Human Rights

Fundamental Rights every Nigerian Citizen should know

Every human being on earth irrespective of whatever country or continent he/she is located at has rights, duties, liabilities, and privileges which are provided for in the laws of that country. As such Nigerians are also entitled to such rights and privileges which are backed up in the laws that exist in Nigeria. The rights of every Nigerian citizen can be found in Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and they are known as Fundamental Rights. This article will list and explain the rights to enlighten everyone on his/her rights.

  1. Right To Life.

Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life. This is the most important right of every Nigerian citizen.
Although, a person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section, if he dies as a result of the use, to such extent and in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably necessary –
(a) for the defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property:
(b) to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; or
(c) for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny.

  1. Right To Dignity.

Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly. What this right means is that every Nigerian citizen has a right to not be subjected to torture or forced labour.
Although, forced labour does not include;
(a) A labour required as a result of a court sentence
(b) A labour required by the armed forces, police forces.
(c) A labour that is part of a communal obligation of the well being of the community.

  1. Right To Personal Liberty.

Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and nobody shall be deprived of it. But when a person is detained in lawful custody, he or she has the following rights;
(a) Right to remain silent and not answer any questions at all until his lawyer is present.
(b) Right to be told in written format, the reason for his arrest.
(c). Right to not be kept awaiting trial in detention for a time longer than the maximum time for imprisonment for the offence he committed.

  1. Right To Fair Hearing.

This right ensures that in the determination of an individual’s civil rights and obligations a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing by the court.
This right ensures that;
(a) Presumption of innocence.
(b). Right to a lawyer of his choice.
(c) Right to an interpreter if he/she does not understand the language used at the tribunal.
(d). Right to adequate time and facilities for his/her defence.

  1. Right To Privacy.

Every person shall be entitled to assembly privately and associate with other persons. The constitution does not explain in detail how this is protected exactly. Although from reading the provision, we could discover three elements which are the privacy of the individual, privacy of his/her home, the privacy of conversation and communication.

  1. Right To Freedom Of Movement.

Every person is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and reside anywhere in the country. Also, no citizen shall be denied entry or expelled from the country.

  1. Right To Freedom Of Thought, Conscience And Religion.

This right ensures that every citizen has the right to change his religion or belief freely. This right does not entitle any person to form or take part in the activity of a secret society.

  1. Right To Own A Property.

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.

  1. Right To Freedom From Discrimination.

This right ensures that no Nigerian citizen is to be subjected to any disabilities or restrictions based on the fact that he or she is a member of a community, ethnic group or place of origin.


About Muhammad Abdulgafar

Muhammad Abdulgafar also known by his pen name Author of pain, is a Nigerian poet and writer. He sees writing as a therapy and a way to help heal the world of it's pain and give comfort to those going through pains. He is the author of two self published books(Soft copies only). He is a master of his words and knows just how well to use them. His poetry has always been known to put a smile on the face of every one going through pains who gets the opportunity to read them.