A New Nigeria

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The Constitutional Vacuum

Customary law is the cord that keeps a traditional society together; the Constitution is the yarn that weaves the fabric of a modern state together. Without it, a nation becomes an anarchy or a police state in which citizens have no guaranteed rights or freedoms and their obligations to the state are not defined. Also ill-defined or non-existent are the functions of state organs or institutions, such as parliament, the judiciary and the security forces. Under a constitution, parliament, for example, provides oversight over executive actions and the role of the judiciary is to ensure that the rule of law is upheld. Without a constitution, there is no oversight over the executive, which means the head of state can literally do whatever he wants. Further, without a constitution, there is no law for the judiciary to uphold except decrees or diktaks from the executive. More importantly, democracy…

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