The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Mukhtar, will preside over the launching of the book ‘Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa’ on August 18.
The book, written by Kolawole Olaniyan of Amnesty International, and which will be presented in London would also have in attendance Abdul Tijan-Cole, Executive Director, Open Society Initiative for West Africa and Robert Eno, Chief Registrar, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“The book provides a framework for complementarity between promoting and protecting human rights and combating corruption, where it makes three major points regarding the relationship between corruption and human rights law,” the organizers of the launch said in a statement.
“First, corruption per se is a human rights violation, insofar as it interferes with the right of the people to dispose of their natural wealth and resources and thereby increases poverty and frustrates socio-economic development. Second, corruption leads to a multitude of human rights violations.
“Third, the book demonstrates that human rights mechanisms have the capacity to provide more effective remedies to victims of corruption than can other criminal and civil legal mechanisms,” the statement said.
“The book takes up one of the pervasive problems of governance – large-scale corruption – to examine its impact on human rights and the degree to which a human rights approach to confronting corruption can buttress the traditional criminal law response.
“It examines three major aspects of human rights in practice – the importance of governing structures in the implementation and enjoyment of human rights, the relationship between corruption, poverty and underdevelopment, and the threat that systemic poverty poses to the entire human rights edifice.
“The book is a very significant contribution to the literature on good governance, human rights and the rule of law in Africa,” the statement added.
Dinah Shelton, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law (emeritus), at the George Washington University Law School, who wrote a Foreword to the book said: “The recommendations [contained in the book] are thoughtful and serious and should be taken up by regional and global institutions, including financial institutions. As the medical profession has long known and practised, prevention is always better than cure.”
Also attending the book launch are Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti State governor who is also the chief launcher; Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos; Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer; Ekpo Nta, Chair, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC; Akin Oyebode, a Professor of Law at the University of Lagos; Lawal Pedro, Lagos State Solicitor General; Dupe Atoki, the Director-General Consumer Protection Council; and Nuhu Ribadu, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Other invited guests include Oluwole Smith, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, UNILAG; Ayo Atsenuwa, a Professor of Law at UNILAG; Professor Anya Anya; Femi Adesina, President, Nigeria Guild of Editors; Lai Muhammed, All Progressives Congress National Publicity Secretary; Kole Shetimma, Africa Director, MacArthur Foundation; Innocent Chukwuma, Representative, Ford Foundation; and Gbolahan Gbadamosi, National Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association.
Mr. Olaniyan, Legal Adviser in Amnesty International’s International Secretariat, London, was the Program Director for Africa between 2004 and 2007.
He received his doctoral degree from the Law School of University of Notre Dame, USA in 2003 and has written extensively on corruption and African regional human rights system.