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An appraisal of the rights of the niger-delta peoples over natural resources under the African charter on human and peoples’ rights

Emmanuel Ibiam Amah


The people of the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria have persistently demanded for the control of the natural resources being exploited in their territory by oil companies pursuant to the powers granted to them by the federal government of Nigeria. They decry the deleterious impact of resources exploitation on their environment and livelihoods. They decry lack of benefit from the proceeds of exploitation. They have most often founded their demand on the provisions of international and regional human rights legal instruments. This article based on doctrinal research methodology examined the contentions of the Niger-Delta peoples of Nigeria and the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples‟ Rights, decisions of the African Commission on Human Rights and other relevant materials and concluded that the rights enshrined therein enure to the benefit of the Niger-Delta peoples‟ of Nigeria. It called on the Nigerian government to fast track legislative and policy reforms aimed at realizing the rights of the Niger-Delta peoples‟ as guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples‟ Rights.

Keywords: “Natural Resources”, “Exploitation”, “Ownership”, “Rights of Peoples”.