Eme O. Innocent


This paper examined the phenomenon of executive dominance over the legislatures both at the national and state levels in Nigeria. The paper argues that legislatures in Nigeria generally are faced with the crisis of executive belligerence, which itself is a hangover of the military rule and decreed two party states between 1960 and 1999. This culture of executive dominance appears more endemic and destructive to democracy. The data for this study was generated from Focus Group Discussion, in-depth desk review and other documentary sources. The technique of content analysis will constitute our data analysis technique. The paper revealed that the legislatures in Nigeria are more or less one party dominated, influenced largely by the incumbent president and governors. Also the president and executive governors are overwhelmingly powerful and dominant because of their unlimited access to state resources, which give them control over party structures. The controls over candidates’ selection by the executives make legislators stooges of the former, which relegates the institution to mere rubber stamp of the executive. It is also found that control over legislative bureaucracy in the past and to some extent even now makes the legislature dependent on the executive. This undermines the capacity and independence of the legislatures to hold the executive accountable and to a large extent to function as co-equal of the executive arm of government. The paper concludes by positing that unless parties are funded independent of holders of executive power and moneybags, governors will continue to control the proceedings in the legislatures.


The Legislature & Legislative Processes, Executive, Presidential democracy, Separation of Powers in Nigeria & Legislative Conflict & Cooperation

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