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Implementation of treaty as basis for regional cooperation <i>vis-à-vis</i> absolute sovereignty: Nigeria in perspective

M.I. Anushiem
Kingsley C. Ehujuo


Virtually all states of the world belong to some regional cooperation organization and nearly all regions of the world have at least one organization, which aims, inter alia, at establishing a free trade area amongst its members, promotion of economic integration, monetary integration, improvement of regional infrastructure for communication, transport and energy systems, regional security and natural resource management. In this process of cooperation and integration, States voluntarily limit their sovereignty and hand over part of their decision-making powers to a supranational level and establish a new level of political power, which supersedes the State. Compromising State authority is, however, not a new phenomenon. States have limited their powers throughout their history both voluntarily and involuntarily, for example, by signing international treaties. This paper explores the concepts of regional cooperation and sovereignty with a focus on treaty as the basis for regional and international relations. The paper reviews section 12 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) in relation to the promotion of absolute sovereignty. The researchers also examine the constitutional implications of some domesticated treaties and the attitude of Nigerian courts in the implementation of treaty obligations. The writers adopt doctrinal, analytical and jurisprudential approach with the use of statutes, case law, related literatures, journal articles and certain international conventions. At the end, the writers conclude that it is manifest from the relevant provisions of the Constitutions x-rayed in this paper that the nation’s sovereignty is more important and is ascribed greater primus than any cooperation scheme whatsoever. The writers recommend that the Constitution be amended to incorporate a role for either Houses of the National Assembly in the making or ratification process of treaty in a manner similar to what obtains in the United States of America and Ghana.

Keywords: International Law, Implementation of Treaty, Regional Cooperation, Absolute Sovereignty