San Diego International Law Journal


Philip C. Aka

Document Type

Lead Article


This Article seeks to understand why much of the hope for improved human rights has remained unrealized. It has four parts, in addition to this introduction and a conclusion. Part II provides a definition of human rights, the history of these rights in Nigeria, and the machinery that has evolved over the years, all the way up to the Obasanjo presidency, for the enforcement of these rights. Part III describes the practice of human rights in Nigeria before 1999. The section integrates General Obasanjo's role and it points to the legacy of British colonialism in Nigeria as a major factor responsible for the country's poor human rights record. Part IV is an assessment, using various objective benchmarks, of General Obasanjo's human rights record since May 1999. Part V provides four explanations for the paradox symbolized in the coexistence of civil rule and unabated human rights violations in Nigeria since 1999.