The Pillars Of Democracy

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The Pillars Of Democracy

The Pillars Of Democracy stands on three foundations – the Executive, the Judicial and the Legislature.

In order to function properly, all three should be exclusive and not confrontational, but co-active, while each maintains its identity and function.

The Legislature formulates Laws, the Executive implements them and the Judiciary intervenes when either of the other two is seen to be in default.

The Three Pillars Of Democracy In Nigeria

THE LEGISLATURE

Legislature can technically said to be the  lawmaking branch of a government. Before the advent of legislatures, the law was dictated by monarchs.

Early European legislatures include the English Parliament and the Icelandic Althing (founded c. 930).

The Pillars Of Democracy

Legislatures may be unicameral or bicameral. Legislative powers might include passing laws, establishing a government budget, authorizing presidential appointments, ratifying agreements, investigating the executive branch, condemning or dismissing members of the executive and judicial branches, and redressing grievances from constituents.

Members may be appointed or directly or indirectly elected; they may represent an entire population, particular groups, or territorial subdistricts.

In presidential systems, the executive and legislative branches are clearly separated; in parliamentary systems, members of the executive branch are chosen from the legislative membership.

THE EXECUTIVE.

The Executive Branch is steered by the President, who must be a smooth-born resident, at least 35 years of age, and a resident of the country for at least 14 years.

The President shall be elected indirectly by the people through the electoral college system for a term of four years and shall be limited by the Twenty-Second Amendment (1951) to two elected terms of office.

The president’s official residence and office is the White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. in Washington, D.C.

The formal constitutional responsibilities vested in the presidency of the United States include serving as commander in chief of the armed forces; negotiating treaties; appointing federal judges, ambassadors, and cabinet officials; and acting as head of state.

In practice, presidential powers have expanded to include drafting legislation, formulating foreign policy, conducting personal diplomacy, and leading the president’s political party.

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It is unfortunate that because of the Head of State being styled “The Executive President”, I tend to believe that there is confusion.

Since The President is properly part of the Law making process, he should therefore reside within the Legislature. Since to “execute” means to “do”, ”perform” or “give effect to”, the Executive should properly be what we now term the “Administration” since is what the pillars of democracy entails.

It would be interesting to see the reaction of the Political Scientists, Constitutional Experts and the like think of this. To me, this is much more than a mere name change.

For one, it emphasizes the equal status of these arms of governance, their need to resist, or respect each other’s integrity, eliminating persistent argument on who is superior to the other. In the worst case, if the Legislature (Parliament through the Speaker) finds itself in conflict with the Judiciary – on whether its pronouncements, are binding on Parliament or not. 

Ever since the Executive Presidency was created by the Constitution of 1978 with sweeping powers, unfettered by legal accountability, a monster was created.

Here was an office endowed with extraordinary powers to do all “but create a woman from a man” – as was vividly expressed by the first incumbent.

Quite understandably, the official acts of the incumbent were insulated from legal challenge.

However, to extend this immunity to cover all acts whether in an official or private capacity, is indefensible. We have not been fortunate enough to have any incumbent who by freedom from blemish, has justified the extraordinary power attached to this post. 

The Executive (The Administration) has been severely weakened by the continued intervention of the Legislature. Upon Independence in 1948, we had a public service that was the envy of the nearby states.

The services have been competent, efficient and incorrupt. They, led by the Civil Service of that time, were ferociously independent and truly helped by the Legislators, who were not always equipped to manage day-to-day governance duties.

THE JUDICIARY.

separation of powers in government

Judiciary is the pillar of government whose task is the authoritative adjudication of controversies over the application of laws in specific situations.

Conflicts brought before the courts are represented in cases involving litigants, which may be individuals, associations, legal entities (e.g. corporations) or governments and their agencies. See also constitutional law, trial procedure and procedural law.

Conflicts that allege personal or financial harm resulting from violations of law or binding legal agreements between litigants—other than violations legally defined as crimes—produce civil cases. Judicial decisions in civil cases often require the losing or offending party to pay financial compensation to the winner.

Crimes produce criminal cases, which are officially defined as conflicts between the state or its citizens and the accused (defendant) rather than as conflicts between the victim of the crime and the defendant.

Judicial decisions in criminal cases determine whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. A defendant found guilty is sentenced to punishments, which may involve the payment of a fine, a term of imprisonment, or, in the most serious cases in some legal systems, state-imposed physical mutilation or even death (see capital punishment).

The rot started in about 1956, when MP”s started interfering more and more and in about 1960, brashly demolished the standard-bearer the CCS and replaced it with the wider and more malleable SLAS.

Today, the Administration is a poor caricature of a distinguished past. It has the character of a subservient, shameless, corrupt and insensitive behemoth. 

While the superior Court judges, by and large have maintained their stature and honour, the accessory structures such as the Police, the Prisons and the Attorney-General have reached dismal depths.

For example, the police have been called the most corrupt department. The prison service could not be far behind. The most urgent reforms, if desired honestly, must begin with the administration, which of the three pillars has the greatest impact on citizens ‘ needs.

The disastrous effects of insular linguistics have very seriously also impacted on the quality of a service which has been denied access to a massive storehouse of information accessible only through competency in a World language.

A subservient and corruptible Public Service is invaluable for crooked Politicians. Although the blame for illegal and dishonest acts are usually laid at the door of political figures, it has to be remembered that embezzlement of any notable size, could not be effected without the complicity or collusion of public officers, who themselves are not averse to skimming off something for themselves.

Lawlessness is a virulent and rapidly spreading contagion – a reality that we have been painfully aware of every passing day.

Apart from the moral dimension, bribery must have disastrous consequences for the economy, because it is an expense without a corresponding product.

The Pillars Of democracy is what holds and control the government. Not only one branch controls it.

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