Odunsi, Bennett A. Books
Dr. Bennett A. Odunsi is currently an Associate Professor of Public Administration at Jackson State University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Dr. Odunsi’s research interests are in human resource management, administrative law/theory and law-enforcement. He has published in the Journal of Third World Studies, Journal of African and Asian Studies and several works in conference compendiums and has contributed numerous books chapters on a wide range of issues.2007 0-7734-5336-9
This study reviews the Nigerian legal tradition before and after the advent of the British colonial administration. After gaining independence from British colonial rule, the government did not deviate from the established practice of the colonial administration in relation to the protection of the rights of the citizens. The only available channel for citizens to challenge arbitrary and capricious action of administrative officials is the ordinary courts of law. Justice in administrative areas under this arrangement often seems slow and wanting. Therefore, the military government instituted a commission of enquiry to analyze and find ways to improve the situation which recommended the establishment of the institution of the Ombudsman. In 1975, the Murtala military administration established the Public Complaints Commission as a supplement to the court system to correct flagrant disregard of basic standards of human rights by administrative officials.
During the eight years of its existence, the FCC has resolved an average of 1526 cases annually, and a comparative analysis of the activities of the ombudsman in other countries suggests that the FCC has resolved at least a respectable number of cases. Furthermore, a review of testimony by citizens also indicates that some sections of the population have come to recognize the activities of the FCC, On the whole, the FCC appears to have achieved some degree of success.
The study concludes further that the following developments have to occur in order to further enhance the impact of the FCC on grievance resolution. The FCC must become autonomous from the civil service structure, and provisions must be made to increase the legal powers and jurisdictional competence of the FCC, A vigorous publicity campaign must be mounted to keep the public abreast of the functions of the FCC. A team of competent, aggressive, and enterprising personnel must be attracted to the FCC to enhance efficiency and professionalism.