendous benefit to the following:

  1. Students of Public Administration, Political Science and other students in the social sciences.
  2. Members of the three arms of government in federal, state and local government.
  3. It will also serve as reference materials for future researchers who may wish to research further on the topic or similar topics.

1.7 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this study is limited to Nigerian presidential system of government in the fourth republic (1999 – 2012) under the leadership of president’ Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa yardua and Ebele Good luck Jonathan.


1.8 Limitation Of The Study

Some of the constraints I encountered in the course of this academic research are financial and materials relevant for this research work. Time factor is another problem as a result of other academic engagements and other domestic activities.

In spite of all these constraints, I did my best to make this study a quality, reliable and applicable research work.


1.9 Definition Of Terms

Separation Of Power:

Is the division of governmental power in three main parts Viz: The executive arm of government, the legislature arm of government and the judiciary arm of government. Whose functions include policy making, policy implementation and law interpretation respectively

The Presidential System Of Government:

Is the form of government in which the president is both the Head of state, government and also commander – in – chief of the arm forces.

Doctrine Of Separation Of Power:

Is a statement of government policy on the powers and functions of the various arms of government.

The Fourth Republic:

Is the fourth civilian government since independent which marked the first republic.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter tends to critically assess the various analysis carried out in chapter four and to draw conclusion from the various facts portrayed by the research analysis.


5.2 Summary Of Findings

From the study, the following findings are drawn from this research work:

  1. That the Nigerian presidential system of government does not encourage tyranny and abuse of power due to the fact that there is a separation of powers.
  2. That the separation of power is partial due to the fact that Nigerian as a nation is a developing one which is highly characterized by high level of corruption.
  3. That the separation of power practiced in Nigeria does not guarantee civil liberty and freedom of citizens in Nigeria fourth republic. This is for the fact that there is no independent judiciary that can advocate and guarantee civil liberty.

In summary, quoting Omoile (2002, 49) who stated that where research findings tally with what operates in that the findings strengthens public opinion and adds colour to it and this helps in solving or correcting such problem(s).


5.3 Conclusion

Obviously judging over Nigerian democratic system of government with those of other African countries like Ghana, South African, Togo and other Eastern countries like Singapore, malasia, Dubai and south Korea etc. it is a clear fact that Nigeria still have a long way to go in the world politics. This gap is not as a result of low human and material resources but low human but as a result of multiple factors ranging from the architecture of the entity called Nigeria, lack of co-ordination on the side of elites and political class and finally the corrupt nature of the system.
Until we stand to fight corruption to the root, have individual re-orientation and restructure our judicial system and electoral system to eliminate the selection system instead of election system. Not until then Nigeria can never practice a true separation of power to uphold and sustain our democratic government.


5.4 Recommendations

Based on the research finding(s) and conclusion, the following recommendations are made by the researcher, hoping that it will help strengthen the presidential system of government in Nigeria.

  1. No nation with high level of corruption will grow economically, politically and otherwise. Therefore, Nigerian government should take the fight against corruption serious and prosecute those found guilty of any misconduct to serve as deterrent to the posterity.
  2. There is need for true independent of the judiciary and for this to be achieved, there is need to create a body that will be sandal with the responsibility of appointing judges and presidents of court of appeal and who will also determine their remuneration and discipline. This will eliminate the influence the president has on the judiciary.
  3. There should be checks and balances between the three arms of government irrespective of party in which one emerged. Hence there should be strict adherence to one’s portfolio.
  4. The constitution should be revisited to fashion out a system that will suit our ecological difference with that of our colonial masters, and to structure out workable civil service system.
  5. The oversight function of the legislature should be properly monitored by both executive and judiciary to avoid misconduct.
  6. Finally, there is need for re-orientation of Nigerian citizens on the need for patriotism both on the side of the leaders and the lead.

The Doctrine Of Separation Of Power In A Presidential System Of Government (A Critique Of The Fourth Republic)


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