A human right lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) on Wednesday cautioned Nigerian Government on what he described as illegal agreements in billions of dollars with foreign countries.
He said such as agreement may be challenged and set aside.
Falana addressed newsmen in Abuja on the decision of Western Sahara to challenge the “illegal” importation of tonnes of phosphates and other natural resources from their country into Nigeria by Morocco.
He advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to be wary of agreements and treaty it signed with Morocco, as such violates the rights of the Saharawi people.
According to him, none of the treaties and agreements signed between Nigeria and Morocco could be enforced in the country as the Nigerian government had not deposited same with the National Assembly to adopt and enact them into law, as required by Section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution.
He however, warned parties entering into such agreements to immediately cancel them and “respect the human rights of the people of Western Sahara to enjoy their natural resources, as recognised by article 20 and 21 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights”.
His words: “We are going to start with Nigeria because currently, tonnes of phosphates are being imported into the country from Western Sahara on the basis of illegal agreements between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco as well as certain companies. We are warning such parties and we are alerting them to the decision of the people of Western Sahara to defend their rights to their resources”.
“The government of Nigeria has not; until now deposited any of the bilateral agreements entered into with the Kingdom of Morocco with the National Assembly. By virtue of section 12 of the Nigerian constitution, no treaty or agreement between another country and Nigeria can be enforced without same being adopted and enacted into law by the National Assembly.
“We are warning the government of Nigeria that is still battling with the award of $9.6 billion by an artibtration tribunal in the United Kingdom. We are drawing the attention of Nigeria to the illegal agreements worth billions of dollars that may also be challenged and set aside.”