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Following another military coup of 31st December 1983, which led to the emergence of Major General Muhammed Buhari as Head of State, the 1979 Constitution was suspended and political activities were banned throughout Nigeria.

Major General Muhammed Buhari citedcharges of corruption, and administrative incompetence, as reasons for military intervention.

The Buhari regime was overthrown in a coup led by Major General Ibrahim Babangida, the then Chief of Army Staff, on 27th August 1985.

The main reason for the coup was the belief, that the Buhari regime had no plan to return Nigeria to civilian rule. Other reasons Babangida gave, were misuse of power, violations of human rights, and corruption.

It was under Babangida’s transition to military rule that the 1989 constitution was put together

The 1989 constitution was similar to the 1979 constitution, but with some adjustments here and there. It marked the beginning of the third republic.

Features of 1989 Constitution:

1. It continued with the presidential system of government.

2. It still retained the federal system of government.

3. It gave greater attention to the autonomy of local government.

4. The Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) would not be regarded as a state of the federation.

5. It made provision for Supreme Court.

6. The legislature was still bicameral.

7. It provided for a two-party system.