LEGAL IDEAS FORUM

Report on the breach of Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the Nigerian Government.


INTRODUCTION
In recognition of the fact that the “inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).


The UDHR serves as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction”.


All the rights guaranteed by the UDHR are currently being breached in Nigeria by the Federal and State Governments.


This Report identifies some of the ways the Nigerian Government infringes the Articles of the UDHR, it by no means purports to exhaust all the ongoing infringements by the Nigerian Government.

This document is imperative in drawing the attention of the international community to the grave violations of the rule of law in Nigeria especially as the status in Nigeria threatens the peace, security, and stability of the whole world.


ARTICLE 1 OF THE UDHR
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.


ARTICLE 2 OF THE UDHR
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.


Articles 1 and 2 of the UDHR provide an umbrella of rights which connote that all Nigerians, without distinction of any kind, should be able to exist in a society that respects justice, fairness, and equal access to opportunities. They should live in an environment characterized by tranquillity, understanding and peaceful resolution of disputes.


A breakdown of the following Articles of the UNDR will reveal, without incertitude, that the Nigerian government at all levels is deliberately or inadvertently instigating a breach of Articles 1 and 2 in a manner that now threatens the security and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria, as well as the world.


ARTICLE 3 OF THE UDHR
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
RIGHT TO LIFE
Unfortunately, many actions of the Nigerian government have infringed on the right to life of many Nigerians, with many state sponsored acts of killings by even members of the police and military. The government has been condemned by multiple and prominent human rights organisations across the world. A recent example is the state sponsored action of 20th October 2020, when members of the Nigerian military opened fire on peaceful youths protesting police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and extortion at the Lekki toll gate (known widely as the 2020 Lekki toll gate shooting).


The Governor of Lagos State initially denied reports that youths had been killed during the shooting but subsequently reversed his position. The Federal Government in Nigeria, till date, has failed to take responsibility for the multiple deaths and compensate the victims, as well as take legal steps against all people involved in the illegal killings.
Vide:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/10/killing-of-endsars-protesters-by-the-military-must-be-investigated/,
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/nigeria-attempt-cover-killing-endsars-protesters-exposed,
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/18/africa/lagos-nigeria-lekki-toll-gate-feature-intl/index.html, and
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54624611.


RIGHT TO LIBERTY AND SECURITY OF PERSON
The rights to liberty and security of person in Nigeria are also endangered rights. Even though these rights are also guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution, there is an increasing and brazen violation of these rights by powerful politicians in government. There have been many instances, even in recent times, where journalists have been incarcerated on dubious allegations of crime, and upon the prompting of political office holders.
Vide:
https://cpj.org/2020/05/nigerian-journalist-detained-by-security-forces-in/, https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/free-abiri-jones/#:~:text=Abiri%20Jones%20was%20locked%20up,children%2C%20or%20even%20his%20lawyer,
https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2019/12/10/the-secret-prosecution-of-nigerian-journalist-jones-abiri, and
https://cpj.org/2019/09/nigerian-publisher-agba-jalingo-charged-with-treas/.


The Nigerian police is also notorious for its proclivity to violate these rights. The notoriety of the Nigerian Police Force for extra-judicial killings, extortion, intimidation, meting out unlawful and degrading treatment, and sexual abuse are some reasons that led to the nationwide “EndSars” protests in October 2020. Notwithstanding the fact that Nigerian courts have held time and again that arrest pending investigation is unconstitutional, it is the norm for members of the police to arrest indiscriminately, extort money from people under the guise of “bail bond” and detain suspects in excess of the period limited by the Nigerian Constitution. The Nigerian police is arguably the most corrupt police system in the world. It is worthy of note that even the Nigerian armed forces and other paramilitary outfits are not exempt from the widespread violation of this right.
Vide:
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/law-enforcement-in-nigeria-by-the-police-force-and-the-travails-of-ruleof-law-2169-0170-1000204.php?aid=80569, https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2020/12/04/fighting-police-corruption-in-nigeria-learning-from-sars-alleged-dissolution/, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/may/27/nigerian-forces-accused-of-torture-and-illegal-detention-of-children-report, https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/nigeria/report-nigeria/, https://irct.org/uploads/media/UPR_briefing_note_Nigeria.pdf, https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/nigeria#, https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/13/africa/nigeria-women-arrested-for-clubbing-intl/index.html, and
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Prison-Inmates-encounter-with-the-Nigerian-Police_tbl2_327968817.

ARTICLE 4 OF THE UDHR
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
It is extremely pitiable that under the watch of the current government, many Nigerians, especially young female children, have been held in various forms of captivity and many subjected to sex trade.


As outrageous as it may seem, some Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their school in 2014 and many of them are still held in captivity till date, within the geographic territory of Nigeria, where they face sexual slavery, degrading and dehumanizing treatment, and forced labour. Children torn away from the protection and love of their parents for many years and left at the mercy of illiterate and degenerate Nigerian terrorists.
Vide:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32299943, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/4/14/nigerias-chibok-schoolgirls-five-years-on-112-still-missing, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chibok_schoolgirls_kidnapping, and
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43535872.


Unfortunately, from 2014 till date, many terrorist groups and other criminals have made a routine of kidnapping people for sexual, labour, or economic exploitation. Even as of March 2021, there are verified reports of kidnappings, especially of women and children. The situation in the country is so pathetic that some Governors and other highly placed political office holders pay ransom to kidnappers and criminals, and they negotiate with these criminals to release their victims.
Vide:
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/12/africa/students-kidnapped-kaduna-nigeria-intl/index.html,
https://thenigerialawyer.com/gov-bello-bandits-tricked-us-with-fake-repentance-to-get-money-for-weapons/, https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/17/africa/nigeria-school-raid-kagara-intl/index.html, https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210303-shooting-mars-reunion-of-freed-nigerian-schoolgirls-with-parents, and
https://www.channelstv.com/2020/12/15/kankara-abduction-parents-assemble-at-school-premises-keep-vigil/.


