The Federal Character Commission (“the Commission”) is one of the fourteen Independent Federal executive Bodies established by the Section 153(1) of the 1999 Constitution. However, its actual existence pre-dates that Constitution by three years having been set up by the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc.) Decree No.34 of 1996 (“the Enabling Act”). This Act was a direct result of the recommendations of the 1994/95 Constitutional Conference earlier referred to.
The Commission was established to give effect to Section 14)3) and (4) of the Constitution which provides as follows:
14(3) “The Composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to effect the federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote National unity, and also command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies’.
14(4) “The composition of the Government of a State, a Local Government council, or any of the agencies of such government or Council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manners as to recognize the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation”.
The (Act) establishing the Commission, detailing its membership, functions,
financial provisions, etc; is reproduced as follows.