Who are the necessary parties in proceedings under the Fundamental Rights



Ambali Abdulazeez Muhammed

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Who are the necessary parties in proceedings under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1979? Any person who alleges that any of the provisions of Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has been, is being or likely to be contravened in any state in relation to him may apply to a High Court in that state for redress - see Section 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution. That is to say that actions under the aforementioned Rules must be personalanc not representative. If an individual feels that his Fundamental Right or human right has been violated, he should take action personally for the alleged infraction of right of one differs in content and degree from the complaint of the other. It is therefore a wrong joinder of action and incompetent for different individuals to join in one action to enforce different cause of action. In other words, for a person to have locus standi in an action for the enforcement of fundamental rights, he must be affected i.e suffered a breach of such rights. But however, when the matter involve right to life of a deceased victim, anybody would have the locus standi as we are our brother's keeper. See Alilu Akilu Vs Chief Gani Fawehinmi.


It is worthy to note at this stage that the 1999 constitution of federal republic of Nigeria has laid down certain exception to be apply upon chapter IV of the aforementioned constitution . By the virtue of Section 45 subsection (1) provided that;
‘’nothing in sections 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of this constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society”
Whereas the Paragraph (a) of the actual section provides thus;
(a) in the interest of defense, public safety , public order, public morality or public health’. or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.

From the above cited authority, one will see that in an event where there is need to protect public safety or for the sake of protecting the rights of another person, infringement upon an individual rights maybe justifiable.
CONCLUSION Under the administration of justice in Nigeria, our rights as human are duly recognised. These rights as they were, are sacrosanct, and same should not be violated by anybody. In an evident where any of these rights is being or likely to be infringed upon, the law had laid down procedures that must be followed for an action to stand on such infringement. Strict adherence to this procedure is Paramount. Any deviation from same may negate the success of such an action in court. It therefore follows that, It is a must for an applicant whose fundamental rights was infringed to know the court to file action for the enforcement of same. In addition, it is advisable to engage the service of a legal practitioner for him/her to know the appropriate steps to take.
Also Read:
enforcement of fundamental human rights
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