It is imperative to note that despite the severity of crimes expressed above, the Federal Government has barely secured the conviction of any of the criminals perpetrating these horrific crimes. Surprisingly, the government actively contemplates the proposition by some politicians to grant amnesty to these murderers and kidnappers.
Vide:
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/443494-zamfara-lawmakers-to-buhari-grant-amnesty-to-repentant-bandits.html, and
https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/02/11/i-will-support-amnesty-for-bandits-says-lai-mohammed/.
The criminals are winning, and crime is paying!

ARTICLE 5 OF THE UDHR
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
This Article is remarkably like Section 34 of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 (as amended). The Nigerian State exists today with multiple examples of ongoing cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment meted out on its citizens. Merely living in Nigeria and experiencing the criminal activities of politicians and wanton looting of public funds without repercussions is enough to subject sane citizens to mental anguish. The following examples are critical:


Firstly, in many States in Nigeria, public or civil servants are owed salaries, at times exceeding twelve (12) months. Other times, salaries of civil servants are slashed by the government arbitrarily even though these salaries are fixed and protected under the law. There is a national minimum wage in Nigeria is Thirty Thousand Naira (N30, 000) per month which is about Seventy-nine Dollars per month. Even with the abysmally low minimum wage, many levels of government do not pay up to the minimum wage and at other times owe salaries for many months.
Vide:
https://allafrica.com/stories/202102180072.html,
https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/02/19/nlc-declares-strike-in-18-states-over-minimum-wage/,
https://punchng.com/20-states-owe-pensions-salaries-budgit/,
https://www.thecable.ng/yahaya-bello-i-only-owe-four-months-salaries,
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/306534-workers-salaries-15-governors-buhari-urged-nigerians-not-to-support.html,
https://allafrica.com/stories/202101070263.html,
https://www.legit.ng/1400339-nigerian-state-government-pay-workers-50-salary.html, and
https://citibusinessnews.com/nigeria-labour-urges-intervention-over-50-salaries-slash/.


In addition, some Nigerian political office holders earn more than ONE THOUSAND TIMES (1000) of the national minimum wage. Among this same class of highly placed politicians who would earn pension for life, at least at the current rate of salaries they earned while in office. These same people that earn these huge salaries will never cut their salaries, or be owed for day, despite their monumental failure at leadership, rather it is the worker who earns N30, 000 and less that is owed for 12 months and more! Due to the huge nature of the money paid to legislators, governors, ministers, and other very highly placed political office holders, it is always a stressful and arduous task to secure updates on their payments and upward reviews as this aspect of the Nigerian government is shrouded as a secret society affair.
Vide:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43516825,
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/261085-confirmed-nigerian-senators-receive-n13-5-million-monthly-apart-from-salaries.html,
https://businessday.ng/editorial/article/ending-pension-allowances-for-ex-governors-deputies/,
https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/saraki-agrees-meet-serap-lawmakers-n29m-monthly-pay/,
https://businesspost.ng/general/n40b-serap-sues-fg-double-pay-ex-governors-now-senators-ministers/, and
https://www.sunnewsonline.com/serap-goes-to-court-seeks-cut-in-salaries-allowances-of-buhari-nass/.


Secondly, more than SEVENTY PERCENT of inmates at the Nigerian prisons are awaiting-trial inmates. Many of these people stay in prison, while awaiting trial, at times for as long as ten (10) years. This usually happens because they are extremely poor and have nobody to intervene in their cases.

At times, these people are minors or incarcerated because of allegations of commission of “minor” offences like stealing, house-breaking, etc. More so, the Nigerian prisons are in a terrible shape and are not even fit for animals to be ranched.


Thirdly, the multiple convictions against members of the Nigerian Police Force for meting out cruel and inhuman treatments to Nigerians, in addition to its infamous record for high numbers of extra-judicial killings, extortion and physical assault all directed towards Nigerians, especially the young or impecunious are further proof of the pervasive culture in the society that breaches this Article.
Vide:
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/21/africa/nigeria-sars-protests-police-explainer-intl/index.html and
https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/44000/afr440382009en.pdf.


In the same country, “amnesty” (which is unconstitutional and has no basis under any law in Nigeria) is granted to terrorists and bandits, including “repentant boko haram members” who are further paid stipends and sent to school. These second category of criminals have killed multiple people, kidnapped, and violently raped children and are still carrying out these iniquitous activities till date.
Vide:
https://acjr.org.za/resource-centre/three-quarters-of-nigerian-prisoners-awaiting-trial,
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-50765393,
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/284830-more-than-half-of-nigerias-awaiting-trial-prisoners-under-age-30-group.html,
https://guardian.ng/opinion/amnesty-for-boko-haram/,
https://www.insideover.com/terrorism/nigerias-controversial-boko-haram-amnesty.html,
https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/01/granting-amnesty-to-boko-haram-kingpins-wicked-smblf/,
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/443593-not-all-bandits-are-criminals-zamfara-gov.html, and
https://punchng.com/zamfara-gov-to-grant-100-bandits-amnesty/.

ARTICLE 6 OF THE UDHR
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
This right guaranteed by this Article is overly broad and it entails the right and capacity of every Nigerian to enjoy all rights availed to such a person by law; and to perform all obligations under the law.


