Tag Archives: Clifford Constitution of 1922

Constitutional Development: Clifford Constitution of 1922


The Clifford Constitution of 1922 abolished the Nigerian Council of 1914 as it was replaced by a new Legislative Council through which Nigerians will be given access to power via electoral principles.
Considering the provisions of Clifford Constitution, the Legislative Council was composed of 46 members of which official members including the Governor and 19 Non-official members out of which 15 were nominated by the Governor, 10 of the 19 non-officials were Nigerians. Also, it was established that for the category of male adult who can vote and be voted for must have resided in the country for 12 months and have gross annual income of 100 Pounds per annum. As a matter of fact, the North was not incorporated into the Legislative Council. But the Governor continues to rule by Proclamation in the North. The era also led to the establishment of first political party in Nigeria in 1923 by Herbert Macaulay (NNDP) and the establishment of newspaper like West African Pilot and Lagos Daily News.
More importantly, the Executive Council established by the Constitution was purely an advisory body to the Governor General because of the veto power. It was made up of 10 ex-officio members. Hence, Executive Council was exclusively reserved for the Europeans (it was strictly an European affair).
Finally, the Constitution allows more representation than 1914 Constitution and set the pace for Nationalist agitation by training them for future political activities  in spite of some of its shortcomings like restricted franchise, white domination, Governor’s veto power and introduction of sectionalism into Nigerian politics.