THE Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Mukhtar will on Monday August 18, 2014 preside over the launching of the book ‘Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa’, written? by Dr. Kolawole Olaniyan? of Amnesty International in London.
Also expected at the book presentation are the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi who is expected as the chief launcher, the Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Abdul Tijan-Cole and the Chief Registrar of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Dr Robert Eno. The Oba of Lagos, Riliwanu Akiolu will be the Royal Father of the day.
Other dignitaries expected at the event are Ekpo Nta, Chair Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC); Professor Akin Oyebode of the Faculty of Law of University of Lagos, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, Lagos State Solicitor General, Lawal Pedro, the Director-General Consumer Protection Council Mrs Dupe Atoki, and former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu.
Others are Professor Oluwole Smith the Dean Faculty of Law UNILAG; Professor Ayo Atsenuwa, UNILAG; Professor Anya Anya; Femi Adesina, President, Nigeria Guild of Editors; Mr Lai Muhammed, APC National Publicity Secretary; Dr Kole Shetimma, Africa Director MacArthur Foundation; Innocent Chukwuma, Representative, Ford Foundation; and Gbolahan Gbadamosi, National Publicity Secretary, NBA.
The book provides a framework for complementarity between promoting and protecting human rights and combating corruption, where it makes three major points regarding the relationship between corruption and human rights law.
Corruption and human rights law
First, corruption per se is a human rights violation, insofar as it interferes with the right of the people to dispose of their natural wealth and resources and thereby increases poverty and frustrates socio-economic development. Second, corruption leads to a multitude of human rights violations.
Third, the book demonstrates that human rights mechanisms have the capacity to provide more effective remedies to victims of corruption than can other criminal and civil legal mechanisms. The book takes up one of the pervasive problems of governance – large-scale corruption – to examine its impact on human rights and the degree to which a human rights approach to confronting corruption can buttress the traditional criminal law response.
It examines three major aspects of human rights in practice – the importance of governing structures in the implementation and enjoyment of human rights, the relationship between corruption, poverty and underdevelopment, and the threat that systemic poverty poses to the entire human rights edifice.
The book is a very significant contribution to the literature on good governance, human rights and the rule of law in Africa.
Dinah Shelton, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law (emeritus), the George Washington University Law School, who wrote a Foreword to the book said: “The recommendations [contained in the book] are thoughtful and serious and should be taken up by regional and global institutions, including financial institutions. As the medical profession has long known and practiced, prevention is always better than cure.”
The Author Kolawole Olaniyan is Legal Adviser in Amnesty International’s International Secretariat, London. Between 2004-2007 he was Program Director for Africa.
He received his doctoral degree from the Law School of University of Notre Dame, USA in 2003 and has written extensively on corruption and African regional human rights system.