Abeg, dem fit ban we common people sey make we no dey get tori for any radio, television, paper, blog, magazine again?

The freedom wey the press get to pass on information go dey uselss if members of the public no go fit receive such information. People get right go get information from sources like the radio, newspapers, television, online media, museums, libraries dem.

If we dey write as we like, open our mouth like basket, weting we no suppose write or do make gbege no happen?

As our right to freedom of expression be, e no be right wey nobody fit checkmate. The limit of the right n aim dey down wey we talk below:

  1. State Privilege

This one na the right wey state get through dem officials, agents make dem no release evidence wey be sey if dem release am for open court, it go affect dem public interest.”[1] Our Evidence Act self no gree make dem disclose official document wey dem never publish except sey dem don get permission from the Oga wey head the department wehere the document dey come from;[2] or disclose communication wey dem make under official confidence wey no dey for public interets;[3] or make dem go produce document wey dey with an officer of govement which dem no suppose produce.[4] All the documents wey we dey talk no be like corruption document o bcos journalist get right to expose corrupt people dem

  1. Official Secret
  • Contempt of Court

For us to get good administration of justice from our courts, we no suppose dey interfere wrongly on matter wey dey court in way wey fit hinder court to do beta job[5]. Contempt of court wey mean disrespect to court fit be civil or criminal matter. Criminal contempt na the one wey pesin don interefere for administration of justice. And dem fit use Contempt proceeding for court to punish offender and to for other to learn. Our people for media, make we avoid all wetin we list for here:

  1. Publications wey dey harmful to a fair criminal matter for court;
  2. Publications wey dey harmful to a fair civil matter for court;
  3. Publication wey go humiliate or dishonour the court;
  4. Disrecpect for the face of the court;
  5. Conduct wey go interfere justcice.

 

 

 

  1. Obscene and harmful publications

The reason wey dem dey restrict obscene and harmful publications na because of the interest of public morality. Obscene publications wey we dey talk fit be pornography, erotic realism, and other erotica.

  1. Defamation:

To insult or smear people wey dem dey call defamation fit happen like a statement wey rubbish the reputation of pesin and the statement com lower im reputation among people wey fit make people dey shun or avoid am. [6] Dem go call am defamation if the publication go do the following:

  1. Low the pesin among right thinking members of the society generally; or
  2. It go expose am to hatred, ridicule or contempt; or
  3. It go make others shun or avoid him; or
  4. It go discredit am in his office, grade or profession; or
  5. It go injure his financial credit.

As we don talk am, defamation fit be civil and criminal in nature. Criminal defamation as e dey for criminal code talk sey:

…matter we likely go injure the reputation of another like e go expose am to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or go likely damage pesin for im profession or trade na injury to im reputation.[7]

Before pesin go sey dem don defame am , the following suppose don happene:

  1. The words wey dem use against am go dey offensive and insultive ;
  2. The words wey dem use must refer to the pesin wey sey dem don defame am
  3. The words wey dem use against am must dey published wher people go see am.

Make we no forget sey defamation fit happen either fot libel, wey be publication of defamatory statement for print, online or wey den for written form. E fit be slander, wey be spoken words, conduct or other translator form.

 

Lastly as we wan match brake on this right, generally for law of tort, if somebody sey dem defame am and journalist come get justification  of truth meaning sey wetin e publish, na true e happen, the journalist go get good defence o. A good example be sey dem publish sey pesin na thief. E com sey dem don defame am. At the end the journalist get document/evidence wey confirm true true sey the peson don thief, the journalist go get justification be dat.

[1] Osibajo & Fogam, Nigerian Media Law, p. 150

[2] Section 166 of the Evidence Act

[3] Section 166 of the Evidence Act

[4] Section 167 of the Evidence Act

[5] See Osinbajo and Forgam, op cit, under Limitation to the right of freedom of expression

[6] Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort, Swet & Maxwell, 1984, 12th ed. P. 293

[7] Section 373 of the Criminal code

I get right to practice religion wey I like?

Becos sey religious believe na sensitive mata wey dey arguable, the courts no dey inquire weda the religion wey everybody dey claim na true or na lie.[1]

Justice Ayoola when he still dey Supreme Court of Nigeria come explain sey this right dem no suppose prevent anybody to dey enjoy am except sey reason wey law recognize. He sey people get right to choose their belief dem must not force anybody against wetin e no belief for his religion. But this right get limitation if if pesin dey use am violate rights of others or when e fit bring danger to the society.[2]

[1] Church of the New Faith v. Commissioner of Pay Roll Tax (1983) 57 ALJR 785

[2] Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal v. Okonkwo (2001) 10 WRN 1 SC at 41

I fit change my religion or belief anyday I want?

The constitution give everybody power to change dem religion if dem wan change their religion or beliefs. This one dey for section 38 for our 1999 Constitution

I fit live my life the way my religion talk am and I fit share my religion with other people wey I like?

Yes. Every pesin fit preach and share dem religion through worship like music, teaching, ceremonial event, through kind cloth wey members of one religion dey wear, if dem dey cover head, if na particular language dem dey use and many ways wey dem dey take promote their religion.[1]

All ways wey everybody they promote dem religion our law allow but the law no go gree if e go cause danger or violate rights of other people.

[1] Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights C.C PR/C/21/Rev:1Add 4 adopted July 20 1993, reprinted in HRLJ 15. (1994)

Tell me o. church or mosques fit open school dey teach people their religion?

Section 38(3) for our constitution talk sey:

Make dem no stop any religion community or any religion group wey wan dey provide religious instruction for students forv that community or religion group for a place of education wey be sey na the religion community or group dey start and dey maintain that kind place of education.

For here, religious institution get power to give religious instructions in school wey dem establish which also mean sey dem get power to establish school. Court for many years ago don declare sey the action of one state for Nigeria no follow constitution when the state go send circular wey dey suggest sey only government school fit operate for the state.[1]

[1] Adewole v. Jakande (1981) 1 NCLR 262; See also Okogie (Arch Bishop) v. Attorney General Lagos State (1981) 1 NCLR

If na my rights to worship wetin my mind tell me, I fit join dem secret society?

Our law don sey to join secret cult, na crime for Nigeria.

Section38(4)for our constitution come talk sey:

Nothing wey dey for the provision of the constitution go gree make anyone go form, partake or go join secret society.

Wetin this law dey talk be sey, secret society no dey recognize as a religion for Nigeria and no body go fit sey e join bcos na im right to religion or wetin e belief.