The Fate of Human Rights in a Period of a State of Emergency in Nigeria

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    This paper examined the constitutional and legal derogations or limitations to which the enjoyment of Human Rights could be subjected, during a period of a State of Emergency. The article explored the legal procedure for declaration of a State of Emergency in Nigeria and the author contended that the current President of Nigeria may have followed the laid down procedure in his recent proclamation of Emergency Rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. However, the writer queried the legality of the continued presence of the Emergency Rule in the face of the failure to approve, or rather, the belated approval of the Rule by the National Assembly outside the constitutionally stipulated timeframe. The article discussed what human rights are all about, the approaches or schools of thoughts of human rights, kinds or classes of human rights as well as the fundamental human rights of Nigerians as guaranteed under chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). The author argued that while citizens are entitled to the enjoyment of their constitutionally enshrined rights, such rights are however not without corresponding duties and limitations especially in situations where public peace or the corporate existence of Nigeria is threatened. The author concluded by arguing that the Nigerian Army, nay the Nigerian Government cannot hide under the canopy of Emergency Rule in the said states to deny citizens of their constitutional rights except where such denial is reasonably justifiable or necessary to carry out the effective operation of the rule while it lasts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-259
    Number of pages30
    JournalNigerian National Human Rights Commission Journal
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 1 Dec 2013


    • Human rights
    • state of emergency
    • fate
    • derogation
    • emergency procedure
    • Nigeria
    • law


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