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The Legislature and Treaty Making In Nigeria: A Critque of the African Union Treaty, 2003

By 

Anthony Egobueze RVHA, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt otonie@yahoo.com & Amadi Emeka RVHA, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt Owamadi@hotmail.com 

Abstract 

Entering into treaties and agreements with foreign nations is an attribute of state sovereignty. Since after the Second World War, this has been the practice and several States have not departed from this. A lot of laws that make up the Nigerian corpus juris originate from treaties. In Nigeria, treaties do not automatically have the efficacy of law except enacted into an Act by the National Assembly with support of majority votes of the State Houses of Assembly. This is in agreement with Section 12 of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended). Consequently, a treaty cannot apply in Nigeria except it is domesticated. In this study therefore, we would examined treaty making in Nigeria, with a specific study of the African Union (AU) Treaty. The methodology for this study is qualitative, using documentary evidence and the ex-post-facto research design in reviewing the role of the Legislature in treaty making in Nigeria. We utilized the Rational Choice Theory (RCT) as our theoretical framework. The study relied on some fundamental international conventions like the Vienna Convention on Treaties, 1969, and other secondary data. The study held that while the executive takes 

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the lead in treaty making, the legislative authorization is imperative for any treaty to apply in Nigeria. Also, the role of the State Houses of Assembly has consistently been neglected in the ratification of all the treaties enacted in Nigeria. The study recommended strict compliance of the provisions of Section 12 of the current Constitution of Nigeria, as a panacea for the application of treaty in the Country. 

Key Words: Treaty, Treaty making, the Legislature, the National Assembly, the African Union 

Introduction 

The world is a global village, no State can insulate itself from the other countries, relationship and partnership would exist in order to engender cooperation. Treaty making is therefore an important segment of this relationship. Shri, (2001:1) states: ‘entering into treaties and agreements with foreign powers is an attributes of State sovereignty’. Since the Second World War ended, this has been the practice. The globalization age and the enormous advancement in information technology coupled with communication have rendered independent States inter-dependent. States have entered into, and are insulated in several agreements and conventions. These conventions or agreements have great implication on the economic and socio-political life of the nations. 

In the past, the isolation of governments has changed into a steadily growing interdependence. The communication by countries for socio – political and or economic reasons therefore foster same ideas which results in entering into agreements that bind their union. This agreement is imperative in shaping both the domestic and external relations of State. This is better achieved through the people represented in a liberal democracy by the Legislators. What then is a treaty? 

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The most potent definition of treaty was that proffered by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969. Article 2 defined the subject as follows: ‘an international agreement entered into between States in written form and governed by international law… (Vienna Convention, 1969).’ 

Essentially, treaties according to Schwarzenegger (1968, 438) are ‘consensual engagement which subjects of international law have undertaken towards one another with the intent to create legal obligations under international law.’ They are agreements under international law signed either between states or between states and international organizations. Treaties therefore, are conventions, protocols, charters or agreements under international law entered into either between states or between states and international organizations. 

Irrespective of the nomenclature used in identifying an international agreement, the essential principle underlying international agreements is the proposition that ‘international treaties are binding upon the parties to them and must be performed in good faith’ Shaw, (1997:633). This principle is referred to as pacta sunt servanda and is argued to be the oldest principle of international law (Shaw, 1997:633). Article 26 of the Vienna Convention, 1969 could better illustrate this principle. An instance is the 1919 Peace Treaties which contained provisions empowering individuals to apply directly to international courts. Jones, (1897:420) opines that: 

‘in the making of an international public contract, whether designated as a treaty, a convention or an agreement, four distinct stages must apply before it becomes a perfected instrument. These are technically known as the conclusion, the ratification, the exchange of ratifications and the proclamation’. 

Over the years, the need for treaties has grown as the world’s interdependence has intensified. It can rightly be said that treaties form the bedrock of contemporary International law. Their importance within the realm of international law cannot be overemphasized. Various explanations 

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regarding the rise in the number of treaties have been proffered. The proliferations of treaties have been attributed to rise in regional corporations and also to the increase in the number of sovereign nations and international organizations. 

Treaties may be a formal multilateral convention negotiated through the United Nations or one of its specialized agencies or a bilateral exchange of diplomatic written messages between states. 