Furthermore, the insurgency in the north-eastern region of Nigeria has left MILLIONS of Nigerians displaced internally. https://www.un.org/africarenewal/news/unhcr-calls-nigeria-heed-wishes-internally-displaced. The reception conditions at the internally displaced persons camps across the country and the low-level protection afforded these categories of persons under the law makes it extremely difficult for them to access basic materials for life; and to access justice when their rights are breached. https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/10/31/nigeria-officials-abusing-displaced-women-girls, https://www.unhcr.org/597704b87.pdf, and https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/407902-special-report-how-boko-haram-displaced-women-girls-are-sexually-abused-at-idp-camps-1.html.


Nigeria today is characterized by regular kidnapping of its citizens by bandits and terrorists. These victims are put in a position where they cannot enjoy most rights that accrues to them under the law.
Vide:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/nigeria-girls-kidnapped/2021/02/26/14fd3c1a-780a-11eb-9489-8f7dacd51e75_story.html, https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/02/africa/nigeria-schoolgirls-rescued-intl/index.html#:~:text=Lagos%2C%20Nigeria%20(CNN)%20Hundreds,have%20been%20released%2C%20authorities%20said.&text=Officials%20had%20originally%20said%20317,said%20that%20number%20was%20incorrect, and
https://www.dw.com/en/nigeria-kidnapping-schoolchildren-appear-in-ransom-video/a-56866446.


Are all equal in Nigeria? The following rhetorical questions will leave us with the same answer:
a. Is everyone equal under the law where some people are in prison awaiting trial for up to five years and more?
Vide: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-50765393.
b. Is everyone equal under the law where some people commit minor offences and are sentenced to various prison terms, whereas other kill, kidnap, rape people and the Federal and State Governments grants them “amnesty”?
Vide: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42705381.

ARTICLE 7 OF THE UDHR
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.


c. Is everyone equal under the law where young ladies in universities and their workplaces are subject to sexual harassment without any effective protection by the law?
Vide: https://wildaf-ao.org/index.php/en/woman-news/news/312-an-unspoken-menace-sexual-harassment-in-nigerian-universities, and https://guardian.ng/tag/sex-for-grades/#:~:text=The%20documentary%20titled%20%22Sex%20For,Ghana%20where%20some%20undercover%20journalists%E2%80%A6&text=Wife%20of%20the%20president%2C%20Aisha,against%20girls%20in%20the%20country.


d. Is everyone equal under the law where the President of Nigeria, and highly placed political office holders are constantly accused of manifest nepotism?
Vide: https://dailypost.ng/2021/01/02/emmanuel-onwubiko-buharis-years-of-nepotism/, https://punchng.com/nepotism-buharis-govt-worst-nigerias-history-junaid-mohammed/, https://guardian.ng/news/obasanjo-accuses-buhari-of-nepotism-asks-him-not-to-seek-reelection/, https://guardian.ng/news/blame-your-nepotistic-appointments-for-division-insecurity-huriwa-tells-buhari/, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/403851-nepotism-root-cause-of-corruption-in-nigeria-sanusi.html, and. https://allafrica.com/stories/201912240588.html,


e. Is everyone equal under the law when a young person who wants to work in the federal civil service must personally know a highly placed staff to facilitate his employment or give bribes?
Vide: https://www.sunnewsonline.com/job-racketeering-senate-names-erring-mdas/ and https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/corruption/nigeria/Corruption_in_Nigeria_2019_standard_res_11MB.pdf


f. Is everyone equal under the law where women are still disinherited from their late parents’ or late spouses’ estate based on gender? Vide https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-55675987, and https://punchng.com/female-inheritance-supreme-court-igbo-culture-in-head-on-collision/.

ARTICLE 8 OF THE UDHR
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
This right connotes functional criminal administration and justice systems that ensure adequate consequences are borne by perpetrators of human rights abuses; and victims are sufficiently compensated for injuries arising from a breach of their human rights.


In Nigeria, legal actions before the relevant courts for enforcement of human rights usually take many years to conclude. Upon conclusion at the trial stage, there are even possibilities of further appeals to the appellate courts that can see human rights matters lingering for up to ten (10) years and more.
Vide: https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1806-64452005000200007&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en.


In addition, many of the judgments secured against the police or government in human rights matters are unenforced because of the legal impediments and practical difficulties in enforcing these judgments.
Vide: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/lawyers-decry-difficulties-in-executing-judgments-against-police-other-security-agencies/, and https://www.proshareng.com/news/POLITICS/Judgment-Enforcement-Frustrations-and-Impediments-in-the-Sherriff-and-Civil-Processes-Act/55606.

ARTICLE 9 OF THE UDHR
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Examples of breaches of the forgoing Articles in Nigeria have highlighted the manner Nigerians are subjected to arbitrary arrest pending investigation of allegations of crimes by members of the Nigerian Police Force, as well as long and unlawful detention. These breaches, even though less common, are also attributable to the Nigerian armed forces, and other paramilitary forces in the country.
For more clarification, vide:
https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/10/22/sars-a-brief-history-of-a-rogue-unit, https://www.mfwa.org/police-raid-journalists-union-secretariat-arbitrarily-arrest-12-journalists/, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2010/04/dig-laments-police-brutality-arbitrary-arrests-detention/,

https://serap-nigeria.org/2021/01/05/serap-drags-fg-to-un-over-arbitrary-detention-torture-of-sowore-others/, https://www.amnesty.lu/wp-content/uploads/webmigrationfiles/Nigeria_Human_Rights_Agenda_2019_EN.PDF, https://ifex.org/nigerian-soldiers-arrest-and-detain-the-punch-journalist-for-2-days/, and https://www.icirnigeria.org/amnesty-international-accuses-nigerian-army-of-continued-illegal-detention-of-children-in-northeast/.


