Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has observed that the realisation of civil and political rights of Nigerians without the enjoyment of the affiliated economic, social and cultural rights, would be impossible as according to him human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent.
Malami made the pronouncement while delivering a keynote address at the 3rd annual lecture series organised by the Epiphany Azinge Foundation with the theme “Nigeria–40 years of engagement with fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy,” held Wednesday at the Yar-Adua Centre, Abuja.
This was contained in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant, Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and made available to newsmen Thursday.
Describing the provision of social, economic and cultural rights as form of social contract between government and the people, the minister said the provisions of those rights will avail every Nigerian citizen the acceptable yardstick for assessing the performance of government and its political parties.
Malami, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General of the Federation, Adedayo Toba Apata, said that there was the need for the enlargement of human rights concepts in which economic, social and cultural rights are duly incorporated in Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as justiciable rights.
According to him, doing that will clearly be in tune with the progressive global trend that have drifted to the justiciability of socio-economic rights of the citizens, such as the Optional Protocol on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 2008.
“It is therefore my submission, that though the Chapter II Rights retains their toga of non-justiciability, the Courts including the Supreme Court have made several pronouncements on the need to observe and implement the provisions of the fundamental objectives that incorporate the social contract between the people and their government,” he said.