Background Study of The Fundament Human Right Of Expression

The right of expression and the press is one of the inalienable rights a citizen can enjoy because he is a human being. Generally, fundamental human rights are rights enjoyed by the citizens of a particular country. Internationally and nationally, the need to protect and promote the human rights of citizens is not only recognized as the foundation of freedom and justice but as an integral and essential element for the preservation of peace, not only within the geographical entity of a particular state but also university.



It is for this reason that human rights have not only engaged or attracted the attention of the world community but have “In recent past penetrated the international dialogue become an active ingredient in interstate relations and has burst the sacred bounds of national sovereignty.

Furthermore, it has been observed that there is always a contention whenever the question of human rights is discussed as regards its enforceability. Many persons have contradicted themselves with the notion that the Human Right of the citizens are non Justiciable not knowing that the fundamental rights as guaranteed by the constitution are enforceable while the fundamental objectives provided in chapter 2 of the Constitution are not enforceable.

Roles Of Fundament Human Right Of Expression

Freedom of expression as one of the fundamental rights of a citizen is inherent and intrinsic to all beings. It goes to the root of human civilization and enlightenment.

Today, virtually every social Covenant acknowledges the fundamental nature of this right and asserts the right to freedom of speech or expression. According to Euripides “it is slavery not to speak one thought”. John Milton in the same vein said “Give me the liberty to know, to alter and to urge freely according to conscience, above all liberties”.

Freedom of expression was emphasized by the one-time president of the Philippines Corazon Aquino when he said “Freedom of expression particularly, freedom of the press guarantees popular participation in the decisions and an action of the government and popular participation which is the essence of our democracy”.

However, freedom of expression ranks high as one of the fundamental rights because of the benefit to the individuals as well as to the government and the society at large. Freedom of expression is the foundation of western and American democracy and that is why the press is regarded as the “Forth Estate of the Realm” after the three arms of government.

No wonder, in section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the role of the press is emphasized. Section 39 of the same constitution  provided that every citizen has the fundamental right to expression, to impact ideas and opinions including the right to own, establish and operate an institution for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions.

In conclusion, freedom of expression and the press constitutes the cornerstone of any democracy and a solid basis for development in all ramifications. Indeed, participatory democracy is inconceivable without freedom of expression and as democracy is all about transparency, accountability and good governance, freedom of expression is indispensable and inevitable to achieve such.

Problems Of Fundamental Human Right of Expression

Nigeria though practicing democracy is not yet a free and open society despite its heterogeneous nature.  However, several press organizations in Nigeria lack complete freedom despite the constitutional provision for rights to expression and the proliferation of press organizations.

It, therefore, becomes imperative to properly balance the misconception that arose as a result of the restriction or limitation on freedom of expression and the press and issues on how the press (Social Media) has guaranteed freedom of expression in Nigeria.

To this end, this study will review the freedom of information Act, Nigeria television Act, Newspaper Act and the attitude of the government towards this right.

This study will give a general overview of the practice of the right of expression within Nigerian jurisdiction with emphasis on various challenges facing it.

The objective of the Study

The aims and objectives of the study are:

1. To examine The Challenges Facing the Modern Social Media System in Nigeria.

2. To examine the Solution to the Challenges Facing the Modern Social Media System in Nigeria

Research Question  

  • What are the activities of the press in promoting the right to freedom of expression and the press in Nigeria?
  • What are the challenges facing the modern social media system in Nigeria?

Research Methodology

The doctrinal method of research was adopted in this work. There will also be a review of primary and secondary materials relevant to this research.  Those materials include the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Freedom of information Act, 2011. Case Laws, articles/journals etc.

Significance of the Study 

This study is very important and beneficial in many ways. It will help educate Nigerians more on their fundamental human rights vis-à-vis right to expression and the press. This is because most of the cases relating to the abuse of freedom of expression arose as a result of ignorance.

 Moreover, it will also imbibe in the mind of the reader and the general public adequate knowledge of the constitutional foundation of human rights in Nigeria. This study will examine the various remedies available to aggrieved persons in enforcing their rights of expression and offer solutions to the impediments of rights to freedom of expression.

 In conclusion, this study also provides the roles of the press (social media) in ensuring freedom of expression.

Scope of the Study

This work is restricted to Nigeria though, through the discus, other jurisdictions by way of comparison will be brought in. This work is designed to analyze the right to freedom of expression under the 1999 constitution and the issues of social media in Nigeria.

  Moreover, these studies will periscope the various concepts, sources and development of the right of expression in Nigeria and its curtailment in both the military and civilian regime.

Limitation of the Study

This work is accompanied by many challenges which include lack of funds, time factor which resulted due to the ASUU strike that was embarked on, the outbreak of Covid-19 and inadequate research materials. Given the nature of this topic, much time was not given to widely research, compare and analyze notes with other jurisdictions, these and many others are the limitations of the study.