It is also regrettable that the Nigerian Police is prone to stripping suspects naked, forcing them to sit or lie on the floor, while they video them and publish the videos on major media outlets in proof of their “diligence”. The conditions of most cells at Nigerian Police stations are extremely embarrassing and unfit for any human being.

ARTICLE 10 OF THE UDHR
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.


ARTICLE 11 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.


(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.


These rights are also violated in Nigeria in view of the lengthy period cases last before the Nigerian courts. The principle of presumption of innocence is also blemished when people stay for many years awaiting trial or the completion of trial, while incarcerated in Nigerian prisons, because of allegations of crimes, at times, misdemeanours. More so, many court rooms across the country, especially the lower courts like Magistrate Courts, Area Courts, etc. are in terrible shapes and unsuitable for dispensations of judicial matters.
Vide: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/234649906.pdf and https://theconversation.com/waiting-for-trial-can-be-worse-than-facing-the-sentence-a-study-in-nigerian-prisons-145480.


Furthermore, the way the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria- Justice Walter Onnoghen (Rtd.) was arm-twisted out of office by the leadership of the current federal executive administration in Nigeria continues to cast serious doubts as to the impartiality of the judiciary in Nigeria.
Vide: https://www.un.org/africarenewal/news/judicial-independence-under-threat-nigeria-warns-un-rights-expert and https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24152&LangID=E.


The clampdown on members of the judiciary, including some Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, by the current Nigerian Federal Government, was also evident when operatives of the Department of State Police (DSS) raided the houses of these judicial officers in the middle of the night just to intimidate them and secure their arrests.
Vide: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/212351-exclusive-untold-story-sss-raids-judges-homes-abuja-five-states.html, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/212349-breaking-raided-judges-homes-abuja-port-harcourt-others-sss.html, and https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2016/10/08/dss-operatives-invade-judges-homes-in-abuja-rivers-gombe/.
The merry-go-round about the realization of judicial autonomy for all cadres of the judiciary in Nigeria only makes matters worse and further dampens the perception of the impartiality of the Nigeria Judiciary.
Vide: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/02/judiciary-needs-autonomy-to-perform/.


Articles 10 and 11 will be taken together as they pertain to fair hearing and fair trial.
These rights guarantee fair trial within reasonable time before an impartial arbiter. It also encompasses the presumption of innocence that exists in favour of any person accused with the commission of crime.

ARTICLE 12 OF THE UDHR
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.


Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides protection of the fundamental right to privacy which is also guaranteed by Article 12 of the UDHR. Multiple statutory provisions and even case laws also emphasize the existence of this right in favour of Nigerians.


Despite the foregoing protections existing in the legal system, the right to privacy is manifestly being breached in Nigeria. A popular and recurring example is with the “stop-and-search” system observed by the Nigerian Police Force in many parts of the country where people are indiscriminately stopped by the road, intimidated, and their phones or laptops forcefully opened and searched (with messages, pictures, emails, bank records, etc. viewed by the policemen).
Vide: https://guardian.ng/news/nigerian-police-personnel-banned-from-searching-phones-laptops/ and https://www.icirnigeria.org/trending-video-sars-operatives-beat-young-man-to-a-pulp-for-refusing-to-unlock-phone/.

ARTICLE 13 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.


An important perspective in analysing the breach of the right to freedom of movement in Nigeria is regarding the refugee crisis in Nigeria. Currently, there are over 2.9 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.
Vide: https://www.unhcr.org/nigeria-emergency.html#:~:text=Over%203.2%20million%20people%20are,refugees%20in%20the%20four%20countries.

Many citizens of Nigeria have been unable to visit their ancestral homes because of the ongoing insurgency in Nigeria which became intense in 2014 and has lingered since then. These people, despite their rights under this Article, are unable to express those rights because of the poor handling of the insurgency (including other armed conflicts in Nigeria) by the Federal Government.
Vide:
https://www.msf.org/nigeria-%E2%80%9Ci-feel-ashamed-relying-others-live-we-can%E2%80%99t-go-home%E2%80%9D, https://africanarguments.org/2017/09/nigerias-conflict-victims-cant-go-home-they-must-be-resettled/, and https://theconversation.com/nigerias-poor-response-to-boko-haram-has-left-border-communities-feeling-abandoned-155891.

ARTICLE 14 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.


The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria has escalated to the point that multiple groups of Nigerians are now targeted by various terrorist groups and persecuted on grounds recognized for qualification as a refugee under the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention.
Vide:
https://www.uscirf.gov/religious-prisoners-conscience/current-rpocs/leah-sharibu, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-55448105, https://www.persecution.org/2020/11/05/boko-haram-kills-12-christians-kidnaps-others/, https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/01/21/pastor-executed-boko-haram-resurfaces-surge-violent-attacks-nigeria, https://www.brethren.org/news/2020/boko-haram-attacks-eyn-churches/, https://ctc.usma.edu/boko-haram-escalates-attacks-on-christians-in-northern-nigeria/, https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/07/02/are-nigerias-christians-target-genocide, https://www.voanews.com/africa/christian-authorities-worry-about-being-targeted-boko-haram, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nigeria-security-idUSKCN20L2K9, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izghe_attack.

The Nigerian Government continues to project a success story to the world in the war against Boko Haram and other armed conflicts in Nigeria when indeed the security situation is now worse than ever before in the history of Nigeria. Vide: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35173618, https://www.africanews.com/2018/01/02/pres-buhari-insists-that-boko-haram-has-been-defeated// and https://guardian.ng/news/boko-haram-now-substantially-defeated-says-buhari/.
Boko Haram has killed at least 36, 000 human beings in Nigeria.
Vide: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56184033.


