The arms of government include the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The three arms are not entirely independent of each other. They have overlapping functions and none can exist or function without the other. The organs work hard in hand to achieve the programmes and policies of government, secure the welfare of the citizens and implement the charters of international organizations.
The executive arm of government is headed by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The President is elected to the office in a general election for a fixed period of four years subject to re-election for another four years. Other executive like the State Governors and local government chairman are also elected.
The executive president appoints his ministers, chairman of corporation, special advisers to help him in the execution of functions. The executive is thus the President and his Ministers. The president regularly meets with the council in the performance of his functions. It is the executive that puts the law made by the legislature into force. It also ensures that the judgments of the courts are enforced.
The executive frames up the policy of government and ensures that the laws made protect the policy. It should also be noted that, the president performs the final functions in the law making process by signing the bill into law, and also ensures their execution.
The executive also introduce bills in the National Assembly for passage. The executive knows how to fashion bills relevant to the needs of the country and how to enforce law by imposing sanctions on deviants. The executive implements policies of government through these means.
The executive through their whole range of ministries, departments and agencies make policies, bye laws and regulations to protect the interests of the government and citizens. It is the executives that generate money for the running of government, distribute the money and ensures adequate usage when carrying out the activities of government.
The legislative arm of government depends on the executive for its funds. Although the National Assembly regularly draws its fund from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. It is the executive that generate the fund and distributes it.
However, the executive cannot perform its function unless the National Assembly makes a law to that effect. The National Assembly performs certain functions like the confirmation of the appointment of ministers, Supreme Court Justice, Justice of Court of Appeal.
The National Assembly also performs some quasi judicial functions like the impeachment of the president, calling of evidence in cases of allegation, and also investigating allegation etc.
Some conducts of the National Assembly can be subjected to the scrutiny of the judiciary which interprets the laws made by the National Assembly. The judiciary also assists in the enforcement of the laws because without the meaning and interpretations given to the laws by the courts, the laws would be redundant.
The judicial arm of government makes certain laws that regulate the practice and procedure of the courts. The court collects fines and charge fees for filling of processes in courts. In that vein that perform the functions of the executive
The appointments of judges are done by the executives on the recommendations of the National Judicial Council. The executive removes the judicial officer found guilty of misconducts on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.
The judiciary employs remedies like certiorari, prohibition, mandamus injunction and declarations, judicial review to compel arms of government to perform their functions. Note that the conduct of the judiciary like the legislature and the executive are subject to public scrutiny.
It has been said that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man, such common man resort to court to seek redress. The common man can as well resort to petitioning the legislative arm of government or the executive for redress but where the legislature and the executive fails, the judiciary performs its duty without fear or favour.
There has been a sound question on whether the judiciary in contemporary Nigeria is still the last hope of common man. The corrupt characters of certain judiciary officers and the interference of the executive in the judiciary process have weakened the hope.
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