National President, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu, has expressed worry over what it described as an embarrassing report that Nigeria lacks available, inclusive and updated record of treaties and conventions to which she is a signatory.
Ugwummadu, who said this at a sub-regional conference on Africa Industrialization Day, described the development as regrettable and unacceptable.
According to him, why would a government openly and gleefully tell her citizens in this age and time that it does not have a list of both multilateral and bilateral treaties, much less of a compendium.
He said: “Somebody obviously is not doing his job. The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice must be held responsible for this uninspiring and upsetting lapse because of the office he occupies.”
Quoting Section 150 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, Ugwummadu said the Attorney-General, as the nation’s Chief Law Officer should be a repository of all laws and legal instruments with a responsibility to advise government and its agencies on critical legal issues which also border on treaties, protocols, conventions and adjunct matters.
“Anything to the contrary, smacks of abdication of duties. What then is the quality of advice he gives if he does not have a record or register of treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory?, The CDHR asked.
“As a democratic country, Nigeria cannot afford to isolate herself from her legal obligations, international agreements, human rights treaties, conventions and related issues,” he said.
He, however, called on those concerned to urgently take steps that would remedy the anomaly before it is too late.