Freedom of Expression and The Press Under Nigeria Law

The right of expression and the press as a fundamental human right in Nigeria is one of the inalienable rights a citizen can enjoy by virtue of the fact that he is a human being, It could be traced to the 1960 Independence Constitution and subsequently those that followed it.



The Independence Constitution of 1960 and the Republican Constitution of 1963, have provisions for the protection of fundamental human rights. While the 1979 and the 1999 constitution went further by providing a bill of rights.

The provision of human rights in our constitution was geared toward creating a society that protects political freedom as well as the social and economic well being of Nigerian.

However, section 39 (1) which provides that “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference” has been curtailed in both the military and civilian regimes with a lot of limitations which prevents the concept of freedom of expression and the press from being enjoyed well in our country, Nigeria. 

Purpose Of Freedom of Expression

The purpose of this post is to help the masses to know their rights when it comes to the Right to freedom of expression and the press and possibly the way to enforce it when there is a breach of that right.

This study examines the legal framework of human rights within which freedom of expression and press is derived in Nigeria. It gives insight into the genesis of the right of expression and the press in modern society and studies the role of the press (social Media) in ensuring or guaranteeing the freedom of expression, it also examines the challenges facing the modern social media system in Nigeria.

Limitations

The limitations to the right to freedom of expression and the press are also considered and the practical relevance of social justice in the enforcement of this right in Nigeria also forms part of the Study. The doctrinal method of research was adopted in this work.

This research work observed that some provisions of the Penal Code on sedition are couched in such a general language that portends the likelihood of being abused by persons in authority.

Observation

It also observed that the supervisory power given to the minister of information under the National Broadcasting Commission Act are too wide and are capable of occasioning injustice to the extent of downplaying the right to expression of those media/communication outfits whose policies are not in agreement with that of the government of the Federation.

The paper concludes by suggesting that there is a need to amend our statute books on the offence of sedition and that government should put in place sound regulation to ensure the entrenchment of morals in all means of information and communication.

There is also the need for the government to support the independence of the National Human Rights Commission to enable it to achieve its laudable objective.

I hope this article helped you?