This article is about the top 10 most powerful political offices in Nigeria today and as we proceed, we will also discuss about what these offices entail, as well as the functions and duties of the political office holders. This article also serves as a guide to the presidential line of succession in Nigeria, although constitutionally speaking, this line of succession stops at the Senate Presiident. Without further ado, let’s proceed.
TOP 10 MOST POWERFUL POLITICAL OFFICES IN NIGERIA TODAY
The following are the 10 most powerful political offices in Nigeria today:
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
The highest political position in Nigeria is the office of the President. The Federal Executive Council, National Security Council, and National Defence Council all have the President as a member by statute. The President is vested with the authority to execute and enforce federal laws of Nigeria, appoint federal executive, regulatory, judicial, and diplomatic officers, and has the ultimate responsibility for implementing foreign policy as the highest officer in the executive branch of the federal government.
The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria is also responsible for domestic policymaking and has the authority to approve or veto federal legislation. Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), who assumed office on May 29, 2015, is the current President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
The Vice President of Nigeria is part of The Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council, and National Security Council. According to law, the Vice President serves as the Chairman of the National Economic Council. The Vice President of Nigeria is the second-highest official in the executive branch of the federal government, but his or her relative strength depends on the President’s specified tasks. Since May 29, 2015, Professor Yemi Osibanjo has served as Nigeria’s Vice President.
The Vice President is a member of the Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council and National Security Council. By statute, the Vice President is the Chairman of the National Economic Council. Although the second-highest officer in the executive arm of the government, the relative power of the Nigerian Vice President relies on delegated duties of the President. Currently, Yemi Osibanjo is the Vice President of Nigeria, assuming office on May 29, 2015.
SENATE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA
The Senate President of Nigeria presides over the Nigerian Senate, which is the upper house of Nigeria’s bicameral legislature. The 109 members of the National Assembly’s upper house conduct an indirect election to determine the Senate President. In the event that the President and Vice President of Nigeria are unable to manage the Presidency, the Senate President will take the helm of Nigeria. Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan has held the position of Senate President of Nigeria since June 11, 2019.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF NIGERIA
The highest-ranking official in the lower house of Nigeria’s bicameral National Assembly is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. A majority of the members of the House of Representatives elect the Speaker of the House. In the event that the President, Vice President, and Senate President are unable to manage the office of the Presidency, the Speaker of the House of Representatives will assume the Presidency temporarily. As of June 12, 2019, Femi Gbajabiamila has served as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA
The Nigerian Supreme Court and the National Judicial Council are presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who also serves as head of the country’s judicial arm. Olukayode Ariwoola, who was appointed on June 27, 2022, is the current Chief Justice of Nigeria. After outgoing Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad resigned, he was named acting CJN. On September 21, 2022, the Nigerian Senate confirmed him as the CJN. The Supreme Court of Nigeria is the country’s highest court, and its rulings are binding.
The National Judicial Council recommends that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria nominate the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who must then be confirmed by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Nigerian constitution states that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) serves at the will of the people and that he or she may only be removed from office by death, reaching the age of 70, or by impeachment by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which calls for a supermajority of senators. In Nigeria today, the Chief Justice of Nigeria is the fourth in line to become President.
DEPUTY SENATE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA
The second-highest position in the Nigerian Senate, the Deputy Senate President is chosen through an indirect vote held inside the Senate. The Deputy Senate President serves as the Senate President in the absence of the Senate President. The Deputy Senate President is fifth in the line of succession to the Nigerian Presidency. Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege, who assumed office on June 11, 2019, is the Deputy Senate President of Nigeria at the moment.
DEPUTY SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF NIGERIA
The second-highest member of the lower house of Nigeria’s bicameral National Assembly is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Deputy Speaker is chosen by a majority of the members of the Nigerian House of Representatives in an indirect house election. The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives is in charge of leading the House of Reps if the Speaker is not present. The Deputy Speaker is the sixth candidate to become president in Nigeria’s presidential line of succession. Ahmed Idris Wase assumed duties as the Deputy Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives on June 12, 2019.
MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
The Ministry of Justice is headed by the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of The Federation, who is tasked with providing legal advice to the federal government and defending Nigeria in court. The Attorney-General of the Federation is also responsible for defending Nigerian citizens from arbitrary executive actions. Seventh in line to succeed the Nigerian President is the Attorney-General. Abubakar Malami was appointed into office as the country’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice on November 11, 2015.
SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation is in charge of directing the harmonization and execution of federal policy, as well as the oversight and coordination of federal ministries, departments, and agencies. Boss Gida Mustapha is the current SGF.
HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE FEDERATION
The Office of the Head of The Civil Service of the Federation is in charge of managing and strengthening the capabilities of the Federal Civil Service to guarantee that the workforce is committed, focused, and disciplined to assisting the Federal Government in carrying out its policies and programmes. Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan is the current Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
The National Security Adviser is charged with advising the Presidency on subjects pertaining to national security, such as advising the Presidency on issues pertaining to intelligence activities of agencies and providing recommendations to the President in relation to those actions. The National Security Adviser is a representative of this political position on the Federal Executive Council, National Security Council, and Presidency. Babagana Monguno is the current National Security Adviser.