Public Complaints Commission As An Instrument For Redressing Administrative Injustice In Nigeria:An Analysis

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Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

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This project is dedicated to the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God Almighty, the giver of life and knowledge to all people of good will.

And also to his son Jesus Christ the author of all truth, wisdom and understanding.
I also dedicate it to my beloved family Mr. & Mrs. L.N. CHUKWUEKE and lovely siblings.


My greater thanks is for the Most High God, my father, Mentor, Creator God Almighty in whom I rest my problems and future. I also give honor and glory to him for giving me the strength, wisdom and ability for the successful completion of this project.

I also acknowledge the presence of his son JESUS CHRIST and SAVIOUR whose name and precious BLOOD is ever ready to defend and protect me in all my physical and spiritual welfare’s and the HOLY SPIRIT my counselor and teacher.

It is my wish to acknowledge the effort of the following individuals, whose contributions and supports cannot be forgotten in hurry, my sweet one and only beloved parents Mr. & Mrs. L.N. CHUKWUEKE for their lovely, moral, spiritual supports, parental word of advice / encouragement and financial supports all through my academic career.
Special thanks goes to my HOD Mr. Njoku S.C. for his transparency and uncompromising style in leadership. May I most respectfully acknowledge the assistance of my supervisor Mrs. CHIDINMA .J. AMADI whose criticisms and comments have greatly helped to improve the quality of this project.

While writing this project, I received inspirational advice and encouragements from so many persons. I will never forget my companion, my confident and my major source of my inspiration – Aunty Joy Chidozie, Odinaka, Chidinma, Obinna, Chidiebube, Amaeze & Nneoma. Infact you all meant so much to me as good siblings.
It is my pertinent, at this point, to thank Mr. & Mrs. Felix. O. Okuh and his family for his brotherly love. God bless you and your family.

My thanks goes to my colleagues for their encouragement, I sincerely appreciate their unalloyed support. May God who reward good heart reward you all immeasurably. I remain grateful to especially the students of public Administration department federal polytechnic Nekede respectively. May God see them through in their various honest academic endeavours. Because the department of public Administration federal polytechnic Nekede is a wonderful place to read and study very hard.

I would not fail to mention my amiable and confidential lecturers who sees to smooth running of my career in the school, because the way you get good ideas is by working with talented people who are fun to be with, my invaluable thanks goes to them all.

I remain indebted to my friends and well wishers which I will not fail to mention their names, Mr. P.C Nzeh, and others for their patience and support for my intellectual growth. God bless you all.


This research study on Public Complaints Commission as an Instrument for Redressing Administrative Injustice in Nigeria:An Analysis was motivated by one basic factor, to unravel how Public Complaints Commission can improve Public Administration in Nigeria. The major problems that have trailed public complaint commission (PCC) in Nigeria are mostly that of enforcement of its decision and recommendation to compel people to appear before it. The methodology and design adopted for the study were both explanatory and analytical, considering the secondary nature of the work.

The major findings of the work were that the public complaints commission has suffered poor publicity, inadequate government assistance, lack of security, logistic, poor funding, inadequate manpower development and inability of the commission to investigate cases pending in the court. The armed forces and some top government officials. Based on the above findings, it is recommend that there should be public enlightenment campaigns, provision of adequate security, logistic, funding, training and retraining of staff and above all the commission should be fully empowered.

Table Of Content

  • Title page
  • Certification ii
  • Dedication iii
  • Acknowledgement iv
  • Abstract v
  • Table of Content vi

Chapter One

  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Statement of Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significant of the study
  • 1.7 Scope of the study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the study
  • 1.9 Definition of term

Chapter Two

  • 2.0 Literature Review
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Five kinds of Ombudsman in Sweden
  • 2.3 The first significant call for the establishment of the Ombudsman in Nigeria
  • 2.4 Distinct Attributes of the Ombudsman.
  • 2.5 The role of the Ombudsman
  • 2.6 The problem /Limitation of the Ombudsman
  • 2.7 The organizational framework
  • 2.8 Processing of complaints
  • 2.9 Complaints within the commission Jurisdiction.
  • 2.10 Cases Handle by the Public Complaints Commission
  • 2.11 Recommendation after investigation
  • Reference

