HUMAN RIGHTS AND NATIONAL SECURITY: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF THE NIGERIAN PERSPECTIVE
1.0 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
Fundamental Rights are rights derived from natural or fundamental or constitutional law. They are rights which remain in the realm of domestic law, which are recognized, entrenched and guaranteed in the constitution of a country or any other legal instrument such as the African
Charter on Human and People’s Rights. Fundamental Human Rights are also described as rights which are inalienable and guaranteed to every person.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the African Charter on Human and Peoples‟ Right guarantee fundamental human rights. These Fundamental Human Rights are not privileges in the sense that they could be withdrawn at the whims and caprices of the government of the day. They are rights which the executive and legislature are enjoined to respect and the judiciary to protect. However, there are instances where these guaranteed rights are violated either by the law enforcement agents or in quasi-judicial proceedings
Furthermore, where there are breaches of these rights, the appropriate means to secure the enforcement of the victims‟ fundamental right is paramount. It is against this background that the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules was enacted. On 29th May, 1999, a new constitution came into being. Some judicial opinions were of the view that the Fundamental Rights ( Enforcement Procedure ) Rules1979 was dead pursuant to section 42(3) which provides who to make rules for the practice and procedure for the High court towards the enforcement of the provision of Chapter IV. For effective enforcement of the rights guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution, the 2009 Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules was enacted, It was signed In November 11,2009 by the then Chief Justice IdrisLegboKutigi and came into force with immediate effect replacing the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure)Rules 1979.
The purpose of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules is to facilitate the enforcement of fundamental rights. The Rules provide for redress where there is a violation or even apprehension of likely violation of these rights. The fundamental rights are provided in
Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and Chapter 1 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples‟ Rights. Where the violation has occasioned injury which could be compensated in financial terms, courts are duty bound to make orders of reparation in monetary terms if applied for and proved.