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Provisional Ruling Council (PRC)

The Government of Nigeria enforces its arbitrary authority through the Federal Security System (the military, the State Security Service (SSS), the national police, and other regulatory and law enforcement agencies), a variety of official and quasi-governmental security forces, and through decrees blocking action by the opposition in the courts. All branches of the security forces committed serious human rights abuses.

The main decisionmaking organ of the Nigerian government is the exclusively military Provisional Ruling Council (PRC), which rules by decree. The PRC oversees the 33-member Federal Executive Council composed of military officers and civilians. Pending the promulgation of the Constitution written by the Constitutional Conference in 1995 and subsequently approved by the Head of State, the Government observes some provisions of the 1979 and 1989 Constitutions. The decree suspending the 1979 Constitution was not repealed and the 1989 Constitution was not implemented.

General Sani Abacha, who seized power in a palace coup in November 1993, remained Head of State until his death in June 1998. The transition timetable announced by Abacha in 1995, which purports to return the country to democratically elected civilian government by October 1, 1998, underwent significant revisions in July 1997. The judiciary's authority and independence are significantly impaired by the military regime's arrogation of judicial power and prohibition of court review of its action.

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Sunday, May 24, 1998 3:41:27 PM