Chapter Three

  • 3.0 Research 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 Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of Data Collection

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 of finding, recommendation
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • Reference.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Rigid Bureaucracy, administrative excesses, abuse of office and due process violation of even the most basic human rights, unwarranted, aggression, oppression, repression, and suppression by those in the corridors of power and their surrogates and collaborators, high- handedness and insensitivity by self–perceived super bureaucrats and tin- gods- even in the face of demonstrable incompetence- corruption, arbitrary dismissals, terminations and retirements. Unbridled, unprincipled and flagrant violations of lawfully laid down rules and regulations and a myriad of excesses are very common daily occurrences in human and interactions. They are as old as the history of homosapian can be remembered and still do exist at present a greater or lesser extent in any society and enterprises.

In the African Administrative, social and other milieu these excesses can be very gross and traumatic, especially for subordinates and the less privileges and down-trodden of the society observance of human rights is a corollary function of social Justice and equity both of which are important desideratum of a peaceful, harmonies and stable social order. Policies designed to check or redress the above canker worm that militate against an equitable social order and stability are necessary unperative in any civilized society.
Except the above can be assured and guaranteed, peace and harmony, ‘9d indeed civilization, can slide into chaos and anarchy.

The vesting of such policies and the application of the instruments pertaining thereto, and arising from the policies, must be divulged on trust worthy, humane and dispassionate bodies’ personalities etc. The Public Complaints Commission (The Nigeria type of Ombudsman) was established with a mandate to fill these voids.

1.1 Background Of The Study

During the colonial rule in Nigeria, the colonial administrators recruited indigenous educated citizens to serve in the lower ranks of its administrative system as clear, technical staff and other auxillary staff. The disparity in the pay system and services conditions between the white colonial staff and their Nigeria counterparts soon gave rise to agitation for improved working conditions.

This in turn resulted in the colonial master striking back with sanctions against the indigenous owners who were identified as ring leaders of the worker group. These people were made to suffer a lot of social injustice ranging from unjustly relieving them of their duties without adequate compensation to other type of maltreatment.
Nigeria attained independence from British colonial rule in 1960. in the face depending crises of the word capitalist economy, the struggle by workers for better working condition reached an alarming rate whereby resulting in Government adaptation of every authoritarian and fascist tendencies in order to further suppress worker agitative tendencies.

By the mid-seventies, military rule in Nigeria had become well entrenched, but which we lately understood to be progressively worse and dictorial yet certain anathemic to civilized society. Arising from the maladies mentioned in the introduction, a cascading decadence had become noticeable in the system while morale among servants had sunken to its lowest ebb. The seeming need to conceal it’s dictatorial excesses and operate same from beneath the façade of democratic norms led to the setting up of the Udoji Commission, by the then military Government. To review the system and make recommendations.

However, outranged by an inept and moribund civil service system, the commission recommended, among others, the setting up of an Ombudsman institution in Nigeria.

True to the recommendation, the public complaints commission was set up as an independent arbiter by the then federal military government. It was established by Decree No 31 of 16th October 1975 and amended by Decree No 21 of 31st May, 1979. in the same year, 1979, the public complaints commission Decree was enshrined in the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria, under section 274 during General Obasanjo’s Regime before handing over to the democratic interregnum of the Shagari era or the second Republic. During General Babangida’s Regime, there was a National Assembly or what was know as the third Republic which, in 1990 encoded all important and relevant military Decrees into Acts of the National Assembly. Some amendments were made to Decree No 31 of 1975 before it was an Act of the National Assembly, which was codified as chapter 377 (written in legal terms as cap . 377) law of the federation of 1990 edition (or cap. 377 LFN, 1990).

It comparison is drawn from Decree No 31 of 1975 with cap 377 LFN, 1990 the differences or changes is easily noticed for clarity sake the instrument or law establishing the public complaints commission in Nigeria is better referred to now as cap .LFN 1990 and not anymore Decree No 31 of 1975 ( which contents still remain valid all the same).

