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Public Complaints Commission Case

Essay by   •  October 10, 2012  •  Essay  •  531 Words (3 Pages)  •  956 Views

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An attempt has been made to trace the history of the Ombudsman generally but with particular reference to the Public Complaints Commission under the military regime and the presidential system of government in Nigeria. The main objectives of any watch-dog like the commission in Nigeria can be summarised thus:

In the first place to keep a balance between the citizens especially the little man who is unable to assert himself and the government officials and staff or parastatals organizations. Secondly, to ensure justice between the ordinary humble citizen and a man of substance known as the 'big shot' in society. We have examined the provisions of the Public Complaints Act and find them to be grossly inadequate in some parts and in many areas defective for the purpose of the above stated objectives.

Suggestions for amendments have therefore been made. But the serious handicap in the way of amendment lies in the fact that the Public Complaints Act is an entrenched part of the suspended 1979 Constitution, consequently, it could not be easily amended. Although the Public Complaints Commission, like its counterparts the world over, is advisory and not executive, from the records it is doing very useful work in our society at this stage of our development. If properly organized it can perform better. It will make citizens grow conscious of their rights and will be able to ask for them as citizens do in more developed countries. It may well be an easy way to awaken a 'National Ethic' which people talk so much about in Nigeria now., because indiscipline is the main cause of almost all the ills in Nigerian society. Indiscipline breeds inefficiency, corruption and maladministration, and the commission is out to cure indiscipline in the society.

If the Act is defective and it is rather difficult to get it amended, the question then will be: is the commission to fold up or stop operating until the obvious amendments are affected? The commission is certainly an expression for real democracy and the rule of law that Nigeria keeps a special institution with the task to control and ensure that almost all administrative organs of the society respect the rights of the citizens and that anybody in the society be he a Nigerian or not poor or without social position, has a right to get, without costs, his complaints against the society investigated and tried even if the highest official in the society in involved.

In the words of Chief S.F Adeniran 'on the whole, it is safe to say that the commission had so far not done badly and that it is daily gaining the confidence of a wider circle of people who take it as their last hope, able to champion their cause to success'.

It is submitted that the development the development of a national ethic can come through the Public Complaints Commission by building up a tradition for protecting individual against the mighty hands of the administration. This is what

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