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2022 Civic Education Lesson Note for First Term JSS3

JSS3 First Term Civic Education  Lesson Note 

 Scheme of Work



















Week 1

Topic: The Constitution


  • Meaning of constitution
  • Importance of having constitution
  • Sources of constitution
  • Importance of Nigerian constitution

What is a Constitution?

Constitution can be defined as a body of rules and principles according to which a country is governed. It is the basic law by which a political system operates. A Constitution is a fundamental and entrenched rules governing the conduct of an organization or nation state, and establishing its concept, character, and structure. It is usually a short document, general in nature and embodying the aspirations and values of its writers and subjects. The constitution can also be defined as the organic and fundamental law of a nation or state, which may be written or unwritten, establishing the character and conception of its government, laying the basic principles to which its internal life is to be conformed, organizing the government, and regulating, distributing, and limiting the functions of its different departments, and prescribing the extent and manner of the exercise of sovereign powers.  The constitution expresses the powers exercised by the various levels of government. It limits the power of the government. Constitution can be defined as a body of agreed rules and principles according to which a country is governed. It is the basic law to which a political system operates. To learn more, click here 

Week 2

Topic: The Constitution – The Colonial Nigerian Constitution 

  • Lyttleton Constitution of 1954

This constitution addressed some points to separate most of the central and inter dependence activities among the regions and the central. Some of the points are:

  1. Each region should have its own civil services
  2. There was no more central legislative and executive for Nigeria
  3. The central government should operate from a neutral place.
  4. Each region should have an autonomous house of legislative and executive. To learn more, click here 

Week 3

Topic: Features of Colonial constitution

Sources of Constitution

The sources of constitution are:

  1. Common law: Laws based on people’s customs and beliefs , which the courts recognize are sources of constitution
  2. Historical documents: Documents containing historical records of people and their traditions
  3. Customs: Constitution can also be sourced from rules of conducts that have been accepted as obligatory in the society
  4. Judicial precedents: Law emanating from previous court judgement usually from superior courts. They are called case laws.
  5. Act of the legislature: Laws made by the state and national assemblies can also serve as a source of constitution. To learn more, click here 

Week 4

Topic: Constitution (cont’d)

Aspects of the Nigerian Constitution that Promotes National Consciousness

The aspect of the Nigerian constitution that promotes national consciousness and national unity is seen in the chapter II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Below are the selected aspect of the second chapter of the Nigerian constitution that promotes national consciousness and unity:

3) The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.

(4) The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation. To learn more, click here 

Week 4

Topic: The Constitution: The Colonial Nigerian Constitution (Cont’d)

  • MacPherson Constitution of 1951

Richard’s Constitution was severely criticised by the nationalists, because it was imposed on Nigerians without any prior consultation. In order to express the criticisms, the nationalists of Herbert Macaulay and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe toured important towns in the country, educating the people on the political issues at stake and collecting donations to send a protest delegation to London. It was partly because of this protest that Richard’s Constitution which originally was intended to last for nine years was replaced in 1951 by MacPherson’s constitution. Its author, Sir John MacPherson, who succeeded Sir Authur Richards as Governor, was sensitive to the criticism that Richard’s Constitution had not been based on prior consultation with the Nigerians. He therefore allowed three years from 1948 to 1951, for public opinion on his proposals to be expressed at district, provincial and regional levels.  After the operation of Richard Constitution, MacPherson Constitution was introduced in 1951. The Macpherson Constitution established a central legislative council and a central executive council for the country. The central legislative council known as the House of Representatives consisted of:

  • A President
  • Six ex-official members
  • One hundred and thirty-six representative members elected from the Regional House
  • Six special members appointed by the Governor to represent interests not adequately represented in the House. To learn more, click here 

Week 5

Topic: Post 1960 Constitution – 1963 Constitution

JSS 3 Civic Education First Term

Week 5

Topic: Post 1960 Constitution: 1963 Constitution

The 1963 Constitution

This is the post – independence constitution. Under the 1960 and the 1963 constitution, a true federal system made up of strong states or regions and a central or federal state with limited power was instituted. From independence to about September 1963, most of all that were done was tune towards the way of our colonial masters, the Britons. The parliamentary procedure was like in the British parliament. In August 1963, the mid- west region was created because of the crisis which erupted in Action Group, the political party in control of western region at that time. Under the 1960 and 1963 constitution a true federal system made up of strong states or regions and a central or federal state with limited powers was instituted.

 The 1960 (independence constitution) and 1963 constitutions (republic constitution) were the same except

  1. The provisions for ceremonial president(1963) in place of the queen of England (1960)
  2. The judicial appeals system which terminated with the supreme court (1963) rather than the judicial committee of the British privy council (1960) To learn more, click here 

Week 7

Topic: Post 1960 constitution – Presidential constitution

The 1999 Constitution

In December 1998 Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar set up the Justice Niki Tobi led constitution debate coordinating committee. The committee recommended the 1979 constitution with amendments as preferable to 1995 constitution

Features of the 1999 constitution

  1. The presidential system was retained
  2. There was 778 local governments throughout the nation
  3. The judiciary became independent in operation
  4. There is opportunity for dual citizenship.
  5. Democratic rule was restored to Nigeria
  6. Fundamental human right became more recognized To learn more, click here 

Week 7

Topic: Post 1960 constitution – Republican constitution 1979

Second Republic Constitution of 1979

After the civil war from 1967-1970, General Gowon remained as the head of state. As a military, all that was done was almost dictatorial. There was a constitutional drafting committee after the overthrow of Gowon in September 1975. It was made of 50 members who submitted their report in August 1976. There was open discussion on the existing constitution from that time till August 1977. The first elections under the 1979 constitution were held on schedule in July and August 1979, and the FMG handed over power to a new civilian government under President Shehu Shagari on October 1, 1979. Nigeria’s Second Republic was born amid great expectations. Oil prices were high and revenues were on the increase. It appeared that unlimited development was possible. Unfortunately, the euphoria was short-lived, and the Second Republic did not survive its infancy.

Five major parties competed for power in the first elections in 1979. As might be expected, there was some continuity between the old parties of the First Republic and the new parties of the Second Republic. The National Party of Nigeria (NPN), for example, inherited the mantle of the Northern People’s Congress, although the NPN differed from the NPC in that it obtained significant support in the non-Igbo states of southeastern Nigeria. The United Party of Nigeria (UPN) was the successor to the Action Group, with Awolowo as its head. Its support was almost entirely in the Yoruba states. To learn more, click here 

Week 9

Topic: Supremacy of the Constitution

Supremacy of Constitution

Constitution can be defined as a book of law, a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organisation is acknowledged to be governed. Constitutions, whether written or unwritten, typically function as an evolving body of legal custom and opinion.

Constitution can be defined as a body of agreed rules and principles according to which a country is governed. It is the basic law by which a political country is governed.

Meaning of Supremacy

It is the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status. Supremacy of the constitution then means that the constitution is superior and above all other persons in the country. The constitution is the law by which every member of the country must abide not considering the title or the position of anybody or position a person occupies. To learn more, click here 

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