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CONTRASTING RULE-MAKING IN A CIVIL ADMINISTRATION WITH RULE-MAKING UNDER A MILLITARY REGIME, IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT Legislative power is simply the law making powers of a legislative body whose primary functions includes power to make new laws, alter existing ones, guard and repeal laws. The legislature has the constitutional prerogative to make laws and that power is reposed exclusively in such body even though it may be delegated to some agencies in the Executive department for operational conveniences but the ultimate legislative authority is vested on the legislature and within this context, it is able to maintain its control over all delegated legislative activities. Legislators are the authors of statutes and the ordinances are issued by the heads of the Executive under a specific constitutional power and subject to constitutional limitations which are severe. This paper contrasts the legislative powers of a Military Government with that of a Civilian Government. The paper argues that whereas the law-making powers of a civil legislature is limited by the doctrine of checks and balances; that of a military government is very extensive. The paper presents theoretical adumbrations on the nature of bills and degrees, while noting the differences in their manner of execution and enforcement. The paper concludes that military rule or dictatorial government is an aberration of all the well-known and well-tried norms of constitutional law and is thus undesirable in any body polity and accordingly submits that it is not possible to operate a constitution properly so-called under military rule or any dictatorship by whatever names it is called.

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