LOCAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM UNDER THE 1979 CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
The main purpose of this thesis is to analyse and appraise the constitutional basis of Local Government in Nigeria. Chapter One discusses various definitions of local government in Nigeria, but more particularly its definition as entrenched in the Guidelines to local government reforms. It highlights on the decision to recognise local government in the 1979 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its importance in the provision of public services. The later part of this chapter looks into the Executive Judicial and Legislative roles played by local government before the 1976 reforms and thereafter. Chapter two discusses briefly the historical evolution of local government in Nigeria from the colonial epoch to post independence epoch; the Military epoch to the local government reforms of 1976. The Chapter also discusses briefly the workings of local government in United Kingdom, France and the United States of America, Chapter three discusses inter governmental relations in Nigeria, The main focus of this thesis covered under chapter four is to provide a detail account of constitutional basis of local government. It highlights on section 7 of the 1979 constitution which recognises and guarantees the existence of local government in Nigeria. It further discusses the constitutional functions of local government council; the criteria for creating local government and its corporate personality. Chapter five deals with the doctrine of judicial review and Public Officers Protection Act as applicable to local governments in Nigeria. It further states the judicial remedies against local government. These remedies include – Mandanus, Certiorari, Prohibition, Injunction and Habeas Corpus. Chapter six deals with electoral process under local government. Chapter seven deals with conclusion. It highlights on the success and failure of the 1976 reforms and the recent trend in the development of local government in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the system of local government has over the time undergone series of changes. Since local government changes over time, this chapter states the constraints hindering effective performance of local governmnet. The chapter ends with recommendations’that would make local government councils to achieve the aims and objectives for which they are established.