Treaty-Making Power of the President and the Requirement of Domestication under the Nigerian Constitution

Imo J. Udofa


The President has the power to negotiate and ratify treaties on behalf of his country.  However in Nigeria and most other countries that operate the dualist system, no treaty between the federation and any other country shall become enforceable unless it is domesticated through a legislative enactment.  Therefore treaty-making is purely an executive act which requires subsequent legislative intervention for implementation of the treaty in national courts.  This article examines the treaty-making power of the Nigerian President and the justification for the requirement of domestication of treaties.  The difficulties posed by the requirement of domestication are also examined.  Notwithstanding that Nigeria has ratified several international treaties, the domestication of these instruments is lamentably slow.  Though this may prevent the implementation or enforcement of these treaties within the national courts, they non- the less remain binding on the country at the international level with some negative consequences.  The article also examines the impact of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration Act) 2010 on treaty implementation in Nigeria and proffers suggestions on how the desired synergy between the executive and the legislature with regard to treaty-making and implementation could be achieved.

Keywords: Treaty, Domestication, Constitution, President, National Assembly.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-574X ISSN (Online)2224-8951

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