Litigating Right to Healthy Environment in Nigeria: An Examination of the Impacts of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, in Ensuring Access to Justice for Victims of Environmental Degradation
Emeka Polycarp Amechi
Lajugad Africa Solution CC
Nigeria like most other African countries is presently experiencing severe environmental degradation and uncontrolled depletion of its natural resources. Such degradation has had adverse consequences on the health and well-being of Nigerian citizens including their enjoyment of the right to a healthy environment. The degrading state of Nigeria’s environment is not due to lack of regulatory frameworks but as a result of lack of political will to enforce environmental regulations in Nigeria.Hence, in most instances of environmental degradation, the only option left to victims is to petition the court for appropriate relief. However, this route is fraught with many procedural injustices that have contrived in denying access to justice for many victims of environmental degradation. It is in the light of this that the adoption of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, which provide rules of procedure for the enforcement of fundamental rights in Nigeria, is germane to victims of environmental degradation. This article examines the impacts of the Rules in ensuring access to justice for victims of environmental degradation in Nigeria.
Access to justice, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification) Act, environmental degradation, Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, justiciability, locus standi, Nigeria, Nigerian constitution, right to a healthy environment.