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There were many steps taken towards drafting a new constitution, after the military took over governance, in 1966, and set aside the 1963 Republic Constitution.

Following the assassination of Nigerian military Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed in 1976, his successor, General Olusegun Obasanjo, initiated the transition process to terminate military rule, in 1979, and a new constitution was drafted.

Obasanjo peacefully transferred power to Shagari, becoming the first head of state in Nigerian, in 1979.

The 1979 constitution, includes chapters on general provisions, fundamental objectives and directive principles of State policy, citizenship, fundamental rights, the Legislative, the Executive, the Judiciary, Federal Capital Territory, and general supplementary provisions.

Features of 1979 Constitution:

1. The Constitution introduced the presidential system of government.

2. It also provided the federal system of government.

3. The tenure of the president, governors, and legislators was foxed at 4 years.

4. Local government was recognised as the third tier of government.

5. The Code Of Conduct Bureau was established.

6. The legislature was bicameral.

7. 1979 Constitution provided for a 19 state structure.

8. The Supreme Court was the highest Court of Appeal.

9. It provided for a revenue allocation formula.

10. It defined the amendment procedure.

Map of Nigeria showing the 19 states at the time of the 1979 Constitution.