According to Dayo Adu
Every Nigerian has rights, duties, liabilities and privileges entrenched under various existing laws. However, certain rights are constitutionally guaranteed under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, these rights are referred to as Inalienable rights.
This article seeks to educate the readers on the various fundamental human rights under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and its limitations if any.
RIGHT TO LIFE (Section 33)
Every person has a right to life, however, this right can be deprived in the following circumstances:
In the execution of a sentence of Court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.
if he dies as a result of a force reasonably used from unlawful violence or for the defence of property;
to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; or,
to suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny.
RIGHT TO DIGNITY (Section 34)
Every individual is entitled to the dignity of his person. No person shall be subject to torture, slavery or be required to perform forced labour.
RIGHT TO PERSONAL LIBERTY (Section 35)
Every person shall be entitled to his/her personal liberty save in the following circumstances:
in the execution of the sentence or order of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty;
because he failed to comply with the order of a court or to secure the fulfilment of any obligation imposed upon him by law;
to bring him before a court in execution of the order of a court or upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence, or to such extent as may be reasonably necessary to prevent his committing a criminal offence;
in the case of a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years, for his education or welfare;
in the case of persons suffering from infectious or contagious disease, persons of unsound mind, persons addicted to drugs or alcohol or vagrants, for their care or treatment or the protection of the community;
Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right to remain silent or avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice. Also, any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed within twenty-four hours (and in a language that he understands) of the facts and grounds for his arrest or detention
RIGHT TO FAIR HEARING (Section 36)
A person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.
However, a Court or such Tribunal may exclude from its proceedings persons other than the parties thereto or their legal practitioners in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, the welfare of persons who have not attained the age of eighteen years, the protection of the private lives of the parties or to such extent as it may consider necessary because of special circumstances in which publicity would be contrary to the interests of justice;
Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty.
No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence heavier than the penalty in force at the time the offence was committed.
No person who shows that he has been tried by any court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for a criminal offence having the same ingredients as that offence save upon the order of a superior court.
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