This study offers an analysis of the historical antecedents and a criticism of the contemporary institution of the Ombudsman in Nigeria. This work should appeal to scholars interested in African studies, legal studies, and political science. 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. The study shows the necessity of changes which must 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.
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.
Foreword by Mary Coleman, Ph.D.; Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Relevant Historical Perspectives in Nigeria; The Ombudsman in World Perspectives; The Ombudsman Institution in Nigeria; The Impact of the PCC in Nigeria: An Assessment; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.