THE CURTAILMENT OF THE SPREAD OF THE COVID-19 VIA ARMED SOLDIERS: FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT IN VIEW.
J. O. ABDURRAZZAAQ
We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws. The widespread use of physical torture and the cases of extra-legal executions by suspected armed soldiers of Nigerians who purportedly violated the curfew imposed by the Nigerian goverment as a measure to contain and curtail the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria is a bleeding slap on the face of the fundamental human rights.
Every Nigerian has rights and privileges, which are provided for in the hundreds of laws that exist in Nigeria. However, there are certain rights that are basically trump all other ones. They are rights that are referred to as inalienable rights. Rights for which the law has made specific and special provision contained in chapter 4 of the constitution, and are officially known as Fundamental Rights.Fundamental Rights are rights that enshrined in chapter 4 of the constitution of the 1999 as amended for every living Nigerians. The breach of which is actionable and redressable before any courts of law in Nigeria.
However, under our law and International law, it is undisputedly that Fundamental Rights are of two faces: Derogable and Non-Derogable. Moreover, Derogable Rights and Freedoms may be suspended during a state of emergency; for instance, a government can detain persons and hold them without trial. However, Non-derogable rights can not be suspended no matter the situation. Examples of Non-derogable rights are Right to life and Right to Personal liberty. Thus, in sections 33 and 35 respectively. Also under International law Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, Non-derogable rights are listed in Article 4 of the ICCPR; they include right to life, the rights to freedom from arbitrary deprivation of liberty, slavery, torture, and ill-treatment.The violation of these inviolable and non-derogable rights is now becoming increasingly frightening by the Armed Security Forces deployed to check the violations of the 14days lockdown and other curfews imposed by the other State governors. They are viewing the present time of health emergency caused by the sweeping trends of CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC as same thing as a time of MARTIAL LAW or MILITARY DICTATORSHIP whereby the constitution of the Federal Republic on Nigeria 1999(as amended) is suspended.
They started killing people and torture people severely which is inconsistent with the non-derogable fundamental rights provided for in chapter 4 of the constitution. S.33 and 35 of the 1999 constitution to be specific. Besides, they killed a youth in Warri, Delta State and the two soldiers seen in a viral video threatening to rape mothers and young girls. This is inhuman and a violation of Fundamental Human Rights.
This is practically unconstitutional and impossible for the government that came in through democratic process to now serk to transform itself into a full dictatorship hiding under the Quarantine Law which lacks power to override the GRUND NORM. Thus, in section 1(3) of the constitution: “if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution, this constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent to the inconsistency be void”.
The constitution is supreme and cannot be overridden by any other legislation or edicts because the provisions of the constitution in chapter 4 are explicit on the absolute ban on the use of torture against the citizens. Section 1(1) of the constitution provides that the Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Conclusively, the violators should face the wrath and music of law. The President and Chief of Army Staff must be told in black and white that freedom from torture is one of the most universally recognized Human Rights. And the steps adopted to contain the spread of the CORONAVIRUS affliction are such that should be done to promote public good and therefore wondered how the widespread use of tortures by soldiers and police AGAINST CIVILIANS will serve the national interests. These brutes in military and police uniforms must be arrested; prosecuted and jailed for these series of crimes against humanity.
STAY HOME AND STAY SAFE. GOD BLESS NIGERIA.
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