Treaties are significant sources of law (Egobueze, 2010:40). Through agreement and conventions arrives at between actors in international politics after series of negotiations down government corridors of power, new legitimate rules on subjects as diverse as defense, criminal law, trade and investment, human rights, the environment are adopted that would in many cases generate new domestic rules and policies. Once ratified, the treaty obligations become binding under international law, thus, it becomes trite to opine that treaty rules do not evoke the spirit of law except enacted through domestic legislation. It is clear, that treaty’s legal character influences States’ domestic institutions to ensure compliance. This also extends to courts, through interpretation of rules in order to ensure compliance. 

As international law grows in importance and gradually encroaches on areas of routine public policy, it becomes increasingly important that treaty norms be accepted widely and be perceived as legitimate by government officials, business leaders, interest groups, and other actors (Struett, 2009). Thus, we attempt to ask the question, ‘to what extent do elected legislative officials have a meaningful role in discussing and choosing whether or not to ratify international treaties?’ Studies show in treaty making that democratic governments provide veritable avenue for transparency in treaty ratification than authoritarianism and military dictatorship because a wide level of consultation and deliberation of the subject is required before treaties are ratified in a democratic government than an authoritarian government where a Head of government may through his whims and caprices decide to go into bilateral or multilateral 

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agreement with other States or international bodies with reckless abandon, The Military junta in several States personify this vices in politics. It is therefore imperative for the Legislature, when deliberating on issues of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy (NFP) to note that multilateral or bilateral agreements play a critical role. However, the Executive through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) normally leads the process of negotiation, while the Legislature cements the process through enactment of Bill into a Law. 

In Nigeria, treaties must be implemented in domestic law in a way that reflects the division of Federal and State powers in the Constitution. In other words, matters under the Exclusive List – Federal jurisdiction must be implemented by the Federal Government and matters under Concurrent List implemented by both tiers of governments. As a matter of practice, Nigeria will only ratify a treaty once it has taken the necessary steps, including consultations with the legislature, to ensure that it can meet its commitments under the treaty. Thereafter, a Bill to that effect would be passed by the Legislature (Egobueze, 2010:34). 

States implement the obligations of treaties through a variety of methods. These methods may be shaped by the existing state of the local law and or the nature of the treaty obligation itself. In some instances, a treaty can be implemented without any alteration of the existing law but through executive or administrative action. In other cases, new legislation or an amendment to existing legislation are important in order for State to fulfill its obligations under the treaty. 

Treaties are of two forms, viz – treaties which become binding at the completion of the negotiations and signatures affixed. Bilateral treaties are examples of this kind of treaties. Legal Dictionary, (2017) defines bilateral agreement as ‘that formed by an exchange of a promise by parties in which the promise of one party is consideration supporting the promise of the other’. ‘Treaty between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe on the ‘Joint development of petroleum and other resources in areas of exclusive 

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economic zones of the two states (ratification and enforcement) Act, 2005’ fits this typology. 

A multilateral treaty is a written agreement entered into by more than two sovereign States on issues of mutual interest. These agreements often are upshots of international conference or gathering of nations. The Treaty on African Union and the Geneva Conventions are the examples of multilateral treaties. 

Since the universal acceptance of the Vienna convention in 1969, all aspects of treaty-making are regulated by the said Convention. Article 27 and 28 of the Convention are instructive on member States as they make it possible for a country which has signed the treaty from taking any action pending ratification of the treaty, which runs counter to the treaty (Vianna Convention, 1969). 

Theoretical And Conceptual Framework 

In this study, we adopted the Rational Choice Theory (RCT) as our theoretical framework. The theory was propounded by George Homan in 1961 and made popular by other theorists such as Blau (1964), Coleman (1973) and Cook (1997) among others. These scholars expanded the frontiers of the theory and made it gain global currency in academic circles. The kernel of the Rational Choice Theory (RCT) is premised on the fact that “individuals are motivated by their personal wants and goals and are driven by personal desires” (Dunmoye, et al, 2007: 91). Considering the fact that human wants insatiable coupled with the fact that all the things individuals want cannot be attained, resorting to choices for the attainment of these wants and the means for the attainment of such wants become inevitable. In making choices, individuals are bound to do a cost/benefit analysis of the choices and therefore choose alternative action that would not only give them satisfaction but would also be attained at the least possible cost. 

