decision in Abacha v Fawehinmi, in which the Nigerian Supreme Court held that the African Charter cannot be superior to the Constitution and upheld. Download Citation on ResearchGate | GANI FAWEHINMI V. GENERAL SANI ABACHA AND OTHERS: JUDICIAL ACTIVISM OR. General Sanni Abacha v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Supreme Court, 28 April General Sanni Abacha, Attorney-General of the Federation, State Security .

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The failure to fault this finding puts fawehimmi end to the case of the respondent on this complaint. Learned counsel calls in aid several legal authorities. In the circumstance, there was no detention order for consideration. The respondent, a legal practitioner, was arrested without warrant at his residence, No 9A, Ademola Close, G.

General Sanni Abacha & Ors V Chief Gani Fawehinmi

Nevertheless, for avoidance of doubt, a wider and embracing protection was given to acts done by the members of the executive during the period of military regime. This brings us to the cross-appeal. In the result, the appeal against the order of the lower court’s remitting the case to the trial court for consideration of the consequences of the respondent’s detention for the said four days fails, Undoubtedly, appellants’ issue No.

I am unable to agree with Mr. Baird supra and Sobhuza v.

fawehlnmi This amounts to breach of treaty obligation by Nigeria, which is a political rather than a judicial act. The Inspector-General of Police. Argument was canvassed at length on this by the appellant’s counsel.

I have carefully considered all that has been said by learned counsel for the parties on the status of the Charter as an international treaty entered into by our country. Learned cross-appellant’s counsel has urged that the phrase “if the Chief of Staff is satisfied” should be interpreted to mean “if the Chief of Staff has adequate reasons in fact to be satisfied”.


Learned counsel, in conclusion, urges us 10 hold that the lower court was in error when it applied the principles of international law in the interpretation of the municipal law between two citizens of a fadehinmi as that court lacked the competence to pronounce on the international matter before it. It was accepted by the learned counsel for the appellant who not only read it but also relied upon it to show the illegality of the arrest or detention of the appellant fawehin,i a few ahacha.

Every individual shall have the right to have his cause heard. The observation above did not arise out of any issue canvassed before the court below nor were arguments advanced on it.

Whether the court in taking judicial notice of the detention order was proper. Jayaratne AC 66 at pp.

Case Abacha v. Fawehinmi

See Schorsch Meier Gimbh v. Its sanction is not that of law, but that of sovereign power. Being so, therefore, I would think that if here is a conflict between it and another statue, its provisions will prevail over those of that other statue for the reason that it is presumed that the legislature does not intend to breach an international obligation.

The jurisprudence and practice of law in this country appears to be tolerably clear: Abscha have grave doubt that the court could do so.


Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person.


No doubt, the power donated herein is wide and startling. The respondent cross-appealed against those parts of the court below relating to. The application, by motion ex-purte for leave to enforce his fundamental rights, was brought pursuant to section 42 I of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of NigeriaOrder I Rule 2 I. For avoidance of doubt, the Constitution abaca categorically in its chapter I.

It is, perhaps, desirable at this juncture to consider the landmark decision of the English House of Lords in Liversidge v. The Fundamental Rights in the Constitution certainly gave effect to the Charter before that: But rather, unlike a mere contract, being a treaty creating benefits to individuals in a state can be enforced in the municipal courts of that state, relying on the cases of Application des Gaz SA v.

Had the order been signed by the Chief of General Staff, I would not have hesitated in declaring it void as his power to issue such an order hall been taken away by Decree No, 24 of Treaties formed no part of domestic law unless enacted by the legislature.

It is exquisitely clear to me, reading the said ground of appeal either alone or together with its particulars.