Country Studies: Nigeria

Yusuf, Hakeem O. (2013). Country Studies: Nigeria. In: Stan, Lavinia and Nedelsky, Nadia eds. Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, Volume 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 333–339.


On the heels of Nigeria’s transition to democracy in 1999, the Human Rights Violations Investigations Commission (the Oputa Panel, so called after the name of its chairman) was established as the cardinal transitional justice mechanism in the post-authoritarian period. The Oputa Panel submitted its report in June 2003. However, the report remains officially unpublished and unimplemented though it has been posted on the internet by a group of civil-society organisations in the country. The Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN premises its position not to publish the report on a Supreme Court decision on a challenge of the ‘coercive’ powers of the Oputa Panel to summon witnesses brought by some ex-military rulers of the country. Nigeria also employed lustration and trials as transitional justice measures to secure the new democratic order.

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