If your rights have been violated or if there is a threat to violate or likelihood of violating your rights then you can go to court and start the process of making an Enforcement of Fundamental Rights claim.
Who can start a Fundamental Rights claim?
Based on the provisions in the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Rules, Section 3(e), the followings persons or organizations can take legal action:
It is important to identify who you can take legal action against because suing the wrong party (person) could make you lose your case.
Who can I take legal action against? It is important to identify who you can take legal action against because suing the wrong party (person) could make you lose your case.
It is only the government and its agents that can be taken to court on human rights violations. Individuals and private companies cannot be taken to court under this procedure.
If your rights are violated by private individuals and companies, you report these violations to the relevant government authorities. Where the government fails to do its work, they have failed in their duty to enforce human rights protection and you can take legal action against these authorities for their failure.
Where can I take legal action? Only at the Federal High Court or State High Court.
Order II Rule 1 of the FREP Rule 2009
Any person who alleges that any of the Fundamental Rights made available in the Nigerian Constitution or the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act and to which he is entitled, has been, is being, or is likely to be infringed, may apply to the Court in the State where the infringement occurs or likely to occur, for redress; and by the proviso to this Rule, where the infringement occurs in a State which has no Division of the Federal High Court, the Division of the Federal High Court Administratively responsible for the State shall have jurisdiction. Any person whose fundamental right has been breached, is being breached or is likely to be breached, may apply to a High Court of in that State for enforcement of his rights
However, in a matter in which the Federal Government or any of its agencies is involved, the Federal High Court will be the right court at which to start your action.
The steps involved are as follows:
In order for your action to stand a chance at being successful, you need to ensure that you are able to provide evidence in support of your allegations.
Without evidence, it would be difficult to win a case. Therefore, to prove that your rights have been violated, you as the victim could provide different forms of evidence, such as:
There are practical aspects which are relevant to think about when deciding if to take legal action: