Expulsion Of ECOWAS Citizens Under The Buhari Regime (1983-85): Legal And Economic Perspectives

  • J Okoro Institute of Public Policy and Administration, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Keywords: Illegal, aliens, expulsion, immigration, obligation, multilateral


The spate of insecurity to life and property in which many countries find themselves today is a primary concern of not only the national governments, but also the international community. The latest terrorist attack of the United States' World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. on September 11, 2002 raises an important question about the security of many countries against internal and external attacks. Apart from terrorist activities, the security of many countries is also seriously threatened by a variety of reported cases of drug, currency, human trafficking and dumping of toxic wastes across national boundaries. The suspension of these criminal acts depends to a large extent on the Immigration laws and other regulations of countries on the movement of persons and goods across national borders. The paper will discuss the legal (from ECOWAS Treaty and its relevant protocols) and economic perspectives with regard to Nigeria's expulsion of ECOWAS Citizens under the Buhari regime, 1983-1995. Efforts will be made to examine the following questions which the author believes are of continuing interest: a) To what extent did Nigeria's efforts to regulate the movement of ECOWAS citizens across her borders violate its commitment to ECOWAS Treaty on movement of persons and goods? b) To what extent did Nigeria accept limitation on her right to regulate same? c) In what ways did Nigeria's economic security interest a major factor in controlling the movement of persons into Nigeria?
The purpose of the paper is three-fold. First, it seeks to take a cursory look at the conflict between the Nigerian constitutional provisions and the country's legal and moral obligations to the ECOWAS Treaty. Second, it will attempt to show through a discussion of how Nigeria can manage the tight-rope road of observing the provisions of the ECOWAS Treaty without at the same time sacrificing its sovereignty. The paper concludes that the rationale for the expulsion of the so-called illegal aliens from Nigeria by the Buhari regime was motivated by the problem of enforcement of the provisions of ECOWAS Treaty on movement of persons within the West African sub-region.
KEY WORDS: Illegal, aliens, expulsion, immigration, obligation, multilateral.
Global Journal of Social Sciences Vol.3(1&2) 2004: 21-27

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