the Charter. In this case, the fundamental rights in question are those to life and liberty provided for in Articles 4 and 6 of the African Charter. While punishments decreed as the culmination of a carefully conducted criminal procedure do not necessarily constitute violations of these rights, to foreclose any avenue of appeal to "competent national organs" in criminal cases bearing such penalties clearly violates Article 7.1.a of the African Charter, and increases the risk that severe violations may go unredressed. 14. The Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Section 8(1), describes the constitution of the tribunals, which shall consist of three persons; one Judge, one officer of the Army, Navy or Air Force and one officer of the Police Force. Jurisdiction has thus been transferred from the normal courts to a tribunal chiefly composed of persons belonging to the executive branch of government, the same branch that passed the Robbery and Firearms Decree, whose members do not necessarily possess any legal expertise. Article 7.1.d of the African Charters requires the court or tribunal to be impartial. Regardless of the character of the individual members of such tribunals, its composition alone creates the appearance, if not actual lack, of impartiality. It thus violates Article 7.1.d. Holding For the above reasons, the Commission Declares that there has been a violation of Article 7 (1) (a), (c) and (d) of the African Charter; and Recommends that the Government of Nigeria should free the Complainants. At the 17th Session the Commission decided to bring the file to Nigeria for the planned mission in order to verify that the violations have been released. 2

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