Guide to Nigerian Legal Information

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The Federal Republic of Nigeria is located in the Western part of Africa. It became an independent state on October 1, 1960, after about 100 years under British colonization, and attained a republican status within the British Commonwealth three years after in 1963. Since independence, Nigeria has come under both military and civil administrations. The coming into force of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 on May 29, 1999, ushered in the present democratic dispensation, popularly referred to as "the Fourth Republic." On this day, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a retired Army General and a one-time military Head of State (February 13, 1976 to September 30, 1979), became the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria following his victory in the presidential election conducted in 1999 as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party. President Olusegun Obasanjo's ruling party, the People's Democratic Party, also won the second term after another general election in April 2003. On April 21, 2007, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Governor of Katsina State in Northwestern Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, and the flag bearer of the People's Democratic Party, was declared winner of the presidential election and he was subsequently sworn into office as President on May 29, 2007. Dr. Jonathan Ebele Jonathan, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s Vice President, was sworn in as President following the death of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2011. He contested the presidential election in 2011 as the candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party and was sworn in as President on May 29, 2011. The current President and Head of State is Muhammadu Buhari. He was sworn on May 29, 2015 as the 15th post-Independence Head of Government. He won the presidential election held in April 2015 as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party. Muhammadu Buhari. He is a retired general of the Nigerian Army and was Head of State from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985. In spite of the fact that Nigeria is experiencing its longest period of uninterrupted civilian administration (since May 29, 1999), the country may rightly be said to be in its tender years of democracy in view of the fact that 28 of Nigeria’s post-independence years were spent under the military.