With the deceptive posture of the Nigerian Government, many Nigerian refugees are denied refugee status in many parts of the world with several of them having their international law right to non-refoulement breached by some countries.
Vide: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-39343514, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/19/thousands-of-nigerian-refugees-fleeing-boko-haram-forced-back-by-cameroon, and https://ec.europa.eu/echo/field-blogs/photos/life-after-boko-haram-nigerian-refugees-niger_en.

ARTICLE 15 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.


Following the dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon over the ownership of Bakassi Peninsula, the former ceded the territory to the latter in line with the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which was delivered in 2002. Many years after the disputes began, many people have been rendered stateless because of the lack of a functional framework to address the issues associated with displacements of many Nigerians, etc in the formerly disputed region.


Statelessness due to the Bakassi Peninsula issue, in addition to statelessness resulting from the overwhelming effects of insurgency in Northern Nigeria have left many people in limbo, and without adequate systems to secure good education, healthcare facilities and even food. Till date, there has been no concrete progress in addressing this issue, irrespective of the recent comments attributed to the Nigerian Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to the contrary.
Vide:
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/357197-how-nigeria-plans-to-end-statelessness-minister.html, https://citizenshiprightsafrica.org/nigeriacameroon-were-now-stateless-bakassi-indigenes-cry-out/, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/06/now-stateless-bakassi-indigenes-cry/, and https://www.ghana-mma.com/2015/02/15/fg-has-abandoned-bakassi-indigenes-monarch-cries-out/.

ARTICLE 16 OF THE UDHR
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.


The rights in this Article presupposes that both spouses to a marriage have equal stakes during the marriage and upon its termination. However, an appraisal of the status in Nigeria leads one to conclude that women are manifestly disadvantaged in Nigerian marriages and more so upon its dissolution. Under some customary laws, a woman cannot own property during a marriage and all landed properties bought during the marriage technically belong to the husband. Furthermore, in the event of a dissolution of a marriage, the woman is usually left deprived of a fair share of all matrimonial properties. Vide:
http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812020000100007, https://www.wikigender.org/wiki/africa-for-womens-rights-nigeria/, and http://eprints.covenantuniversity.edu.ng/3261/1/Folarin%20and%20Udoh%207.pdf.


It is also imperative to express dissatisfaction about the lack of a benchmark regarding marriageable age in Nigeria. Many girls are still married off by their families before they get to 15 years of age, and in many cases, they suffer the health and psychological consequences of getting married at a time they are neither physically ready nor emotionally suited for lifelong matrimony. This status is simply unacceptable. The Government has simply abandoned its responsibility of protecting children over the years in failing to provide functional legal and administration systems that address this issue. Vide https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/child-marriage-nigeria-wedded-poverty, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/mar/11/the-tragedy-of-nigerias-child-brides, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-56292247, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/nigeria-has-worlds-highest-number-of-child-marriages/696094, and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3372345/#:~:text=Child%20marriage%20is%20driven%20by,neonates%2C%20infants%2C%20or%20children.

ARTICLE 17 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.


The rule of law has been extremely desecrated in Nigeria that we see Governors, the government and other highly placed politicians demolish peoples’ houses and deprive them of their properties without following due process of law.


In some instances, establishments of the press have been deliberately and maliciously destroyed; and in other cases, threats of demolition of property are issued by leaders of the government to frighten and intimidate perceived opponents.
Vide:
https://punchng.com/fintiri-threatens-to-withdraw-c-of-o-demolish-houses-with-looted-items/, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-52617552, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/south-south-regional/439541-more-houses-including-brothel-demolished-in-calabar.html, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR4444982016ENGLISH.pdf, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/01/fg-backs-demolition-of-kaduna-sex-party-house-says-sex-tourism-is-anathema-to-nigerias-culture/, http://saharareporters.com/2020/12/31/nigerian-state-governor-kaduna-orders-demolition-hotel-proposed-sex-party, https://www.channelstv.com/2020/02/06/edo-govt-demolishes-hotel-belonging-to-apc-chieftain/, https://guardian.ng/sunday-magazine/anguish-as-bulldozers-demolish-houses-in-owerri/, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/11/nigeria-deadly-mass-forced-evictions-make-life-misery-for-waterfront-communities/, https://guardian.ng/news/oyo-state-demolishes-ayefeles-fresh-fm/ and https://guardian.ng/news/why-oyo-government-demolished-my-radio-station-by-ayefele/.

ARTICLE 18 OF THE UDHR
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
In 2020, the United States Government blacklisted Nigeria for violations of the fundamental right to freedom of religion.
Vide:
https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20201208-us-adds-nigeria-to-blacklist-for-violations-of-religious-freedom.


The above move of the USA was not surprising to dispassionate observers in Nigeria because of the widespread issues related to forceful conversion from one religion to another, persecution against select religious denominations or branches, terrorist attacks targeted at religious groups, questionable death sentences issued to individuals accused of blasphemy, incarceration of children as young as 13 years old for the commission of religious offences and widespread killings in various communities arising from bitterness and religious intolerance from the professors of the main religions in Nigeria.
Vide:
https://guardian.ng/news/huriwa-flays-abduction-forced-conversion-of-girls-in-kaduna-others/, https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-report-on-international-religious-freedom/nigeria/, https://religionnews.com/2021/02/05/nigerias-blasphemy-laws-are-the-religious-fredom-crisis-no-one-is-talking-about/, https://www.voanews.com/africa/2-nigerian-religious-sects-back-us-move-designate-country-religious-freedom-violations, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53726256, and https://www.dw.com/en/nigeria-unicef-criticizes-boys-10-year-jailing-for-blasphemy/a-54529075.

