African Peer Review Mechanism Report: Nigeria

African Peer Review Mechanism Country Review Report #8: Federal Republic of Nigeria

Additional country reports available at:

hat tip to Birgit Calhoun

Excerts from the foreword:

Six years ago, African Heads of State and Government came up with a jointly crafted and broadly supported agenda for advancing the basic values of democracy and good governance which together constitute the key requirements for the sustainable economic growth and development of their countries. The continental agenda, designated as the ‘African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)’, has grown from strength to strength.

This Report candidly elucidates the challenges Nigeria faces, including managing its diversity in nation-building, reducing the country’s over-dependence on oil and providing public services to its 140 million inhabitants. The Report also recognises the sound initiatives that have been taken with a view to addressing these challenges. Notably, the Federal Character principle and the Council of State initiative, which are enshrined in the country’s constitution, are already yielding tangible results in nation-building. Nigeria has also made commendable efforts in tackling corruption through the establishment of institutions such as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). The Report has highlighted the remarkable leadership shown by President Yar’Adua in not only adhering to the constitutional requirements to declare his assets and liabilities before the Code of Conduct Bureau, but also going beyond the call of duty and making his declaration public. It is hoped that this example will be emulated at all levels of the public service and among ordinary citizens, for the betterment of the country.

We are convinced that the APRM will play a significant role in promoting courageous reforms that are needed to bring about changes in the political and economic environments of our countries, and in the living conditions of our populations. It is gratifying to note that, to date, 29 members of the African Union are currently participating in the APRM.

Briefing Paper on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Chathan House  Briefing Paper on the African Court on Human and People’s Rights. Chathan House is a UK based NGO focusing on internatioanl affairs.

Africa’s New Human Rights Court: Whistling in the Wind?

Sonya Sceats

March 2009




Summary of the briefing

_ Human rights abuses on a massive scale continue to afflict the lives of millions of

people across the continent of Africa. As in other parts of the world, the obstacles

in pursuing justice are currently insurmountable for most victims.


_ Against this troubling backdrop, the African Union (AU) has decided to add a

human rights section to its new court which has been agreed upon but not yet set

up. This court is called the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.


_ In the meantime, another pan-African human rights court, the African Court on

Human and Peoples’ Rights, has recently opened in Arusha, Tanzania. This court will

be wound down to make way for the African Court of Justice and Human Rights but

is expected to operate for the next few years at least.


_ These two courts represent the third instalment in efforts since the Second World

War to create regional human rights courts. Because they have broad powers to

enforce socio-economic rights and the collective rights of peoples, they may be

setting an example for new developments around the world.


_ This briefing paper focuses on the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, but it

also explains key features of the interim African Court on Human and Peoples’

Rights. It addresses questions including:

_ Can victims of human rights abuses bring cases?

_ Will the Court be able to try African heads of state?

_ Will governments comply with judgments?