Right to Personal Liberty in Nigeria
30 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2017 Last revised: 5 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 31, 2017
The right to personal liberty is one of the most central human rights as it is connected to the essentialist rudiments of an individual’s physical freedom. The right to liberty requires that the arrest or detention of an individual must be in accordance to the law. The right therefore protects the individual against the excesses of the government and its agents. The right to personal liberty is essentially a personal freedom in which no government can abridge. This right is juxtaposed with other human rights and can be formally traced back to the English Magna Carta of 1215.
The main quagmire of the right to liberty in Nigeria is the executive arm of government in Nigeria at most times permits continuous detention without trial. Detention without trial, includes persons detained by the state without criminal charges. Furthermore, there is a persistent lack of will by the judiciary to eliminate a vast amount of cases where the individual is detained without recourse to the time he/she would have served if convicted for the crime in question. In addition, the problem continues wherein persons who are not unconfined from prison even though they have completed serving their jail terms.
In order to understand the broad concept of this right this paper explores the right to liberty from various international frameworks to the regional perspective (the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights), and lastly bringing it to the centre; a domestic perspective with Nigeria as the focal point. Whilst exploring the right to liberty in Nigeria, the paper searches into the Constitutional interpretation of the right.
Keywords: Right to Liberty, Personal Liberty, Nigeria
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