Prof Ernest Ojukwu (SAN) is a former Deputy Director-General of the Nigerian Law School. In this interview, he talks about the amendments the country should make to the constitution.
What areas would you want amendments to take place in the constitution?
The crucial areas that need to be reviewed in the Constitution are as follows: To give states more autonomy and more control of resources from their states akin to the autonomy of the regions under the 1963 Constitution.
Another area is to provide for a referendum for any state or group of states or peoples that wish to make a decision on whether to continue as part of Nigeria or become independent of Nigeria.
There should also be a provision allowing the existence of state police.
Are there areas of recommendations in the judiciary, which is your constituency?
Yes. The law should be amended to ensure that any appeal to the Supreme Court should only be with the leave of the Supreme Court.
Also, there should be provision to make disobedience of orders and judgments of courts by any person or agent of state, whether the order is specifically directed at the named person or not, a high crime in the constitution punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment. In addition, dismissal from the public service and disqualification from holding a public office or being elected into an elective office. It should also be a ground for impeachment.
Finally, the new constitution should streamline and create a process for effective autonomy of the judiciary in all respects of autonomy.
Any amendments on individual rights?
The amendment should make abuse of any fundamental right of any person a high crime in the constitution punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment, and in addition dismissal from the public service and disqualification from holding a public office or being elected into an elective office. It should also be a ground for impeachment.