• Overcoming the (non)justiciable Conundrum: The Doctrine of Harmonious Construction and the Interpretation of the Right to a Healthy Environment in Nigeria

      Ako, Rhuks; Stewart, Ngozi; Ekhator, Eghosa O.; University of Hull; University of Benin; University of Chester (Springer, 2015-12-13)
      The legal framework regulating socio-economic rights in Nigeria is ambiguous. These rights, listed under Section II of the constitution titled Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles, are non-justiciable by virtue of section 6(6)(c) of the constitution. However, Nigeria as a dualist state has adopted (ratified and domesticated) the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (African Charter) in accordance with relevant constitutional provisions. Therefore, the provisions of the African Charter are (arguably) part and parcel of Nigeria’s laws, thus ‘justiciable’. This paper aims to critically examine the status of the socio-economic rights in Nigeria, specifically the right to a healthy environment. With extant literature arguing either for or against the existence of the right to a healthy environment in Nigeria this paper adopts a holistic approach by critically considering both sides of the argument. Premised on the doctrine of harmonious construction, the paper aims suggest a means to end the debate that currently the surrounds the existence and (non)justiciable nature of the ‘right’ to a healthy environment in Nigeria.