Fundamental to the principle RCT is the argument that complex social phenomena can be explicated in through elementary individual 

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actions of which they are made of. Also known as methodological individualism, the RCT postulates that the primary unit of social life is individual human actions. Furthermore, individual actions and interactions are the basis through which social change and social institutions could be explained. 

It is therefore argued that, Nations including Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives which includes treaty making are pursued in such a manner that propagates and promotes her interests in line with the contents of her national interests. In the pursuit of the foreign policy objectives of the centre piece of her foreign policy, which is Africa, she championed the expansion and reforming of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) which metamorphosed into the African Union (AU). Among the objectives of the AU is to promote peace and stability in Africa and to eliminate conflicts and their debilitating consequences. 

The second reason that justified our adoption of the RCT to explain the role of the Legislature in treaty making is premised on the influence which the philosophical world-view of Nigeria’s foreign policy-makers have on the conduct of NFP. According to Dunmoye et al (2007), the way particular external realities are perceived by the political leadership of the country is brought to bear on the choice of the strategy to be applied in addressing particular external matters. The philosophical basis of adopting a particular set of strategies in solving external problems are often traced to the psycho-philosophical disposition of the political elites directly responsible for foreign policy formulation. 

Our analyses have shown that, naturally, nobody, how much more, a country, would want to forge a relationship with another, without, from the onset, evaluating the cost/benefit analysis of such union. It goes without saying that, for a nation, such as Nigeria, that seeks to lead or influence others, especially in Africa, certain reasons must certainly promote such an ambition. In conclusion, beyond all these variables is the 

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propagation and promotion of national interests which, apparently, define the choice of the foreign policy to pursue, and at what cost. 

Constitutional Provision For Treaty Making In Nigeria 

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) and previous Constitutions preceding it outline the functions of each arm of government in treaty making. Section 12 of the Constitution is instructive, as it allocates significant roles to the Legislature. in treaty making. Section 12 (1) is very important; it specifically directs that before a treaty could have effect in Nigeria, it has to be ratified by the legislature in Nigeria. Thus, Executive action alone, does not conjure acceptance and application of such treaty in Nigeria. 

Legislative consideration is a desideratum to application of the convention, agreement or treaty. This account for the failure of Nigeria to effectively activate the ‘Green Tree Agreement’; Executive actions were initiated without a corresponding legislative approvals. Furthermore, Sub – section 2 of the fore – going Section empowers the National Assembly to legislate on any matter not contained in the Exclusive List in order to implement any treaty Nigeria wants to enter into; however, Sub – section 3 prescribes the conditions under which this can be achieved – a majoritarian vote of the Houses of Assembly in Nigeria. This however has never happened in our resent past. The National Assembly has always dominated the process at the exclusion of the State Houses of Assembly. 

The Birth Of African Union, A Historical Overview 

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was the forerunner to the birth of African Union (AU). To critically situate our discourse, an understanding of a brief synopsis of OAU is imperative. The OAU was established on 25 May 1963, at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to deal with the continental affairs of the emerging independent Africa States from European colonialism. The treaty that established the Organization was 

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signed by the Heads of State and Government of 32 African States (Manelisi et al, 2000). 

The decolonization process in Africa led to the balkanization of the continent into three basic blocs, namely, the Casablanca, Brazzaaville and Monrovia Groups. These blocs emerged between 1960 and 1961. 

The initial idea of a continental organization centered on a “Federation of African States” or an “African unity and making Africa the centre piece of its foreign policy”. Thus, African leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Sekou Toure, Haile Selassie and Julius Nyerere, influenced by WEB DuBois, Sylvester Williams and George Padmore, whose minds were alike, conceived of a united Africa and operationalized this through the signing of treaty in 1963. The offshoot of this treaty was the new child –the OAU (AU, Retrieved 2017). 

