Three Arms of Government in Nigeria and their functions

Another name for arms of government is branches or organ of government. The organs of government constitute the structure of the government. It also contributes to how efficient or productive a government could be. The organs of government are created by the Constitution of each country and also empowered by it. This means that the Constitution creates and also share functions to the organs of government.

Every country has the three branches of government. Though they have similar functions in order to achieve a common goal which is good governance. That is why the Judiciary can interpret the law and in a way make the law (Quasi-legislative function). Other arms of government also have one way or the other where they seem to perform the functions of other branches of government.

In this article, we shall examine the roles and responsibilities of each of these organs of government.

The Legislative arm of government and its functions

Firstly, the legislative arm is also called the parliament. It is charged with the responsibility of making laws for the country or state. Making of laws is the major and exclusive function of the legislative arm.

In a sense, the people make the law because the people make up the highest power in a country and they can influence every decision of the government. However, due to the large number of persons in a country, all cannot come together to make laws. So, there became need to elect representatives in to the parliament to make laws on their behalf.

The legislature, as an arm of government has several functions but the above mentioned function is exclusive to it. Though, in some cases, it appears the judiciary also make laws through decided cases. But judiciary cannot get the credit of making laws. Besides, it is how the law wants it. In other words, the law wants the decided cases of courts to stand for easier judgements in similar issues.

Check out the legislative arm of government and functions where I wrote extensively on the roles and responsibilities of the legislature. The work also contains the limitations to the powers of the legislature.

The Executive arm of government and its functions

The Executive is another arm of government charged with the responsibility of enforcing the law. The legislature makes the law while the Executive implement it. What this simply means is that the the executive put the laws made by the legislature into action.

Without the actions of the Executive, no law may not be functional. So, to ensure that the rules of law is fulfilled, the Executive comes in to action.

However, while enforcing the law, it has other arms of government watching it. They check it to ensure that it does not over exercise it’s powers. In an attempt to do such, other arms of government will curtail it according to the provisions if the Constitution.

In a democratic society, the executive is also a product of the people and the Constitution. The people make the law through the legislature. They also constitute the Executive officers through elections. The essence of the election is to choose representatives who will make decisions on behalf of the people. This simply means that the people indirectly participate in the decision making process of the country.

Check out my post on the Executive arm and its functions. I wrote extensively roles and responsibilities of the Executive on including its limitations.

The Judiciary and it’s Functions

The Judicial arm of government is a branch of government which deals with the court and it’s officers. It is charged with the responsibility of interpreting the law. Interpretation of the law is the major function of the judiciary and it’s exclusive to it. Its other functions include:

  1. punishing the law breakers.
  2. Reviewing the law, validating or invalidating it.
  3. Swearing-in in of the president or Governor.
  4. Administration of justice.
  5. Protection of the Constitution, etc.

The Judiciary has, over the years suffered a single problem which scholars has been commenting immensely on. But, sometimes, it appears like it may be to the disadvantage of the country if such problem is solved. It is a problem of Independence.

Check out my article on the Judiciary and its functions and limitations. You will see all about the Judiciary.

FAQs concerning the Organs of Government

There are some questions which come into the minds of people when it comes to the different branches of government. So, I deemed it fit to treat those questions here.

What is the difference between arms and tiers of government?

Arm of government refers to the different branches of government (Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary). While tiers of government refers to the the different levels of government which are: the Federal government, State government and the Local government.

Which arm of the government is the most powerful?

The Legislative arm. In some countries like UK, the Legislature serves as the strongest arm. In Nigeria, it also appears to be. However, it has some limitations by the Constitution and other organs of government.

Is the Judiciary elected?

No, it is not elected. Instead, it comes in through appointment by the President.

What are other names for the arms of government?

Branches of government and the organ of government.

Which arm of government gets the highest earning?

This is uncertain as earnings of the arms of government differ from country to country. But in Nigeria, the Legislature earns higher than others.

Final words

The Constitution stands to be a limitation to the three branches of government. The Constitution states exactly what the powers of each should be and where it should not extend to.

Also, the arms of government watch themselves to ensure that none in the exercises more power than it has.

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