News: Original documents show that amalgamation of Nigeria was not done in Ikot Abasi, Lagos or Lokoja but in London in 1913.( Part 1)

03
Feb

Contrary to popular stories that Nigerian Amalgamation was done on the 1st of January 1914 in Nigeria. The most popular story says that it was done in Lagos and only 28 Nigerians were present at the ceremony.

The popular theory says “RE – WHO SIGNED AMALGAMATION DOCUMENTS IN 1914 AND WHERE.

There were only 28 persons involved in the so-called “amalgamation” of January, 1914.

While 6 persons were Nigerians, the rest were British including Frederick Lord Lugard himself, Lewis Harcourt (the secretary of state for the Colonies whose name Port-Harcourt city took after leaving the original “Igweocha / Obumutu” and other European officers in charge of the 2 protectorates.

The following were the only “Nigerians” officially involved in the amalgamation signage:
1) A lawyer, Sir Kitoyi Ajasa (representing the African communities in Lagos as a legislative council member of the colony since 1902).

Lagos was mainly for the British. Then the rest were summed up as “African Community” which included the returnee slaves of Sierra-Leone, Nigerians themselves, Ghanaians etc
2) His Highness Oladugbolu (Alafin of Oyo)
3) Hon. R. Henshaw (Obong of Calabar)
4) Hon. Maiturare (Sarkin Mussulumi and Sultan of Sokoto)
5) Hon. Abubakar (Shehu of Borno)
6) Hon. Usuman (Emir of Kano)
Note; from the above there was no Igbo traditional ruler involved. Not even the Eze Chima of Onicha those days.

This document could only had been signed in either of these 2 places, Zungeru or Ikot Abasi. (Details and claims are not authoritative).
This Claim turned out to be False.
After Providing Evidence on the History of Obudu Mountain Resort Atqnews.com reached out once again to UK based Nigerian Historian and Archivist Edward Keazor to Authenticate the Story.

He Debunked it as a useless Trope. “Not even near accurate Original Documents show that amalgamation of Nigeria was Not Done in Ikot Abasi,Lagos or Lokoja but in London in 1913.”
The Obong of Calabar in 1914 is not named Henshaw but Obong Edem Efiom Efiong Edem Efefiong Duke X who ruled from 1908 to 1950. “There is no evidence of the Obong of Calabars attendance at the Lagos ceremony
There was no amalgamation document.

There was a series of Letter Patent between 1912-1913 that formed the 1914 Constitution
There is the fallacy of the amalgamation being some sort of treaty, it wasn’t, it was a set of unilateral Executive Instruments giving rise to a Legislative document, the 1914 Nigerian Constitution”
There was a Ceremony in Lagos on the 1st of January 2014 to Present the Nigerian Constitution. About 200 People were Present at the Lagos Event which Took place at the Supreme court Building which is now the location of the Tinubu Fountain in Lagos Island.
Some Notable Nigerians were Present at the Event in Lagos.

According to Keazor Some of them were, “Henry Carr, Kitoyi Ajasa, Alexander Sapara Williams, Oba Eshugbayi Eleko of Lagos The Oba of Lagos was another C James George former Lagos Colony Legislative council member. Kitoyi Ajasa was the first Nigerian knight. A close friend of Lugard’s and classmate of Edwin Speed the CJ who was sworn in on Jan 1. Lugard even encouraged him to establish a newspaper to rival the indigenous independent press.

Sir Kitoyi Ajasa was a member of the Nigerian Council nominated by Lugard. He was a guest at the ceremony because he was a friend of Lugard, in fact he was the classmate of Arny Speed Chief Justice.

There were several other guests there including foreign consul etc That doesn’t mean they signed or sealed the amalgamation document.”

A similar Event happened in Zungeru on the 3rd of January. According to Keazor “The Emir of Zungeru was at the ceremony of Jan 3rd how come he is not listed as a signatory if that is any form of evidence.

In any event none of the Northern Emirs were in Lagos so the event itself could not have been a formal signing ceremony. There is no image of the actual ceremony but there is an image of the venue and the March Past at the Supreme Court Building

It was replaced by the Independence Fountain at Tinubu Square: Ed Keazor told Atqnews.com that a series of Letters first Revoking the Ownership of Some Rights of the Royal.Niger Companies and Later Consolidating the Southern and Northern Protectorates into One Territory by 1900 and the Patents were put Together into a New Constitution which Came into effect on the 1st of 1914.

According to Keazor ” Royal Niger Company possessions had been acquired on revocation of the Charter in December 1899. So effective possession (ownership) had been and continued to be exercised over those territories from January 1 1900, when they were joined to either the Northern or Southern Protectorates.

The Royal Niger Company did not ‘own’ or ‘sell’ Nigeria, as they only exercised control over territories with which it signed treaties all of which were contiguous to the River Niger.

Those in the hinterland under British rule were controlled by the Niger Coast Protectorate
An initial sum of £1M was requested by the RNC while £500k was offered by the Crown before final sum was agreed.

The mining licence fees continued till 1937 when further payments were revoked
They were paid £865,000 + an annual mining licence not necessarily to give up control but In compensation for expenses incurred on behalf of the Crown.

The compensation was not contractual it was an act of good faith not a legal obligation. Ref: Ryder-Hill Report
The RNC control over River territories Niger and Benue was further to the treaty of Berlin. Now if you recall, no Nigerians were present.

The Crown derived its title from , Treaties e.g Treaty of Lagos, Protectorate Treaties of the Oil Rivers/Niger Coast Protectorates/Royal Niger Company treaties and ….. simple conquest – Sokoto, Bida, Kontagora, Aro etc of which treaties were then signed after conquest with subdued rulers.

These formed the bases of the possession it purported to exercise in the said territories, and which possession and ownership grounded its decision to amalgamate. People get twisted with 1914, forgetting the deed had been done by 1900 with the creation of the Protectorates. 1914 was a formality.

I need to mention that this purported exercise of possession by 1900 was often with Kingdoms oblivious that they were possessions. They were simply forcibly annexed in fait accompli by Lugard.
Doc 1 of 9. Nigeria Gazette entry of Jan 1, 1914 reflecting the legal basis of the amalgamation.

A previous acts of possession of both the Northern and Southern Protectorates contained in UK statutes giving the Crown the right to administer the said possessions as it deems fit. Note: Consent of the indigenes was not remotely a factor in consideration.

Doc 2 of 9 showing the Governors powers likewise providing for Judicial and Legislative arms of government.

Note the direct line of derivation of authority. Crown -> Governor -> Executive/Legislative/Judicial arms of government

This is the Transcript of the Amalgamation Document Signed by the King in November 1913

AT THE COURT AT WINDSOR CASTLE
The 22nd day of November, 1913.
PRESENT – THE KING’S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Earl Spencer
Lord Stamfordham
Lord Emmott
WHEREAS by the foreign jurisdiction Act, 1890.

It is amongst other things enacted that it shall be lawful for His Majesty the King to hold exercise and enjoy any jurisdiction which His Majesty now has or may at any time hereafter have within a foreign country in the same and as ample a manner as if His Majesty had acquired that jurisdiction by the cession or conquest of territory and whereas by an order in council hearing date the twenty-seventh day of December 1899, and known as the Northern Nigeria order in council, 1899, provision was made for the administration of the Government of the territories known as Northern Nigeria.

And Whereas by futher orders in council bearing date the Nineteenth day of October, 1908 and the Eleventh day of October 1912, and known respectively as the Northern Nigeria order in council, 1908

Part 2 will include Speeches made at the Amalgamation Ceremony in Lagos.

All Documents and Information are Courtesy of Ed Keazor Library.