This book written by Mr. Frank Agbedo, one of Nigeria’s leading authors in human rights literature and jurisprudence, was recently unveiled to the reading public at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA) Kofo Abayomi Road, Victoria Island, Lagos, just a few years after his ground breaking treatise on the rights of criminal suspects in Nigeria, titled, “Rights of Suspects and Accused Persons under the Nigerian Criminal Law.

Incidentally, only three days before the release of the current book, the world had on 10th December, 2016, marked the International day of Human Rights, with a strident message calling upon everyone to stand up for someone’s rights. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch, Human Rights Committee, organized a successful summit on Thursday 8th December,, 2016 while the National body commemorated the day with a world press conference held at the High Court of Lagos premises, Igbosere, Lagos.

It has been universally declared that “it is essential, if a man is not to be compelled to have recourse as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law”. (See the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948). The value of human right is solely dependent on its enforcement. An unenforced right is of no value to its owner. Just as the maxim, Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium (i.e where there is a right, there is a remedy), remains rhetorical until the remedy is duly enforced in favour of the victim.

This book, which is consciously and albeit rightly, in my view, dedicated to two of Nigeria’s greatest civil rights advocates, both at the bar and the bench, namely: the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN and Hon. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi GCON, CJN Rtd, therefore dwells extensively on the law, practice and procedure relating to enforcement of human rights in Nigerian Courts.

Principal features of the book include but are not limited to the ABC of human rights litigation, an in depth analysis of the new FREP Rules 2009, A review of judicial attitude to enforcement of Fundamental Rights Cases, Prosecuting Appeals in Fundamental Rights Cases, The status of public interest litigation in Nigerian Courts, The Role of Amici Curae in human rights litigation, the justiciability or judicialisation of socio-economic rights in Nigerian Courts and the future of human rights litigation. The book also features a comprehensive package of practice forms and precedents relating to practical applications for enforcement of fundamental rights, as well as a comprehensive index of cases and relevant statutes.

Practice forms and precedents

More than seven years since the advent of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, which had been described as representing the widest latitude to effective enforcement of fundamental rights, the volume of litigation relating to human rights have expectedly witnessed a quantum leap in Nigerian Courts. It is therefore this floodgate of litigations that supplied the raison d’etre and compelling desire for this book. This is done with a view to updating practitioners with current decisions and contemporary developments on human rights law and practice, with copious references to salutary innovations from other jurisdictions overseas.

The peculiar strength of this new book, as attested to by renowned jurists and law lords who had the benefit of a preview of the content prior to this public presentation, is that it is almost a ready answer to all issues and matters relating to preparation, initiation, filing and prosecution of fundamental right cases in Nigerian Courts. The book is comprehensive enough to the cover of the field of human right law, practice and procedure and which could be better described as a One-Stop-Shop in human rights litigation.

According to Femi Falana SAN, “Frank Agbedo Esq has through this book simplified and facilitated the enforcement of fundamental rights in Nigeria in line with the provisions of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009. With the subjects analysed in the book and the relevant cases cited by the author, victims of human rights abuse will have no difficulty in seeking redress in the appropriate High Courts”.

One cannot agree any less with the above endorsement coming from a venerable icon of public interest litigation in Nigeria. The book which focuses on the practice and procedure in human right litigation, is to the best of my well considered opinion, a well researched and comprehensive work on the subject. It is written in clear readable style that is quite informative. I believe that Legal Practitioners, Judges, Law students and  anyone  interested in human rights litigation and issues, will find it very useful. I warmly recommend it.

By Malachy Ugwumadu

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