THE CITIZENS’ CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS TO RECALL: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PROCEDURE IN NIGERIA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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Keywords

Governance
Corruption
Constitution
Human Rights

How to Cite

MARYAM YADUDU. (2018). THE CITIZENS’ CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS TO RECALL: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PROCEDURE IN NIGERIA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Unimaid Journal of Public Law, 5(2), 232 - 254. Retrieved from http://journals.unimaid.edu.ng/index.php/unimaid-journal-of-public-law/article/view/96

Abstract

Unaccountability in governance, corruption and pursuit of self-interest are almost synonymous to Nigeria’s democracy.  Every now and then, there is an attempt to make the executives and the legislature more responsive and accountable through legislative and administrative measures. Among other measures are Impeachment and Recall. Recall epitomizes the sovereignty of the electorate. It is a mechanism used to remove public officials for reasons of misconduct, fraud or unaccountability. This ensures that elected officials are kept within reasonable check of abuse or misuse of their powers. The ultimate aim is to protect the smooth operation of government without ignoring the voter’s right. Whether the recall provision has served its function of creating more responsive representation is still a topic of debate. Questions have been raised as to the feasibility of the process and the procedural and judicial challenges encountered in the application of the recall system in Nigeria as against its American counterpart. While recall has been successful in the United States of America, the same result has not yet been achieved in Nigeria. This paper employs of a combination of doctrinal and comparative methodologies to evaluate and appraise the constitutional provisions on recall referendum and compare the provisions for recall in Nigeria and the United States of America. It critically analyzes the role courts play in the administration of the process and further shows the extent to which citizens in the respective countries enjoy this right. The paper concludes that, although against the intent of the drafters, the 1999 constitution and the court system do not offer practicability to the recall provisions as obtained in the practice of the United States of America. The paper closes with recommendations on how the process can be fine-tuned to achieve its objectives as it has been achieved in the United States of America.

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