The second phase of Nigerian constitution under the British imperial rule (1951-1959)
This article is written from historical perspective. The article reveals that this period witnessed a change in British attitude toward the enactment of Nigerian constitution from the path where it was predominantly made by the British from their own perspective to a more humane attitude that allows Nigerians to have some say on the enactment of their constitution and the McPherson constitution of 1951 was the first in a series of constitutions during this phase that gave this right to Nigerians. Consequently constitution making during this period was drawn out by the joint efforts of the British and Nigerians. The article also reveals that this period in the history of Nigeria was marred by Nationalism and nationalist movement which might have led to the change of attitude by the British imperialist. This period also marked the independence struggle and of course the subsequent Independence that followed in 1960. The aim of the author is to posit the different constitutional instruments that were put in place at successive constitutional phase and to recognise that successive constitution at any given stage brought with it a change in politics and hope for Nigerians’ struggle for independence. It hoped that by revisiting this period in the constitutional making in Nigeria that people will begin to measure the effectiveness of the constitutions enacted during this period with the post independence constitutions after it.