Constitutionalism in the emergent states.

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Enugu, (10 Ibiam Street, Uwani, P.O. Box 430):Nwamife Publishers, Enugu Nigeria, 1973

When the civil war in Nigeria ended in January 1970 I was frequently confronted with problems concerning the legality of acts done during the secession by the secessionist regime and by individuals - contracts entered into, property seized or destroyed, appointments made or terminated, currency issued, and sentences or judgments passed by the regular courts and the special tribunals. This raises the whole question of the constitutionality of the secession and of the secessionist regime. If the regime was unconstitutional, could anything done under it have legal effect? Secession in Nigeria was of course preceded, if not caused, by the events of January 1966 when the civilian government handed over power to the military. That event was unique, for never before has a civilian government voluntarily abdicated in favour of the military. But what in fact was the true constitutional significance of that event ? Was it a coup d’etat or a normal change of government under the Constitution, and what is the nature of the military government established as a result? When I began probing these questions, I found myself confronted by other examples of constitutional breakdown in certain emergency situations.

The Concept of Constitutionalism; The Constitution in Emergent States; The Westminster Export Model and Constitutionalism in the New Commonwealth; Constitutionalism and National Unity in Nigeria; Ineffectiveness of Federalism to foster national unity,stability and constitutionalism in Nigeria; The practice of constitutionlism in emergent state generally; Constitutionalism and the Frequent Incidence of Emergencies in New Nations; Coups d’Etat in Emergent States and their Implications for Constitutionalism; Secession and its Implication for Constitutionalism and Legality.