AN APPRAISAL OF THE ENFORCEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS (ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE) RULES 2009 IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT


The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 chose certain rights to protect under
chapter IV and termed them as Fundamental Rights. These rights are chosen to be protected not
only by the Constitution, but also by the African Charter on Human and Peoples „Right.
Whenever there are breaches of these fundamental rights, the law provides a procedure for their
enforcement, which is the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009. The basic
objective of the 2009 Rules is to facilitate enforcement procedure by removing some of the
impediments in 1979 rule. Unfortunately it is clear that the procedure for enforcement of
Fundamental Rights is still bedeviled by delay. Many applications alleging serious human rights
violations are routinely struck out or dismissed. However, the pertinent question is: to what
extent are the human rights provision in these legal instruments realized or enforced? It is
worthy of note that there are equally other important impediments in the realization of the
objective of Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, such as the distinction
between main claim and ancillary claim in the Nigerian fundamental rights, because litigants
are cautious of whether or not their claim will succeed because of this distinction. This research
examines the problem of delay associated with the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement
Procedure) Rules 2009 This dissertation made an in depth analysis of the rules and considered
to what extent it achieved its objective in order to enhance a robust human right regime. To
achieve a close –to- accurate‟ if not accurate result, the research embarked on a field work. To
this end, both doctrinal and empirical method of research is used. This research found out that
the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, though has brought tremendous
changes in the field of human rights protection (e.g the abolishment of locus standi and leave, is
still faced with some major setback like the issue of principal and ancillary claim in the
enforcement of fundamental rights and the jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court which is
not clear in the rule. The work recommend that Courts should do away with the dichotomy
between principal and ancillary and the definition of courts in the Rule should include the
National Industrial Court.

 
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