The charter establishing OAU had as the objectives, to – eradicate all forms of colonialism from Africa amongst others. This objective was achieved, as OAU to a large extent contributed in eliminating colonialism in the Continent. From 1963 to 1994, the Coordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa provided financial and military support to liberation movements in Angola, Algeria, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Principe, Sao Tome, and white minority-ruled South Africa. A total of twenty-one countries were ultimately decolonized, with South Africa becoming the fifty-third member on May 23, 1994. 

Nevertheless, OAU failed to pay critical attention to economic development and integration as captured in its objectives. Consequently, the birth of a new Union with the aspiration to foster better regional integration and economic prosperity was necessary, thus, on 9 September 1999, the Heads of State and Government of the OAU issued the Sirte Declaration (AU, Retrieved: 2017). This declaration called for the establishment of an African Union (AU), with a view, to accelerating the process of greater unity, participation in global economy among countries of the continent, and addressing socio-economic and political problems of thee continent. At its thirty-sixth ordinary session of AU held in Lome, 

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Togo, on July 11, 2000, the Constitutive Act of AU was adopted by the Assembly of Heads of States and Government of OAU (AU, Retrieved: 2017). In that forum, two-thirds of the member states ratified the treaty. Meanwhile, the OAU remained operational for a transitional period which lasted for one year as a result of a decision adopted in Lusaka, Zambia, on July 10, 2001. In 2002, in Durban, South Africa, the OAU metamorphosed into AU. The inaugural session of the new organization took place immediately at the same venue on July 9 and 10, 2002 (AU, Retrieved, 2017). The AU currently has 54 African States as Members. Morocco is the only African State that is yet to be a member of the Union (Wikipedia, retrieved, 2017). Since inception to date, the Union has had Thirteen Chairmen. 

Structure And Objectives Of The African Union 

Structurally, AU is has two broad categories of personals, namely, the political and administrative cadres. The highest decision-making Body of the Union is the Assembly of African Union. The members of this Assembly are all the Heads of State of government of member States of the Union. Secondly, there is the Secretariat. The administrative body is headed by a Chair. Paterson, (2012) opined that ‘the AU Commission’s Secretariat is headed by a Chair and Nine Commissioners. Its main task is to implement the decisions of AU organs.’ 

The AU also has a representative body, the Pan African Parliament, which is made up of 265 members elected by the National Legislatures of the AU Member States (PAP, Retrieved 2016). Other political institutions of the AU like the Executive Council, made up of Foreign Ministers of Member States, the Permanent Representative Committee, made up of the Ambassadors to Addis Ababa of AU member states; and the Economic and Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), a Civil Society Consultative Body also exist. 

The AU has adopted a number of important documents establishing norms at continental level, to supplement those already in force when it was created. These include the African Union Convention on Prevention on 

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Preventing and Combating Corruption (2003), The African Charter on Democracy, (Wikipedia, Retrieved, 2017) 

Article 4 outlined in clear terms, the objectives and policy direction of the Union. Some of these objectives are as captured bellow: 

1. In addition to the objectives set out in Article 2 of the OAU Charter and Article 4 of the AEC Treaty, the objectives of the Union shall be to – 

(a) achieve greater unity and solidarity between African countries and peoples in conformity with the ultimate objectives of the OAU Charter and the AEC Treaty; 

(b) achieve rapid political and socio-economic integration of the Continent through the speedy implementation of the AEC Treaty; 

(c) promote democratic principles and institutions, 

popular participation and good governance; 

(d) promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on human and peoples’ rights and other human rights instruments; 

(e) promote peace, security and stability in the Continent and to put an end to the scourge of conflicts and their devastating consequences, in particular, through the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, amongst others. 

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African Union Act: An Assessment Of The Socio ‒ Economic Benefits To Nigeria and the Problematique 

The treaty to establish the AU (Ratification and Enforcement Act) was enacted by the National Assembly of Nigeria with a commencement date of 4th December, 2003. A rundown of the Act is as enunciated bellow: 

The Act has two basic Sections and Schedule. The Act opens with a preamble, x-raying the synopsis of the background of the treaty. and it states inter alia: 

‘’Whereas the Treaty establishing the African Union was signed by the Heads of Government of the Member States of the African Union on 26 April, 2003; 

And Whereas Nigeria was a signatory to the said Treaty; And Whereas the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has in accordance with her Constitutional Process ratified the said Treaty; And whereas it is necessary and expedient to enact a law to enable effect to be given to the Treaty establishing the African Union in Nigeria’’ (NASS, 2003). 

