Your Rights As A Citizen Of Nigeria PART1
RIGHT TO LIFE-
The Constitution guarantees the right to life of every Nigerian Citizen except where such a citizen has been sentenced to death by a Court of Law or where Law enforcement agents are defending the life/property of another citizen, or seeking to prevent escape of persons in lawful detention, or in the course of suppressing a riot.
RIGHT TO DIGNITY OF HUMAN PERSON-
This right expressly prohibits torture, inhuman or degrading treatment of any Nigerian Citizen and also forbids any Nigerian Citizen from being held in slavery or forced labour.
RIGHT TO PERSONAL LIBERTY-
The Nigerian Constitution guarantees the personal liberty of citizens, and no person shall be deprived of this liberty unless in special circumstances, this section also provides for citizens right to remain silent or avoid answering questions of law enforcement officers until consultation with a lawyer. It further provides that anybody arrested must be notified in writing of the offence and should be brought to court within a maximum period of 48 hours. In a case where a citizen is unlawfully detained, such a person shall be entitled to compensation and public apology from the appropriate authority or person.
RIGHT TO FAIR HEARING-
This provision guarantees fair hearing to all citizens before an impartial Court of law and goes further to provide that such proceedings must be held in public. Any Citizen accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
RIGHT TO PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE–
This section guarantees and protects the privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications.
RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION –
Every Nigerian Citizen is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief. The Constitution further guarantees a citizens’ rights to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.It is also important to note that this section forbids places of education from teaching or forcing students to observe religious ceremonies not in consonance with their religion. This section expressly forbids membership of a secret society.
RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THE PRESS –
It is the right of all Nigerian Citizens to express themselves freely within certain limits. The section also allows the establishment of Newspapers and other Broadcasting medium.
RIGHT TO PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION–
Every Nigerian Citizen is entitled to assemble freely and associate with other people. This in effect allows citizens become members of political parties, trade unions or any other lawful association.
RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT–
This provision guarantees Nigerian citizens the right to live in any area of Nigeria and move freely throughout the country.
RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION ON THE GROUNDS OF ETHNIC GROUP, PLACE OF ORIGIN, CIRCUMSTANCE OF BIRTH, s3x, RELIGION OR POLITICAL OPINION.-
This provision expressly forbids discrimination against a bonafide citizen of Nigeria on account of his/her ethnic group, place of origin, circumstance of birth, s3x, religion or political opinion.
RIGHT TO PROPERTY & COMPENSATION FOR PROPERTY COMPULSORILY ACQUIRED-
Subject to certain exceptions, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria. This section also guarantees the right to compensation for any property compulsorily acquired by the Government.
Where any of the above rights is in breach, the citizen is at liberty to approach a law court to enforce his/her rights. There are also other rights in the Constitution which are dependent on the availability of State resources, they include the right to:
Free and compulsory education
Adequate health care, gainful employment
Shelter, food etc