Many definitions and explanations have been provided for the term constitution in order to clearly illuminate on its true meaning and explanations. In the daily activities of various clubs, voluntary organizations, trade unions, Political associations, academic organization, their members are usually guided by certain fundamental rules, norms and regulations. In a more broader sense, such rules form the constitutions of such bodies. Thus in different spheres of life, in towns and villages at institutions of learning and within industries, among trading guilds members of the armed forces and in churches, the document, embodying the rules and regulations by which the behavior of the people is regulated, is the constitution. It is implied therefore that the principles, body of documents, system of laws and customs by which a state or country is governed is it’s in constitutions.
A constitution may also be defined as a collection of norms or standards accordingly which a country is governed. Dicey defines this vital strictly legal terms by referring it to; la document having a special legal sanctity which sets out the framework and the principal function of the organs of the government of a given state and declaring the principle governing the operations of the organs’. From this definition we can observe that a constitution contains statement intended to define the relations between rulers and ruled, the basic institutional framework of government, the rights, and duties of citizens, and many important procedures to be followed in connection with those matters. The constitution defines the conditions for the exercise of legitimate power, who shall exercise their political power, how they shall exercise their powers and limits of these powers.
By their nature, constitutions globally are regarded as embodying the fundamental of the political system. These fundamentals have the force of law, enforceable by the courts. Considering the dynamic relationship between the state and its citizens, the latter and sensible to view constitution as ‘rules and habits,
conventions and practices by which particular people are being governed practices by which particular people are the citizens are bound together. Since strains and crises might emanate from the actions, interaction and reactions between the states and their citizens, there is the need for a standard point of reference in the execution of authority justice. in what wise, constitution is an essential reference, from which the laws of the land can be interpreted
Form all the definitions already discusses “constitution” has two connotations. Firstly, it describes how a country is governed. Going by this, walking about ‘Nigerian translates to how Nigeria is governed’, in this senses, constitution is used here to describe the collection of rules establishing the conduct of Nigerian government. Thus, the rules are partly legal and partly extralegal. They are legal became tendered in law courts. But some of the rules are extra-legal take the form of conventions, norms of the society which the not recognize, but which are, recognized by the people and are essential for the smooth running of the system.
Secondly,’ constitution’ has been used to mean a collection of rules and regulations embroiled in a document. In this wise, the fundamental principles concerning the organization of a government, the powers of its various agencies and the rights of the citizens are property documented. The 1989 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly demonstrates this.