The President is the Chairman of the Nigeria Council of State which was first established in 1975. It also has in its membership the Vice President (ViceChairman), all former Presidents and Heads of State / Government, all former Chief Justices of Nigeria, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House Representatives, state governors and the Attorney General of the Federation.
Except with the removal of members representing the Council of Chiefs, the composition of the council has not changed since its institutionalization by the 1979 Constitution. The Council of State is purely an advisory body to the President.
The President may seek its advice concerning important national issues such as the release of results of population census, maintenance of public order, exercise of prerogative of mercy, award of national honours and the appointment of members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Judicial Council and National Population Commission.
The council’s meetings are held at the discretion of the President. Given the importance of the Council, its meetings should have been scheduled and held at regular intervals. The impression has been created that the meetings of the council are usually called to rubberstamp government policies and give the Federal Government political support in times of need.