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WHAT IS LIBERTY OF THE PERSON? – (ECOWAS Court)

Dictum

The General Comment No 35 of the Human Right Committee on Art 9 of the Convention on the right to liberty and security of persons (which is pari material to Art 6 of the Charter) states that as follows; . “Liberty of person concerns freedom from confinement of the body, Security of person concerns freedom from injury to the body and the mind, or bodily and mental integrity. The right to security of person protects individuals against intentional infliction of bodily or mental injury, regardless of whether the victim is detained or non-detained.”

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FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS CONSTITUTIONAL – ONE CANNOT BE FORCED TO ASSOCIATE

Nobody can be compelled to associate with other persons against his will. Our Constitution guarantees every citizen that freedom of choice. Accordingly any purported drafting of any person into an association against his will even if by operation of customary law is in conflict with the provisions of Section 26(1) of the Constitution, 1963 and...

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DEROGATION FROM THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF A CITIZEN MUST BE SHOWN TO BE IN PUBLIC INTEREST

Competent authorities or Government must justify derogation from the fundamental rights of citizens by showing facts suggesting that the act or policy complained of is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. It must be shown that the derogation is in the interest of public safety, public order, public morality or public health, or that the...

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PURPORT OF SECTION 34 OF CFRN – RIGHT TO DIGNITY

The purport of Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution is that no one should be inflicted with intense pain on his body or mind nor subjected to physical or mental cruelty so severe that it endangers his life or health. Anything amounting to brutalization is synonymous to torture or inhuman treatment and is actionable under the...

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SELF-DETERMINATION IS THE RIGHT OF PEOPLE TO DETERMINE THEIR DESTINY

Para. 24: “Self-determination on its own denotes the legal right of a people to decide their own destiny in the international order. Under the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, self-determination is protected as a right of “all peoples.” It refers to the rights of people indigenous to an area to determine their destiny. Indigenous peoples’ rights are collective rights. In other words, they are vested in indigenous persons that organize themselves as peoples. With the adoption of the UN Declaration on the right of indigenous people, the international community clearly affirms that indigenous peoples require recognition of their collective rights as peoples to enable them to enjoy human rights.”

— Osaghae v Nigeria (2017) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/03/17

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ONLY BREACH OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS CAN BE ENFORCED THROUGH FREP

It is trite that it is only actions founded on a breach of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution that can be enforced under the Rules. The facts relied upon by an applicant must therefore disclose a breach of his fundamental right as the basis for his claim. Where the facts relied upon discloses...

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PRINCIPAL RELIEF MUST BE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS IN ORDER TO COME UNDER FREP RULES

The position of the law is that for a claim to qualify as falling under fundamental rights, it must be clear that the principal relief sought is for the enforcement or for securing the enforcement of a fundamental right and not, from the nature of the claim, to redress a grievance that is ancillary to...

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