Can I be refused exit from Nigeria

This right simply means the right to travel outside Nigeria. Before a Nigerian will travel outside the country, it is mandatory that he/she posses a valid international passport issued by the government of Nigeria. The implication is that every Nigeria citizen has the right to own a passport.

However, you must meet up with certain requirement in order to be issued a passport and the requirement must not be so tough in order to disqualify or discriminate certain classes of people.

However, it is important that before you can travel out of Nigeria, you must have a valid visa of the country of your destination. Visas are issued by embassies of the country which you intend to visit. Without a visa, visa on arrival or other satisfactory means of lawful travel, Nigerian authority may be justified in refusing you exit from Nigeria at the airport or certified place of departure.

When can my passport be withdrawn?

Despite that your passport is an integral aspect of your fundamental right to movement, it can be withdrawn from you as provided under the Passport (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act[1] on the following grounds if:

  • The passport is obtained by fraud;
  • The passport has expired;
  • A person unlawfully holds more than one passport at the same time; and
  • It is in the public interest to do so.

[1] Section 35(1)

I am going to ECOWAS Countries. I learnt that I don’t need visas. Any useful information?

Article 2(1) of the protocol to the ECOWAS treaty on free movement of persons, residence and establishment[1] gives community citizens “the rights to enter, reside and establish in the territory of member states”.

Such entry not more than ninety days should be free of visa requirement after which extension can only be granted by an authorized immigration official.

Note that you must possess a valid passport issued by a member state identifying you and on which immigration officials can make endorsement[2].

Kindly note, that one can still be refused entry if regarded as inadmissible Immigrant under its laws.[3]

[1] Official Journal of ECOWAS, Vol. 1, June 1979

[2] Article 1 & 3 of the Protocol

[3] Article 4 of the Protocol

On what grounds can my international passport be seized?

There is a difference between seizing a passport and withdrawing passport. While withdrawn can be permanent until you get another one, seizure is temporary and can be release at the appropriate time. Seizure applies mainly to restriction on the right of exit from Nigeria not movement within. A good example is the seizure of the passport of a criminal suspect, or convict, or his incarceration, although within limits and scope of the law.

 

Who can be extradited and what are the procedures?

Under a treaty or on the basis of reciprocity, a state can surrender to another, on its request, an accused person or convict for crimes committed in the requesting state. Extradition processes are carried out through diplomatic channels and the rational for this is that serious crimes committed in another state may not go unpunished.

A number of issues must be settled before extradition can take place.

  1. The person requested for must be extraditable
  2. There must be extraditable crime as provided in treaty/law

Such request may be refused if contrary to the terms of the treaty or related to political or military offences, or is contrary to the constitution or prejudicial to the national interest of the requested state.

 

Under what grounds an Immigrant can be refused entry or deported from Nigeria?

A non-national can only be expelled “by a virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law”. Under section 18 of the Immigration Act, the following prohibited immigrant cab be refused entry or deported from Nigeria:

  • Any person who is without visible means of supports or is likely to become a public charge;
  • Any idiot, insane person, or person suffering from any other mental disorder;
  • Any person convicted in any country of any crime wherever committed, which is an extradition crime within the provisions of the Extradition Act;
  • Any person whose admission would in the opinion of the Minister be contrary to the interest of national security;
  • Any person against whom an order of deportation from Nigeria is in force;
  • Any person who-
  1. Has not in his possession a valid passport; or
  2. Being a person under the age of sixteen years has not in his possession a valid passport or is unaccompanied by an adult on whose valid passport particulars of such person appear;
  • Any prostitute;
  • Any person who is or has been-
  1. A brothel keeper,
  2. A householder permitting the defilement of a young girl on his premises,
  • A person allowing a person under thirteen years of age to be in a brothel,
  1. A person causing or encouraging the seduction or prostitution of a girl under thirteen years of age,
  2. A person trading in prostitution, or
  3. A procurer

 

As a member of armed forces/police. Does the constitution permit me to be members of trade union?

Section II of the Trade Union Act make is unlawful for armed forces and police, the Nigerian security printing and minting company, prison services, customs preventive services, Central Bank of Nigeria, employees authorized to bear arms, including federal fire service among others to organize themselves or be members of trade union for the purpose of employment but can join consultative committees in their establishment. The justification for that of the armed forces and policy may be in the interest of public security and public order.

My right to assemble peacefully and associate (Introduction)

  • Introduction

This right is also very fundamental to the existence of every person. It’s important is so key that it is provided in many international, regional and national instruments/laws. We all want to assemble and associate in form of marriages, organizations’ membership, among others for the protection of our interests.

Section 40 of the 1999 constitution provides:

Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests.

 

This section provides two classes of right here.  They are your right to assemble and associate freely with other people.

However, any assembly that will infringe on public peace and order will be declared unconstitutional.

 

Can I carry out a peaceful protest?

It is allowed to carry out peaceful protest on acts that you feel is uncalled for. However, such protest must be peaceful or lawful. Any assembly which results in anti-social behavior would be unconstitutional as the rights of others and public order maybe affected.

 

Does my right to associate covers my right to choice of school?

Yes. It has been declared that the right to assemble freely and associate with others includes your choice of schools. However, you must meet the admission criteria of the school and abide by the school rules. There was a particular year a government circular was issued relating to the closure of private schools and indicated that only public schools would be allowed in the state, it was held to be contrary to the right to peaceful assembly and association.