- be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions, or political opinions are not made subject; or
- be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.
- No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.
- Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes restrictions with respect to the appointment of any person to any office under the state or as a member of the armed forces of the Federation or a member of the Nigeria Police Force or to an officer in the service of a body corporate established directly by any law in force in Nigeria. See section 39 (1979) and 42 (1999) Constitution.
Compulsory Acquisition of Property
The Constitution, in section 40 (1979) and 43 (1999) provides as follows:
No movable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law that, among other things:
- requires the prompt payment of compensation there for; and (b) gives to any person claiming such compensation a right of access for the determination of his interest in the property and the amount of compensation to a court of law or tribunal or body having jurisdiction in that part of Nigeria.
- Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as affecting any general law:
(a) for the imposition or enforcement of any tax, rate or duty; (b) for the imposition of penalties or forfeitures for the breach of any law, whether under civil process or after conviction for an offence;
(c) relating to leases, tenancies, mortgages, charges, bills of sale or any other rights or obligations arising out of contracts;
(d) relating to the vesting and administration of the property of persons adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt or insolvent, of persons of unsound mind or deceased persons, and of corporate
or unincorporated bodies in the course of being wound-up; (e) relating to the execution of judgements or orders of courts; (f) providing for the taking of possession of property that is in a dangerous state or is injurious to the health of human beings, plants or animals;
(g) relating to enemy property;
(h) relating to trusts and trustees;
(i) relating to limitation of actions;
(j) relating to property vested in bodies corporate directly established by any law in force in Nigeria;
(k) relating to the temporary taking of possession of property for the purpose of any examination, investigation or enquiry;
(l) providing for the carrying out of work on land for the purposes of soil conservation; or
(m) subject to prompt payment of compensation for damage to buildings, economic trees or crops, providing for any authority or person to enter, survey, or dig any land, or to lay, install or erect poles, cables, wires, pipes, or other conductors or structures on any land in order to provide or maintain the supply or distribution of energy, fuel, water, sewage, telecommunication services or other public facilities or public utilities.
(3) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone in Nigeria shall vest in the Government of the Federation and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.
Restriction on and Derogation from Fundamental Rights
Nothing in sections 34 – 38 (1979) or 37 – 41 (1999) this Constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society:
(a) in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.
(2) An Act of the National Assembly shall not be invalidated by reason only that it provides for the taking, during periods of emergency, of measures that derogate from the provisions of section 30 or 32 (1979) or 33 or 35 (1999) Constitution; but no such measures shall be taken in pursuance of any such Act during any period of emergency save to the extent that those measures are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of emergency; Provided that nothing in this section shall authorise any derogation from the provisions of section 30 or 33 of 1979 and 1999 Constitutions respectively, except in respect of death resulting from acts of war or authorise any derogation from the provisions of the section 33(8) 1979 or 36(8) (1999)
(3) In this section, a “period of emergency” means any period during which there is, in force a Proclamation of a sate of emergency declared by the President in exercise of the powers conferred on
him under section 265 and 305 of 1979 and 1999 Constitutions respectively.
The Constitution of Nigeria forbids any religion and protects individual right to life, education, freedom of thought and convenience. See the case of Bosede Badejo v. Ministry of Education.
In this unit, we have considered four fundamental human rights provisions as enshrined in chapter IV of the 1979 – 1999 Constitutions of Nigeria. You should now be able to determine when these rights have been breached and seek for enforcement or redress.