CDHR decries absence of government-signed treaties record
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, (CDHR), yesterday expressed deep concerns over the embarrassing report that Nigeria does not have available, inclusive and updated record of treaties and conventions to which she is a signatory.
Speaking through its national president, Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu, after a sub-regional conference on Africa Industrialization Day, the rights group described the development as regrettable and unacceptable.
Ugwummadu, a human rights lawyer, wondered why a government would openly and gleefully tell her citizens in this age and time that it does not have a list of both multilateral and bilateral treaties, much less of a compendium.
In his view, somebody obviously is not doing his job. According to him, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice must be held responsible for this uninspiring and upsetting lapse because of the office he occupies.
Quoting Section 150 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, Ugwummadu said the Attorney-General, as the nation’s chief law officer should be a repository of all laws and legal instruments with a responsibility to advise government and its agencies on critical legal issues which also border on treaties, protocols, conventions and adjunct matters.
Anything to the contrary, he insisted, smacks of abdication of duties.
“What then is the quality of advice he gives if he does not have a record or register of treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory, he asked.
“ Treatise and conventions binding on Nigeria are not only gazetted but domesticated into the corpus of legislations pursuant to the requirements of Section 12 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. And these information are easily be accessed with the help of information technology,’’ the group noted.
Like most Nigerians, especially those in the human rights community, Ugwummadu believes that as a democratic country, Nigeria cannot afford to isolate herself from her legal obligations, international agreements, human rights treaties, conventions and related issues.
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