ARTICLE 19 OF THE UDHR
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


The freedom of expression is another right that is violated regularly by government officials in Nigeria. In fact, the Nigerian Senate had made moves in recent times to formalize the restriction on this freedom via an “anti-social media” bill and an “anti-hate speech” bill. All these being sinister attempts to calibrate the rights of Nigerians to express themselves especially when this involves speaking out against the government.
Vide: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/12/nigeria-bills-on-hate-speech-and-social-media-are-dangerous-attacks-on-freedom-of-expression/, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/362387-just-in-nigerian-senate-reintroduces-hate-speech-bill.html, and https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/18/nigerians-raise-alarm-over-controversial-social-media-bill.


There have also been multiple reports of the arrest and physical abuse of various people, including members of the press, under the instruction of Nigerian politicians and at times, the government, for merely expressing themselves.
Vide https://monitor.civicus.org/updates/2019/11/19/Concerns-freedom-expression-several-journalists-arrested-protests-repressed/, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/413685-how-nigeria-police-attacked-arrested-journalists-for-covering-protest.html, https://www.article19.org/resources/nigeria-crackdown-on-journalists/, https://cpj.org/2020/06/nigerian-journalist-in-hiding-after-police-arrest-and-question-5-reporters-about-his-whereabouts/, https://guardian.ng/news/group-berates-ayade-over-journalists-detention/, https://www.icirnigeria.org/journalist-who-criticised-el-rufai-still-in-detention-13-days-after-bail/, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/236989-gov-el-rufai-persecuting-members-nigerian-union-journalists.html, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/202903-journalist-arrested-charged-report-kaduna-governor-el-rufai.html, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/04/south-east-journalists-decry-umahis-attack/, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/04/umahi-to-vanguard-the-sun-reporters-if-you-think-you-have-the-pen-we-have-the-koboko/, and https://guardian.ng/news/group-condemns-fani-kayodes-insult-harassment-on-journalist/.

ARTICLE 20 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.


Numerous examples exist in Nigeria regarding the breach of this Article.
The current administration has violently resisted peaceful protesters expressing displeasure with the apparent maladministration and corruption endemic at most levels of government in Nigeria. In fact, some protesters are currently undergoing criminal prosecution for treason because they dared to peacefully congregate in a bid to speak out against the government.
Vide: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/24/africa/nigeria-journalist-treason-charges-intl/index.html, https://www.africanews.com/2019/08/05/nigeria-security-forces-disperse-revolution-now-protesters-in-lagos//, and https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-50361883.


Another example of the violation of this right includes physical abuse of the Bring Back Our Girls Group, which has been a peaceful platform that constantly reminds the government to live up to its responsibility and ensure the rescue of girls kidnapped from their schools, some as far back as the year 2014.
Vide: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/266032-police-disperse-bbog-campaigners-with-tear-gas.html.


More recently, the whole world was sadly confronted with the incident where the Nigerian military killed young Nigerians who were peacefully protesting Police brutality and corruption in Lagos State. Till date, there has been no prosecution or arrest of any principal actor that orchestrated the killings rather, we have seen threats issued by the government to victims of the killings who are exploring avenues to secure justice.
Vide: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/11/nigeria-government-warns-lagos-protesters-against-endsars-rally, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/10/killing-of-endsars-protesters-by-the-military-must-be-investigated/, and https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/21/world/africa/nigeria-shooting-protesters-SARS-Lekki.html.

ARTICLE 21 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.


The essence of this Article is to guarantee and protect democratic systems of government in line with the rule of law.
Every keen observer of Nigerian politics and elections knows, without incertitude, that the system is characterized by votes buying, voter intimidation, snatching of electoral materials including ballot boxes and papers, underaged voting to perpetrate voter fraud, Police intimidation, and the loss of lives due to activities of illegally armed groups sponsored by desperate politicians. Some newspapers report that more than 500 people were killed within a year preceding the 2019 general elections because of politically motivated crimes.
Vide: https://guardian.ng/news/violence-ballot-box-snatching-vote-buying-hallmark-guber-polls-in-kogi-bayelsa/, https://guardian.ng/news/corps-members-escape-death-as-gunmen-attack-rivers-polling-unit/, https://apnews.com/article/96882f5810374798896490d34d7610a4, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nigeria-election-idUSKCN1QD0CV, and https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/343971-626-killed-during-2019-nigeria-elections-report.html.

ARTICLE 22 OF THE UDHR
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.


With most State Governments borrowing money to pay salaries to civil servants, and owing salaries for many months at other times, it is safe to say that social security is, at least for now, a mirage in Nigeria.
Pension fund administration in the country is inefficient and leaves much to be desired. What is even worse is that some unreliable and inept State Governments in recent times have been making moves to borrow money, about 17 trillion naira, from pension funds. This has been widely condemned because of the apparent risk it poses to the extant unsatisfactory social security system.
Vide: https://guardian.ng/news/why-buhari-must-stop-borrowing-of-n17-trillion-from-pension-funds/, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/429923-nothing-wrong-in-states-borrowing-from-pension-funds-fayemi.html, and https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/12/serap-asks-buhari-to-stop-governors-from-borrowing-n17trn-from-pension-funds/.


Even more worrisome is the current unemployment rate in Nigeria which now stands at 33.3% representing about 23.2 million human beings in Nigeria. This is one of the highest in the world. There is no functional welfare system to support the teeming unemployed population. It is therefore not surprising that crime rate is increasing sporadically in Nigeria.
Vide: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-15/nigeria-unemployment-rate-rises-to-second-highest-on-global-list#:~:text=The%20jobless%20rate%20in%20Nigeria,agency%20released%20labor%2Dforce%20statistics., and https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/449150-nigerias-unemployment-rate-rises-to-33-3-highest-in-over-13-years.html.

