Forced eviction is forbidden by a plethora of international treaties particularly International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) ratified by Nigeria in 1993. Beyond this, it violates the rights to life, dignity and privacy guaranteed by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Right to life is a fundamental right in the absence of which other rights make no sense. Life has been interpreted by the Human Right Committee of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also ratified by Nigeria, to be broad requiring positive steps by the state.
Realizing this right will require Nigerian government to ensure protection of unintentional loss of life and taking steps to increase life expectancy. Forced eviction from means of livelihood is nothing but violation of right to life as it leads to unemployment and cumulatively reduces life span more so in the face of the present economic crises.
Dignity, an inherent right of every human, is the foundation of all the other rights and creates obligation through the prohibition of degrading and inhuman treatment. Much as government has a duty of governance, its actions shall be humane as provided by section 17(2) (c) of the Nigerian Constitution. The present demolition and eviction like others before it is inhumane, forced and devoid of victim’s participation. The appropriate action by the government would have been to follow due process of law or, at worst, relocate and compensate these Nigerians whom the constitution accords right to dignity. The situation is worsened by the fact that these people paid taxes/rates on tho