129/94 : Civil Liberties Organisation / Nigeria Summary of Facts 1. The communication is filed by the Civil Liberties Organisation, a Nigerian NGO. The communication alleges that the military government of Nigeria has enacted various decrees in violation of the African Charter, specifically the Constitution (Suspension and Modification) Decree No. 107 of 1993, which not only suspends the Constitution but also specifies that no decree promulgated after December 1983 can be examined in any Nigerian Court; and the Political Parties (Dissolution) Decree No. 114 of 1993, which in addition to dissolving political parties, ousts the jurisdiction of the courts and specifically nullifies any domestic effect of the African Charter. 2. The communication complains that the ousting of the jurisdiction of the courts in Nigeria to adjudicate the legality of any decree threatens the independence of the judiciary and violates Article 26 of the African Charter. 3. The communication also complains that this ouster of the jurisdiction of the courts deprives Nigerians of their right to seek redress in the courts for government acts that violate their fundamental rights, in violation of Article 7.1.a of the African Charter. Procedure 4. The complaint is dated 31st December 1993. th 5. On 29 July 1994 a copy of the communication was sent to the State concerned for its comments. th 6. On 9 August 1994, a letter was sent to the Complainant requesting copies of the decrees in question. th 7. At the 16 Ordinary Session of the Commission, the communication was declared admissible. th 8. On 10 January 1995, the parties were informed of the admissibility decision. Law Admissibility 9. The communication meets all the specifications for admissibility set out in Article 56 of the Charter. With specific reference to Article 56.5, the Commission accepted the Complainant’s argument that since the decrees complained of oust the jurisdiction of the courts to adjudicate their validity, “it is reasonable to presume that domestic remedies will not only be prolonged but are certain to yield no results.” Merits 10. Article 7 of the African Charter provides: 1) Every individual shall have the right to have his cause heard. This comprises: a) The right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts violating his fundamental rights as guaranteed by conventions, law, regulations and customs in force. 11. The Constitution (Suspension and Modification) Decree 1993, (5) reads:

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