Sep 25, 2012


What are Fundamental Human Rights?
Fundamental human rights are rights which by their very nature have become fundamental to existence. They are not just mere rights. The Supreme Court declared of them in Saude V Abudullah (1989) 4 NWLR Pt. 116 page 387@419 as:
  "fundamental rights are important and they are not just mere rights. They are fundamental. They belong to the citizen. These rights have always existed even before orderliness prescribed rules for the manner they are to be sought."
 It is a right  which stands above the ordinary laws of the land and which in fact is antecedent to the political society itself. It is a primary condition
to a civilized existence, per Eso J.S.C. in Ransome Kuti & Ors V. A.G. of Federation & Ors (1985) 2 NWLR P. 211 @230.
As Nigerians, our Fundamental Human Rights are provided for under Chapter IV of the 1999 constitution. These rights include;  
1. Right to life - Section 33 (1999 constitution) Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life,save in execution of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.  
2. Right to dignity of human person - Section 34 (1999 Constitution) Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of person and accordingly no person shall be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment.  
3. Right to personal liberty - Section 35 (1999 constitution) Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty.  
4. Right to fair hearing  - Section 36 (1999 constitution) In the determination of a person's civil rights and obligations,every person shall be entitled to fair hearing.
  5. Right to private and family life - Section 37 (1999 constituion) The privacy of citizens,their homes,correspondences and telephone conversations  is guaranteed and protected.  
6. Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion - Section 38(1999 constitution) Every person shall be entitle to freedom of thought,consceince and religiom,including freedom to change his religion or belief.  
7. Right to freedom of expression and the press- Section 39 (1999 constitution) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions.  
8.Right to peaceful assembly and association - Section 40 (1999 constitution) Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons or political party.  
9. Right to freedom of movement - Section 41 (1999 constitution) Every citizen in nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof.  
10. Right to freedom from discrimination - section 42 (1999 constitution) No nigerian shall be discriminated upon on the basis of his community, ethnic group,sex,place of origin and politican opinion.  
11. Right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria - Section 43 (1999 constitution) Every Citizen shall have right to own immovable property anywhere in nigeria.  
12. Right against compulsory acquisition of property - section 44 (1999 constitution)  
The above are fundamental human rights enshrined in the 1999 constituion and accorded to all Nigerians.
Adedunmade Onibokun Esq.


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