The law now also from part of the 1999 constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria under section 315. cap 377 LFN, 1990 consists of 12 sections. Section 1 deals with the establishment and tenure of office of the chief and other commissioners, section 3 is on appointment and tenure of other staff; section 4 is the application of the pension Act while section 5 spells out the power and duties of the commission. Restrictions; recommendation after investigation; immunity from legal process; interpretation and short titles are treated in sections 6, 7,8,9,10,11, and 12 respectively. According to Ngwoke (1997:5) the activities of public Administration have become comprehensive and the power of bureaucracy is so great that the numbers of the oppressed are increasing at an alarming rate in the society. There are more problem which impede the speedy dispensation of complaints brought before the commission.

According to Obasi (1997:7) one of the problems of the commission has been poor or limited public knowledge of the existence, functions and modus operandi of the commission.

According to Onyiochi (1998):4), the problem of the section would not have arisen if government officials react favourably to the commission’s recommendation. Rather, Government officials make fun of the Commission because the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) law is silent on the issue of section.

Despite all odds the Commission have been able to live up to the expectation of the founding Fathers or filled the void for I the reason of its formation in the redressing of administrative in injustice and providing succor to the pressed and aggrieved members of the society.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The Commission cannot enforce its decision and recommendation. These are left to the Government to decide upon.

  1. The Commission could not reverse or probe the decisions or actions of the court the president, Governors, Ministers, Commissioners, Judge or such other Government Officials in top sensitive political positions.
  2. The Commission could not compel people to appear before it and this may limit the extent of its Thoroughness in such cases.
  3. Fund, in respect of allocations, mostly funds allocated to the commission for its operations over the year have been grossly inadequate.
  4. The emphasis on state security and national interest limits the access of the Ombudsman to vital records, information and document.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

  1. To study the effort of the Commission to enforce its decisions and recommendations.
  2. To study the extent to which the commission have been able to exercise the statutory powers vested on her to protect citizens from bureaucratic excesses of over zealous public officers.
  3. To study how the Government has been able to adequately assist the commission to effectively discharge their services.
  4. To study whether the Government have been able to assist the Commission financially and other wise on the discharging of the services.
  5. To study the constraints that tends to impede the progress of the Commission’s work.

1.4 Research Question

Attempt was made to provide the answers to the following questions in the course of the study.

  1. How does the Public Complaints Commission do redress administrative wrongs meted out as Complaints?
  2. To what extent has the Commission exercised the statutory powers vested on her to obtain redress for the aggrieved parties?
  3. The Public Complaints Commission is it an effective tool for addressing Administrative injustice in Nigeria?
  4. What are the major constraints impeding the speedy redressing of Complaints lodged with the Commission?

1.5 Statement Of Hypothesis

  1. H.o: The Public Complaints Commission is not an effective tool for addressing issue of Administrative injustice in Nigeria.
  2. H.i: The Public Complaints Commission is an effective tool for addressing issues of Administrative injustice in Nigeria.

1.6 Significant Of The Study

This research work represented a symbol of academics achievement having added to the already records of research to social scientist.

The study would be useful to lawmakers, policy makers, Public Administrationist, student Government officials and General Public in Nigeria, in seeing the Commission as a tool for addressing administrative excesses as well as a vital analytical data base for future research work bordering on Public Complaints Commission and necessarily, in the identification of the modus operandi of the icon and their importance as a scientific guide to administration in Nigeria.

Moreso, the work hopes to contribute to existing literature also go ahead to make relevant recommendations on ways of effectively strengthening the public complaints commission in the execution of Complaints for Nigeria Socio-political development and growth.

1.7 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this research work is anchored (based) on Public Complaints Commission as an instrument for redressing administrative injustice in Nigeria. The study adopted the explanatory research and secondary methods of collection were employed.

1.8 Limitation Of The Study

Essentially, a research may experience many types of problems in the course of his study. The magnitude of this, however, will depend on the environment of the researcher. Since the limitations of the study have to do with course of carrying out the study, it is proper and imperative to list out such constraints.

Thus, in the course of carrying out this research work the following limitation were encountered or witnessed by the researcher.

Amongst such limitations were; death of materials, short time needed to complete this study, problem of consistent and accurate data, amongst others, despite these constraints the research finding were reliable as the researcher’s effort overcome the problem.

1.9 Definition Of Terms

The following terms have been defined as they were used in the study. Thus would enhance understanding of the study.

