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

Dictum

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 policy or action is for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons as required by section 45 (1) (a) and (b) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

– Tijjani Abubakar, JSC. Lagos State Govt. v. Abdul Kareem (2022) – SC.910/2016

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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 claim for Fundamental Human Rights as provided for by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). KALU V. THE STATE (1998) 13 NNLR (PT. 583) @ 531.

— U. Onyemenam, JCA. Iheme v Chief of Defence Staff (2018) – CA/J/264/2017

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FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT STAND ABOVE THE ORDINARY LAW OF THE LAND

I will reiterate that a fundamental right is a right guaranteed in the Nigerian Constitution. It is a right which every citizen is entitled to by reason of being a human being unless when a person suffers any of the disabilities set out in the Constitution. ODOGU V. A.G. FEDERATION (2000) 2 HRLRA 82 AT 102; FAJEMIROKUN V. COMM. BANK (NIG.) LTD. (2009) 21 WRN 1. Fundamental rights stand above the ordinary laws of the land. RANSOME KUTI V. A.G. FEDERATION (1985) 2 NWLR (PT. 6) 211. These rights are so jealously guarded that no citizen can be shut out from seeking redress when his fundamental right has been allegedly breached unless he suffers any constitutional disability like when he is sentenced to flogging or hard labour by a Court of competent jurisdiction.

— U. Onyemenam, JCA. Iheme v Chief of Defence Staff (2018) – CA/J/264/2017

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FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS SUIT CANNOT BE FILED JOINTLY

The earlier position of this Court is that fundamental rights accrue to citizens individually and by lumping the applications together, the Respondents rendered their application incompetent.

— J.O.K. Oyewole, JCA. Udo v Robson (2018) – CA/C/302/2013

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INTENTION TO ESCAPE FROM BRUTALITY

The Respondent admitted that he intended to escape when he was been beaten by the police. Investigation by the police does not include beating. Therefore if the respondent intended to escape from such brutality which constituted violation of his fundamental right, he committed no wrong.

— P.A. Galinje, JSC. State v Masiga (2017) – SC

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MAKING NYSC FEMALE CORPS COMPLY WITH TROUSER WEARING, DESPITE OBJECTION, IS BREACH OF RIGHTS TO RELIGION

The NYSC has been forcing their female members to dress on trousers contrary to their religious right encapsulated under section 38 of the 1999 Constitution. It must firmly assert here that these female corps members were solely and singularly trained and financed by their parents and brought up in their respective religious beliefs that some have never worn trousers in their lives. To make them comply with the compulsory trouser-wearing of all NYSC corps members is a violation of their rights to freedom of religion. In the same light, to compel school students or undergraduates or pupils to dress in a manner contrary to their religious beliefs is to violate their fundamental rights. This applies even where the institution is private or government owned.

– Uwani Musa Abba Aji, JSC. Lagos State Govt. v. Abdul Kareem (2022) – SC.910/2016

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BREACH OF CHAPTER IV RIGHTS CAN COME BEFORE THE FHC OR HIGH COURT

Anyone whose “Chapter IV Rights” have been, are being or likely to be contravened has unfettered access to a High Court for redress “High Court” is defined in Section 46(3) of the 1999 Constitution (the 1979) Constitution had the same Provisions to mean “the Federal High Court” or “the High Court of a State”.

– Ngwuta JSC. Ihim v. Maduagwu (2021)

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