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Jurisprudence of Nigerian Constitution: Prof. Auwalu Hamisu Yadudu’s preview

The book offers perspectives on constitutional governance, urging inclusive practices for all Nigerians. Tracing Nigeria's constitutional history, the chapters tackle challenges in the constitutional review process....


Jurisprudence of Nigerian Constitution: Prof. Auwalu Hamisu Yadudu’s preview

Scheduled for public presentation at the Dangote Business School, BUK, on February 22, 2024, this seventeen-chapter, 439-page book provides a preview of the jurisprudential insights of Prof. Auwalu Hamisu Yadudu.

Published by Hallmark Publishing Nigeria Ltd in 2023, the book delves into constitutional making, review, and reform, addressing contentious issues in Nigeria, such as federalism, restructuring, and constitutional amendments.

The book offers perspectives on constitutional governance, urging inclusive practices for all Nigerians. Tracing Nigeria’s constitutional history, the chapters tackle challenges in the constitutional review process, emphasizing the importance of public participation for legitimacy and acceptability.

Indeed, there could not have been a better time for a book that will address the complex issue of the development of constitutional jurisprudence in Nigeria than now when threats to the sustenance of both electoral democracy and social protection as well as economic growth are compounding the security challenges facing the nation. This is the context in which general readers must appreciate the little contribution of the authors and editors of this book.

The editors were bold and assertive on how they came about the idea of the book. In chapter one, the editors resolutely opined; – in over four decades of his intellectual journey, no work has specifically identified Yadudu’s intellectual orientation and some of the factors that shaped and influenced his ideas and practical experience in relation to Nigeria’s constitution-making process.

Hence the chapter explains how the honoree used the lessons of history and legal theory to advocate for inclusive constitutional governance for all Nigerians.In order to manage the expectations of readers, it must be noted that this book neither pretends to be a comprehensive textbook on the subject, nor a critique of Yadudu’s scholarly works on constitutional jurisprudence, rather, it remains ESSAYS in honour of him on constitutional jurisprudence in Nigeria.

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Hence it is more intended to be a well-thought-out companion with in-depth analysis of wide-ranging topics in different areas of constitutional law and practice in Nigeria. Readers are therefore advised to access and read more detailed scholarly works of Yadudu for an in-depth understanding of the honoree’s bold and sometimes controversial perspectives on matters relating to the development and challenges of constitutional jurisprudence in Nigeria.

Chapter two traces Nigeria’s constitutional history and underscores the fact that lawmakers rarely pay attention to history of the constitutional amendment process that can provide them with guidance in their efforts to achieve a successful review process. The chapter identifies key challenges that impede the achievement of positive outcomes in Nigeria’s constitutional review process and argues that public participation in the review process is an essential predicate to the legitimacy and acceptability of the constitution that is enduring.

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In chapter three, the authors argued that any meaningful discussion on the following contentious constitutional issues cannot ignore the socio-political circumstances surrounding them: – Restructuring the federation, devolution of powers, the status of local governments, revenue sharing and resource derivation principles, Sharia and role of traditional rulers/institutions.

It concludes that the judiciary has a strategic role to play in ensuring some stability in the understanding and application of the relevant provisions of the Constitution on these issues.While chapter four argues that a referendum is an important tool to arrive at a truly homegrown constitution that can generate the desired legitimacy to build a virile democracy in Nigeria, chapter five sets out a step-by-step process for effective amendment of the 1999 Constitution.

Chapter six, with the aid of decided cases, examines literalism, liberalism and purposive methods of constitutional interpretation and advocates the adoption of judicial activism to give effect to the constitutional provisions in Nigeria.

Chapter seven, on the other hand, highlights the core issues and factors worth considering by law Review /Reform Commissions/ Committees in their bid to update existing statutory instruments.In chapter eight, nine, ten, and eleven, the reader is taken through matters relating to: – citizenship, national identity, and the role of constitution in national integration; lessons from history on the status and autonomy of local governments under the Nigerian constitution; the extent to which the human rights jurisprudence of the ECOWAS court of justice can strengthen rule of law and constitutional democracy in Nigeria; legal issues involved in intelligence-led policing in the face of insecurity and threats to Nigeria’s national cohesion, peace and security.

Chapters twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen, took the reader to the analysis of: – the powers of the Attorney-General in the application of AS-SULH mechanism in homicidal offences in Kano state; international labour standards and collective bargaining under the Nigerian constitution; combating corruption and the abolition of the power of nolle prosequi; strengthening the legal framework on Islamic banking and finance in Nigeria; the extent of the jurisdiction of shariah courts over land matters as part of the estates left behind by a Muslim; autonomy of state judiciaries and legislatures in Nigeria.

The book contains appendices A to F, a Bibliography, and an index.

In conclusion, as may sometimes be inevitable in a production of this volume, a number of typographical errors/spelling mistakes, such as “FORWARD” instead of “FOREWORD” all through; misnumbering of subheads of some chapters, such as: – 12.1 to 12.5 in chapter eleven, instead of 11.1 to 11.5; 14.4 in chapter 13, are noticed, and to which the editors must avert their minds in the next edition. These errors however do not detract from the fact that this is a valuable book. It deserves the widest readership beyond the legal profession.

Ladan, Director General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Abuja

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