Section 1 of the Act is enforcement, while Section 2 sets out the Citation as follows: ‘’This Act may be cited as the Treaty to establish the African Union (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 2003.’’ 

Finally, there is a schedule, which is the treaty itself. 

To a very large extent, Nigeria was a leading voice in the metamorphosis of the OAU to AU. Nigeria’s interest is predicated on the defining words in its foreign policy objectives at independence – ‘Africa as the centre piece Nigeria’s foreign policy.’ Arising from this prism therefore, Nigeria has contributed immensely to the decolonization process of most African States and African integration. ‘This big brother role is anchored on 

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the size of the Nation- the largest black nation in the world.’ In enacting the AU Act therefore, the National Assembly considered the National interest of Nigeria which is predicated on the policy objectives of the nation. 

The history of African societies is characterized by instability, crisis and conflict since nominal flag independence from European colonial over lords dating back some four decades ago (Adebayo,2003:1). Between 1960- 99 over a hundred regimes had been overthrown either through a coup d’état, war or invasion, over five heads of state had been assassinated, some thirty-two Heads of State have either been imprisoned or abruptly removed from office, the African continent had witnessed a total of a hundred and eighty regime transitions within the span of four decades (ADB, 2001:111). Within the same period and hitherto, there had been numerous sporadic outbursts of civil strife, protest and demonstration, quite often challenging the social and political legitimacy of the government of the day (Adebayo, 2003:2). The refugee crises caused by these conflicts have great socio- political and economic implications for Nigeria, as many nationals of these States see solace most often in Nigeria. 

In realization of the noble objectives as set forth in Article 4, (1) the AU intervened in Mali in March 2012, when a military coup was staged. The AU also helped to form a caretaker government, supporting and holding presidential elections in Mali in July 2013. 

On 3 August 2005, it proposed sanction and suspension of Mauritania from the Union’s activities. The Military Council that took control of Mauritania promised to return the country to democratic rule within two years. The election which was declared the freest in the history of the country was held in early 2007. Following the elections, Mauritania’s membership of the AU was restored. However, on 6 August 2008, a fresh coup overthrew the government elected in 2007. The AU again suspended Mauritania from the continental body. 

Similarly, AU also has intervened in Togo. Following the death of Gnassingbé Eyadéma, President of Togo, on 5 February 2005, AU leaders were dismay by the palace coup of the Military leader by naming 

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Eyadema’s son Faure Gnassingbé, his successor. Togo’s constitution provides for the Speaker of Parliament as the interim head of government in the event of the death of the President and such head is expected to call for National elections to choose a new president within sixty days. The AU stood with the Togolese and forced Faure Gnassingbé to hold elections. Election was held on 4th May, 2005 amidst heavy allegations of electoral frauds (The Associated Press, 2015). 

The above flows with the spirits and letters of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as adumbrated in Section 14 (1) which states that ‘the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principle of democracy and social justice (FGN, 1999). Thus, the AU was part of the international Organizations that observed the 2015 General Election in Nigeria, where the incumbent President, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan lost the Presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator and head of State. 

Regional conflicts and military interventions 

Article 1 (e) of AU is imperative as it aimed at promoting peace, security, and stability on the continent and putting an end to the scourge of conflicts and its devastating consequences, on the continent. AU adopted the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution among Member States. In order to achieve this, the AU established the Peace and Security Council (PSC). The PSC architecture has the power, to authorize peace support missions, impose sanctions in case of unconstitutional change of government, and take initiatives and action it deems appropriate in response to potential or actual conflicts. The PSC has the status of decision-making, and its decisions are binding on member states. 

Article 4 (h) of the Constitutive Act, repeated in article 4 of the Protocol to the Constitutive Act on the PSC recognizes the right of the Union to intervene in Member State in circumstances of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Any decision to intervene in a 

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member State will be made by the Assembly on the recommendation of the PSC. Since 2004, the PSC has intervened in crises in Darfur, Comoros, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire and other Countries. The Council is in the process of establishing a “standby force” to serve as a Permanent African Peacekeeping Force. 