ARTICLE 23 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.


ARTICLE 24 OF THE UDHR
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Articles 23 and 24 will be taken together as they relate to labour rights of workers.
Nigerian workers continue to suffer striking infringements on their employment rights. In a country where unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world at over 33%, and the minimum wage is thirty thousand naira (N30, 000) which is less than seventy-nine dollars ($79), some of our legislators earn as much as one hundred and fifty million naira a year.
Vide: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43516825, and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-15/nigeria-unemployment-rate-rises-to-second-highest-on-global-list.


There is an unjustifiable dissimilarity in the wages of public and political office holders in the country. One can only imagine the total take home pay of Governors, Ministers and all political officials at the Presidency because they continue to hide the figures with many Nigerians having to take up suits in court to know what political officers earn from our common wealth. Many times, there are issues about some of these political office holders receiving double remuneration from various sources of public funds even when the country is extremely broke and literally must survive on borrowed funds.
Vide: https://www.cfr.org/blog/uproar-over-parliamentary-salaries-nigeria-again, https://guardian.ng/features/law/legal-battle-raises-hope-on-ex-governors-others-jumbo-pension/, and https://allafrica.com/stories/201912100885.html, http://serap-nigeria.org/2017/09/14/serap-to-saraki-tell-nigerians-if-its-true-that-a-senator-gets-over-n3bn-yearly/.


Despite the abysmally low level of the minimum wage, many workers are owed many months salaries in Nigeria. Even worse is the fact that many State and Local Governments have not implemented the minimum wage and thus, many public workers still earn below N30, 000 a month.
Vide: https://punchng.com/20-states-owe-pensions-salaries-budgit/, https://guardian.ng/news/federal-workers-demand-payment-of-salaries/, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/11/unpaid-salaries-govt-pleaded-for-more-time-asked-us-to-be-patient-protesting-staff/, https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/11/16/nasarawa-suspends-lg-directors-over-non-payment-of-workers-salaries/, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-east/409225-abia-govt-owes-polytechnic-lecturers-20-months-salaries-asup.html, https://punchng.com/abia-owes-health-workers-13-months-salaries-nma/, and https://educeleb.com/plateau-teachers-protest-over-minimum-wage-half-salaries/.


As a result of the fact that the management of public sector workers is terribly poor, little attention is paid to the bad experiences many workers are put through in private sector employments. With the high unemployment rate in Nigeria, there is absolutely no protection against unemployment in Nigeria and some private sector employers exploit this deficiency by exploiting workers.


The working conditions for workers in Nigeria leave much to be desired. It is therefore not surprising that various labour unions go on strikes each year to express their dissatisfaction with the system.
Vide: https://guardian.ng/news/nationwide-strike-will-bring-more-suffering-to-workers-governors-tell-labour/, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/03/nlc-threatens-strike-over-minimum-wage/, https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/03/11/labour-threatens-strike-over-minimum-wage-decentralisation-bill/, and https://anmrp.com/trend-of-health-workers-strike-at-a-tertiary-health-institution-in-north-central-nigeria/.

ARTICLE 25 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.


With more than 82 million Nigerians (more than 40% of the population) living below one dollar ($1) a day, the poverty level in Nigeria is at an alarming degree. This gives a picture of the low standard of living in the country.
Vide: https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/5/4/forty-percent-of-nigerians-live-below-the-poverty-line-report, and https://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/lsms/brief/nigeria-releases-new-report-on-poverty-and-inequality-in-country.


Over 170 million Nigerians do not have any form of health insurance coverage. The health care and medical facilities are in extremely poor shapes and that is why members of Nigeria’s extremely rich and flamboyant political class travel to Europe and America regularly for even routine health checks.
Vide: https://guardian.ng/features/over-170-million-nigerians-without-health-insurance/, https://noi-polls.com/fourteen-years-after-the-establishment-of-nhis-about-90-percent-of-nigerians-still-do-not-have-health-insurance-cover/, and https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-10133-5. See also https://www.bbc.com/news/business-36468154, and https://www.voanews.com/africa/nigeria-losing-1b-annually-medical-tourism-authorities-say.


Coupling the foregoing limitations to the high unemployment rate and abysmal social security structure in the country leaves Nigeria as an extremely precarious country.

ARTICLE 26 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.


The number of Nigerian children currently out of school is probably as high as Ten Million.
Vide: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/nigeria-has-largest-number-of-children-out-of-scho/, https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/education, https://businessday.ng/education/article/year-2020-nigerian-education-still-in-shambles-amid-covid-19-poor-funding-high-drop-out-rate-asuu-strike/ and https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/01/22/nigerias-out-of-school-children-drops-to-6-9m-says-fg/.


With the Federal Government’s protracted campaign against the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group and other bandits in northern Nigeria, these terrorists have emphasized their operations aimed at kidnapping of young students from their schools and securing ransom from the government. This further makes education in some parts of northern Nigeria not only unattractive but practically a suicide mission.
Vide: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/03/23/boko-haram-nigeria-kidnappings-school-children/, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56212645, and https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/17/africa/nigeria-boko-haram-schoolboys-intl/index.html.


Further compounding the issues associated with education in Nigeria is the fact that neglect and corruption has killed public institutions in Nigeria, and the legal and commercial framework in the country have stifled the growth of private institutions. It is therefore not surprising that out of over 150 universities in Nigeria, none ranks in the first 1000 in the world and academic staff, etc. are usually contemplating one form of strike action or the other.
Vide: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/10/tracking-the-problems-of-tertiary-education-in-nigeria/, and https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/426119-nigerian-universities-on-strike-for-one-of-every-five-years-since-1999-data-shows.html.