Public Complaints Commission:

In the Nigeria context, it is that Government organisation vested with the power to look into Administrative Complaints lodged before it by members of the public.


According to the Collier’s Encyclopedia defines the Ombudsman as “…………….. a public officials appointed to investigate governmental abuses and the intervene for the ordinary citizens in his dealings with the complex machinery of Government.


It is a systematic, organized and detailed inquiry into and examine with care.


He is a person who has logged a complaint against another person.


The system of official’s rules and ways of doing things that a Government or an organisation has especially when these seem to be too complicated


The act of organizing the works of a business organisation or institution.


The fact of a situation being unfair and of people not being treated equally.

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How to nail it on the head during your project defence

You are through with writing that project. Now what?

You have found yourself at that point where you have to defend what you have written. Of course you have to stand in front of your supervisor and other literary personalities to prove that you know what you wrote in your project paper. Unfortunately, the more you think about it, the more it looks like you are about to face a legion. It is not a war. But the emotion of dread welling up inside of you makes it look like one. So now you are asking yourself questions.

  • How am I going to start?
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So here is the deal. I want to help you avoid that feeling that would ruin your precious moment if you dare to let it. And we are going to do it together.

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Watch Your Body Language And Keep It Confident:

Can you tell that a person is falling apart if they look confident? … If I can second guess you rightly, am sure you answered no to that question. Remind yourself that you need to come out that way. Now this might seem like a huge big deal when you are dealing with the foreboding. Maintaining a poise of confidence is very important. So find your most comfortable position, sitting or standing and draw up your body. You must exude confidence. It is something you need to do for yourself. People can only see what you allow your body language to show. So you must endeavour to put that out. Remember the story of David and Goliath? … At the end of your defence day, you want to be David.

Dress In Your Most Comfortable And Impressive:

Am sure this one is a no brainer. However I must highlight that you choose comfortable pieces. You don’t want to look so good and yet look like you were forced to wear something that does not belong to you. It’s great to ensure that as impressive as your clothes are on you, that they are also very comfortable.

Speak With Authority:

Going hand to hand with that aura of confidence is your most powerful asset:your words. If you look that confident, your words must not come out like whimpers. To be able to pull this off, you definitely need to speak as deliberately as possible in expressing yourself. Let them also hear what they see.

Use, Your Gestures:

I have often found this to come to my rescue in dealing with shyness and conveying my confidence. Usually it gives you an edge to also drive home your point. You must, however, ensure that you do not over use it. It doesn’t mean that your hands should be flying all over the place. That would be absolutely unnecessary. If you do this well, after a while you will realize that you are not as self-conscious as you used to be at the very start. For most situations, it would have completely disappeared altogether; leaving a really confident you talking.

Have A Good Opening And Closing Line:

Make sure you have perfected a good opening line. You should also be armed with a good closing line too. Try and rehearse it to a friend. If for the first time you presented it, your friend does not say “wow, that’s beautiful” or something like that; just know you need to keep refining it until you get the perfect line. Both opening and closing lines will go a long way in how impressed your panel gets to rate you high.

Make Sure You Know Your Work:

Certainly you should understand how important it is to know your own work from start to finish. Not having in-depth knowledge of your own work is tantamount to a suicide mission. Why should you kill yourself?
When all is said and done, this is what you came to defend in the first place. You should know your work from A to Z.

Prepare For The Questions:

Now this part is truly essential. You must be sure you do not floor all the good work you did on your presentation by not answering correctly. You must pay attention to the questions you are asked to be sure you will give the right answer. Many people get it wrong at this stage and spoil their good presentation. When you do not understand any question do endeavour to ask the person to expatiate what they mean before you answer.

These tips are by no means exhaustive, but applying these tips will give you some necessary advantage you need for a great outcome. Of course that outcome would mean that you eventually earn all your points on this project.



Samuel Obiora Blessed is the CEO and founder of a.k.a Nigeria Students Media, the youngest engineering graduate of Federal Polytechnic Nekede in 2017 and the engine brain behind this great platform. He is the man behind the scene, filled with many potentials. A musician as well as a developer with the interest of Nigeria students at heart. If you need a professional website, contact him via WhatsApp or phone call @ 08143831497 to get the best.

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