10 J.L. Pol'y & Globalization 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/jawpglob10 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization                                                           wwwiiste.org
ISSN 2224-3240 (Paper) ISSN 2224-3259 (Online)
Vol.10,2013                                                                                              I 1E

Judicial Remedies for Human Rights Violations in Nigeria: A Critical


                                       DR. JACOB ABIODUN DADA*

Although human rights issues have become a global subject with global relevance, States remain primarily responsible
in international law for the promotion and protection of human rights. In recognition and acknowledgment of the
mandate of States, Nigeria has erected enviable institutional infrastructure and provided a wide range of remedies-
judicial and extra-judicial - to redress human rights violations occurring in its territory.
But the provision of remedies is one thing their adequacy and efficacy are another matter entirely. It is regrettably true
that judicial remedies in Nigeria are hamstrung by a number of factors. This article examines the judicial remedies
available in Nigeria to redress human rights violations and stresses the imperative of judicial remedies generally. The
paper also examines the procedure for the activation of judicial remedies and draws attention to the multifarious
impediments which have gravely undermined, compromised and frustrated the effectiveness of the remedies. It
concludes by providing suggestions which will ensure that the remedies are of real value in redressing human rights
violations in Nigeria.


Recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms is now part of international legal obligations and a
fundamental purpose of the United Nations. Contemporary human rights can be summarized as claims made on
society by individuals and groups, which claims have found expression in objective law, either at national or
international levels, and serve as a standard for measuring the conditions of human existence, below which no human
being should enjoy' . The concept of human rights has gained tremendous appeal and significance in our world of
pluralism, diversity and inter-dependence because human rights are inalienable rights. The formation of the United
Nations Organisation2   and the conclusion and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3 have
provided a firm foundation for further development and globalization of human rights while remarkable attempts
have continually been made by the United Nations in formulating and strengthening human rights standards4. At the
regional level, there has been evident commitment to guaranteeing and promoting universal respect for, and
observance of human rights and freedoms. The Council of Europe,5 the Organization of American States,6 the African
Union,7 and lately, the Arab League8 have all formulated and adopted human rights instruments guaranteeing
universal respect for human rights. So important is the need for respect for human rights that virtually all constitutions,

* LL.B(Hons) Jos; B.L. Lagos; LL.M Calabar; Ph.D Calabar; Associate Professor of Law, Faculty of Law; University of
Calabar, Nigeria. He can be reached at odundadal(ayalioo.com  &jacob.dada25@gmail.com
M.O.U. Gasiokwu, Human Rights: History, Ideology and Law, Jos: Fab Educational Books, 2003 at 4
2 UNO Charter, 1945.
3 Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (111) of 10 December, 1948
4 In 1966, the UN adopted the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Subsequently, numerous Conventions, Protocols and Resolutions had been passed to
guarantee and protect human rights and fundamental freedom.
5 Established on November, 4, 1950 drafted and adopted the European Convention on Human Rights which came into force on
Sept. 3, 1953.
6 This regional inter-governmental organisation adopted in 1969, the American Convention on Human Rights which came into
force on July, 18, 1978. The Convention is also known as the pact of San Jose, Costa Rica. See OASIS 36, OAS off. Rec
OEC/Ser.L/v/11.23 doc 21 rev. 6 (1979).
7 The Organisation adopted African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights at Nairobi on 26 June, 1981 which entered into force
on 21 October, 1986, in accordance with Article 63 of the Charter.
8 Arab Charter on Human Rights, adopted by the League of Arab States on 22 May, 2004 and entered into force on 15 March,

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