United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

11 March 1996


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 112 (c)


            [on the report of the Third Committee (A/50/635/Add.3)]

            50/199.  Situation of human rights in Nigeria

      The General Assembly,

      Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights,  1/ the International Covenants on
Human Rights,  2/ the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action  3/ and other human rights instruments,

      Reaffirming that all Member States have the duty to fulfil the
obligations they have freely undertaken under the various
international instruments in this field,

      Mindful that Nigeria is a party to the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, 2/

      Expressing concern that the absence of representative government
in Nigeria has led to violations of human rights and fundamental
freedoms, and recalling in this regard the popular support for
democratic rule as evidenced in the 1993 elections,

      Noting with interest that the Government of Nigeria, on 1 October
1995, affirmed the principle of multi-party democracy, announcing its
intent to accept the principle of power-sharing, lift the ban on
political activity and the press, devolve power to local levels of
government and subordinate the military to civilian authority, but
disappointed that only limited action in this regard has followed,

      Noting with alarm the recent arbitrary executions of nine
persons, namely Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinem Kiobel, Saturday Dobee,
Paul Levura, Nordu Eawo, Felix Nwate, Daniel Gbokoo, John Kpuimen and
Baribor Bera,

      Noting the decision of the heads of Government of the
Commonwealth countries to suspend Nigeria from membership in the

      Noting also the decisions of the European Union, as well as those
of other States or groups of States with regard to Nigeria,

      Deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Nigeria and
the suffering caused thereby to the people of Nigeria,

      1.    Condemns the arbitrary execution, after a flawed judicial
process, of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight co-defendants, and emphasizes
that everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be
presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public
trial with all the guarantees necessary for defence;

      2.    Expresses its deep concern about other violations of human
rights and fundamental freedoms in Nigeria, and calls upon the
Government of Nigeria urgently to ensure their observance, in
particular by restoring habeas corpus, releasing all political
prisoners, guaranteeing freedom of the press and ensuring full respect
for the rights of all individuals, including trade unionists and
persons belonging to minorities;

      3.    Calls upon the Government of Nigeria to abide by its freely
undertaken obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights and other international instruments on human rights;

      4.    Urges the Government of Nigeria to take immediate and
concrete steps to restore democratic rule;

      5.    Welcomes the decisions by the Commonwealth and other States
individually or collectively to take various actions designed to
underline to the Government of Nigeria the importance of return to
democratic rule and observance of human rights and fundamental
freedoms, and expresses the hope that these actions and other possible
actions by other States, consistent with international law, will
encourage the Government of Nigeria to achieve that specific purpose;

      6.    Invites the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-second
session to give urgent attention to the situation of human rights in
Nigeria, and recommends, in this regard, that its relevant mechanisms,
in particular the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or
arbitrary executions, report to the Commission prior to its fifth-
third session;

      7.    Requests the Secretary-General, in the discharge of his good
offices mandate and in cooperation with the Commonwealth, to undertake
discussions with the Government of Nigeria and to report on progress
in the implementation of the present resolution and on the
possibilities for the international community to offer practical
assistance to Nigeria in achieving the restoration of democratic rule.

                                                          99th plenary meeting
                                                              22 December 1995


1/          Resolution 217 A (III).

2/          Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

3/          A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

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