Human Right. 

The Civil Society Community applauded the establishment of the AU as it attempts to put human rights rooted firmly on the African agenda. The AU’s Constitutive Act, marks a major departure from the OAU Charter. Some of the innovations are: 

➢ Digression from the status of indifference and non – interference to interference in Member State’s activities, when peoples’ rights are in breach. ➢ Full recognition of human rights in its Article through the 

promotion of social, economic and cultural development, and ➢ Stimulation of Gender equality. 

The establishment of AU led to the setting up of 15-member Peace and Security Council (PSC) with the mandate to intervene in cases of egregious human rights abuses and unconstitutional changes of government. AU peacekeeping missions were launched in Burundi from 2003 to 2004 and in Darfur from 2004 to 2007, both of which were later taken over by the UN. Today, over 90 percent of the AU’s peace and security efforts are funded by external actors (Paterson, 2012). 

Nigeria equally has benefited from AU in its fight against the Buko Harran insurgency. Nigeria’s endorsement of the AU treaty led to the AU’s endorsement of a West African Task Force (WATF) of 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram militant in Nigeria. AU Commission Chair opined that the threat posed by the Islamist group required a “collective, effective and decisive response” (Dlamini-Zuma: 2015). Four of Nigeria’s neighbours – 

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Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger agreed to contribute troops to the task force. This was the 

It is interesting to note that since the establishment of AU, there has been increasing number of conferences, meetings, declarations and resolutions adopted pertaining to human rights. Some of these instruments are the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (hereinafter Women’s Rights Protocol), the Protocol on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, and the Charter on Democracy, Governance and Elections. 

To effectively enforce these instruments, various bodies were established with an express human rights mandate such as the African Commission on the Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), and the African Court. These are innovations ushered in by AU, and are critical stimulants of change in the new world order by the Union. 

Nigeria had since domesticated the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), The Charter is known as Child right Act and it came into force in 2003. This ACT has been domesticated by more than sixteen States of the Federation and it has reduced oppressions against children. 

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Conclusion 

The treaty on African Union (AU) is multilateral, and was consummated into an Act in 2003 by the National Assembly of Nigeria without an input by a majority vote by the Houses of Assembly as specified in Section 14 of Nigerian Constitution. The Act with two Sections and a Schedule has transformed African States and people for better integration. It is significant to note that the founding fathers of AU envisioned an Africa Union, predicated on the guarantee of qualitatively unity and integration for the African continent. The fundamental objective is to put in place an efficient and effective AU, to deliver a united Africa, managed by Africans with infinite opportunities for growth and development. Therefore, an efficient AU should have the capacity to accommodate the aspirations of the African people in their desire for political and socio – economic integration, participatory, efficient, accountable and transparent governance systems, respect for human rights, social justice, peace and security. However, these numerous objectives appear not to be substantially achieved. African leaders are encouraged to strive towards the realization of the objectives of AU. 

Recommendation 

Our recommendations are on two fronts; the first is on the future direction of treaty making in Nigeria, and the second is on the further development of the African Union. 

For any treaty to have the efficacy of application in Nigeria, it has to be ratified by the National Assembly, and this must be supported by majoritarian votes of State Houses of Assembly. This is a Constitutional matter and must be adhered to at all times. In entering into any treaty therefore, the Federal Government led by the President should forward the proposal to the National Assembly as a Bill, and in enacting the Bill into an Act, the National Assembly as a matter of fact must comply with the provision of Section 12 (3) of the Constitution which requires majority votes of the Houses of Assembly in favour or against the Bill. This to us, would 

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not only promote the rule of law, but also deepen the spirit and letters of the Constitution as well as consolidate our democracy. 

Our second recommendation bothers on the future direction of the African Union, we align with the key policy recommendations which emerged from the Berlin colloquium on ‘African Union at Ten: Problems, Progress and Prospects’ on 30th – 31st August, 2012’. Some of these recommendations centred on administration, capacity, funding, human resources, peace/security, infrastructure, trust and planning. Consequently, we suggest that the Union should be restructured in line with its objectives in order to advance the thrust of its mandate. 

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