FUNCTIONS OF REGIONAL COUNCILS:
The Regional Councils served as a link between the Native
Authorities and the Legislative Council. The Regional Councils
considered and advised the Governor by resolution on any
matter referred to them by the Governor or introduced by
member of the council.
In addition, the Regional Houses examined estimates
of expenditure, both annual and supplementary, and also
bills that were applicable to the regions; but the Governor
was not bound to accept the recommendations of the Regional
It should be noted that the Regional Houses had no constitutional
powers to make laws. They were in fact only deliberative
and advisory councils.
WEAKNESSES OF THE RICHARD'S CONSTITUTION:
The nationalist leaders criticised the Constitution on the
ground that they were not consulted. They strongly criticised
the arbitrary manner in which the Constitution was introduced
without consulting them.
The N.C.N.C. in a memorandum not only denounced the
constitutional proposals as autocratic in origin, but
also as designed to create a false impression of providing
for an unofficial majority when in fact the 'unofficials'
were either Chiefs who were officials appointed by the
governor, or their nominees.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo believed that the Constitution
fell below expectations and that it contained same weakness
as the previous Constitution. On June 1947, a delegation
of the N.C.N.C. leaders left Nigeria for London to protest
against the Richard's Constitution before the Secretary
of State for the Colonies. They demanded among other things
the immediate revision of the Constitution.
The Constitution allowed the nationalist leaders only
discussions and not actual participation in running the
affairs of the country and for this the objective of the
Constitution was not achieved.
This was because the Regional Councils had only deliberative
and advisory functions to perform and the Governor was
not bound to accept the recommendations of the legislative
THE ADVANNTAGES OF THE RICHARD'S CONSTITUTION:
One of the greatest achievements of the Richard's Constitution
was that it brought the North and the South in a common
legislative council. It allowed the whole country to meet
as a body and deliberate on the affairs of the country.
Therefore, the Constitution achieved one of its objectives
of promoting the unity of the country.
Secondly, the Constitution introduced the concept of
regionalism into the political history of the country.
Besides, the Constitution sharpened nationalism in Nigeria.
As a result of the N.C.N.C. tour of the country to explain
the deficiencies of the Richard's Constitution, many people
in the country became politically conscious and even some
became members of political parties in order to fight
against coloninsm and imperialism.
Thirdly, the Richard's Constitution represented a constitutional
advance and paved the way for further rapid constitutional
developments in the country. A highly centralised unitary
constitution was not suitable to a country of the size
and diversity of Nigeria.