ARTICLE 27 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
The rights protected by this Article are often referred to as the right to science and culture. Certain critical components of the right to culture includes the right to enjoy protection and promotion of culture, right to cultural heritage and freedom of cultural expression. It also extends to the obligation of government to encourage cultural pluralism.


For many years now, many communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria have been crying out to the government to take concrete steps to protect their environment and prevent exploitation and pollution. The level of environmental pollution because of oil spillage in that region has completely altered the way of life of many indigenes of the region. A UN report in 2011 indicated that it will take 30 years to clean up the pollution in Niger Delta. Sadly, the pollution continues till date especially because of the complicity between the government and multinational corporations exploring oil in the Niger Delta.
Vide: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-22712797, https://www.france24.com/en/20200103-nigerian-communities-struggle-with-devastating-oil-spills and https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56041189.


In addition, the incompetent handling of the insurgency in Nigeria by the government has made terrorist activities linger for more than 10 years now. This has led to wide displacement of people, with significant territory being controlled by Boko Haram terrorists and other militant groups. These criminal groups continue to perpetrate acts that extirpates the cultural heritage and legacies of certain indigenous people.
Vide: https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=10168&context=dissertations, https://www.intechopen.com/books/terrorism-and-developing-countries/the-socioeconomic-impact-of-the-boko-haram-insurgency-in-the-lake-chad-basin-region, and https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/2/14/everyday-life-in-the-time-of-boko-haram.


Nepotism also threatens cultural pluralism in Nigeria. Most levels of government have been infested with the corruption of nepotism. This contributes considerably to the ineptitude evident in most government institutions and public bodies; they are overwhelmed with incompetent politicians with no technical skills to drive progress. Even the President of the country, as discussed under previous articles, has been criticized for nepotism by prominent persons and institutions in the country.
Vide: https://tribuneonlineng.com/buharis-nepotism-would-have-caused-coup-if-non-northern-muslim-were-president-%E2%80%95-kukah/, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/06/nepotism-the-worst-form-of-corruption/, and https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/403851-nepotism-root-cause-of-corruption-in-nigeria-sanusi.html.

ARTICLE 28 OF THE UDHR
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
This Article guarantees the right to a free and fair world.
The right also connotes an ambience of peace and effective judicial review that secures the expression and protection of all rights in the UDHR.


The endemic corruption in government at all levels in Nigeria, apparent looting of public funds, and the failure of the security architecture to address rising insecurity crises in the country have compromised the expression and enjoyment of the rights in the UDHR. This status also puts the security and peace of neighbouring countries in Africa at risk.
Vide: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/nigeria-heightened-insecurity-threatens-rights, https://www.usip.org/blog/2019/11/peace-nigeria-will-require-accountable-governance and https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/west-africa/nigeria/nigeria-growing-insecurity-multiple-fronts.

ARTICLE 29 OF THE UDHR
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.


The aforementioned article provides for duties of individuals as well as establishes that limitations of rights in the UDHR shall be in accordance with the rule of law and not arbitrarily. With the arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention that characterizes the activities of the Nigerian police under the guise of prevention and detection of crime, it is accurate to conclude that human rights under this Declaration are limited by acts contrary to the meeting of the just requirements of morality, public order, and the general welfare in a democratic society.
Vide: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nigeria-protests-idUSKBN2AD0A8, https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/09/06/fighting-police-corruption-in-nigeria-an-agenda-for-comprehensive-reform/#:~:text=No%20wonder%20Nigeria’s%20police%20force,all%20police%20officers%20are%20corrupt., https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/08/corruption-nigerian-police-scrutiny/, and http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jhss/papers/Vol.%2024%20Issue9/Series-3/A2409030105.pdf.


It is also important to reiterate the condemnation against the Nigerian government for maintaining the worst record for harassing, arresting, and detaining members of the press in failed attempts to censor the freedom of expression and hide the numerous shortcomings of government.
Vide: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/361738-under-buhari-nigeria-records-worst-attacks-on-journalists-in-34-years-report.html, and https://www.thecable.ng/crack-down-on-journalists-activists-affecting-nigerias-image-us-lawmakers-write-fg.

ARTICLE 30 OF THE UDHR
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.


Article 30 exists to further cement the enjoyment of the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the UDHR. Despite the clear expression of these rights, and the fact that Nigeria by virtue of its ratification of multiple international instruments on human rights protection, and its membership of the UN, vowed to guarantee the protection of these human rights, the facts on ground reveal a complete desecration of those rights.

CONCLUSION
The discussions on the foregoing Articles show that Nigeria is in dire need of critical attention by the international community.
There is also a need for decisive intervention by the United Nations (UN), European Commission (EC), and the international community to safeguard the human rights of Nigerians. The consequences of failing to adequately attend to the issues raised in this Report include a complete breakdown of law and order in Nigeria, wider internal displacement of people and a worldwide refugee crisis.

REPORT PREPARED BY:
Henry Chibuike Ugwu Esq.,
Ms Oluwaseunnla Adelusi
Ifediora Chijioke Esq.,
Ben Chukwuemeka Oloko Esq.,
Darlington Chinedu Iheanacho Esq.,
Ms Princess Oshioke Egieya,
Mr. Osonwa Chukwuka,
Othman Yahaya Esq.,
Kevin Manuel Ejele Esq.,
Mr. Mmekidmfon Umanah,
Quirine Hoogduin,
Amicus Centre for Justice.

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