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ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AND OIL SPILLAGES: AN INDICTMENT TO HUMAN RIGHT AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

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ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AND OIL SPILLAGES: AN INDICTMENT TO HUMAN RIGHT AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

BY
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page – – – – – – i
Certification – – – – – – ii
Approval – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgement – – – – – – v
Table of Contents – – – – – – viii
Table of Statutes – – – – – – x
Table of Cases – – – – – – xii
Abbreviations – – – – – – xiii
CHAPTER ONE: Introduction 1
What is Environmental Degradation 2
The Emergence of Environmental Degradation 7
Classifications of Environmental Degradation 16
Notable forms of Environmental Degradation 19
Challenges posed by Environmental Degradation 24
CHAPTER TWO: Human and Environmental Right or
Law Concept 32
The Human Rights Concept 32
The Environmental Right Concept 35
The Nigeria Constitution, Human and
Environmental Rights 37
The Impediments confronting judicial enforcement
of Environmental Laws in Nigeria. 45

CHAPTER THREE: Environmental Degradation as an
Indictment to Human Right and
Environmental law
3.1 An Appraisal 53

3.2 Environmental Degradation as Indictment or
Violation of Human Right 54

Environmental Degradation as Indictment to
Environmental Right in Nigeria 65

Environmental Degradation as an Indictment to
International Environmental Legal Instruments 73

CHAPTER FOUR: Global Efforts at combating
Environmental Degradation

An Appraisal 78
Environmental Degradation as an indictment to
Environmental law in U.K. and U.S.A. 79

Global inability to enforce Laws against
Environmental Degradation 83

The Industrialized countries as Violators/Culprits
Of Environmental Degradation 93

International Agency/Co-operations in combating
Environmental Degradation. 95

CHAPTER FIVE: Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion 100
Recommendations 103

Bibliography 110

TABLE OF STATUTES

Associated Gas Re-injection Act, Cap 26, LFN 1990 40, 48, 65, 67

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. 38, 39, 47, 55-60, 62-65, 104

Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by
Dumping of waste and other matters 1992 73, 86

U.N. Convention on the High Sea, 1958 74, 86

Environmental Impact Assessment Act, 1992 40, 43-45,48, 69-72

European Environmental Agency (EEA), 1994 97,98

Federal Water Pollution Control Act 1972, U.S.A. 79

Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions) Act
Cap 165, LFN, 1990 40, 41, 48, 68

International Convention for the Prevention of
Pollution of the Sea by Oil 1954 (as amended in
1962 & 1969. 74, 87

Kyoto Protocol, 1997 89, 93

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the
Ozone Layer, 1992. 75, 88

National Environmental Standards and Regulations 35, 36, 48, 49,
Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act 2007 51,52,65,66,101,103

National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) 1969 U.S.A. 80

Oil in Navigable Water Act Cap 337, LFN 1990 40, 48, 65, 74

Human Environmental Conference Stockholm 78, 85, 95
U.K. Environmental Protection Act 81, 82

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the
Ozone Layer, 1985. 75, 88
TABLE OF CASES

Adisa v. Oyinlola (2002) 10 WRN 125 – – 38

Amos v. Shell BP Petroleum Development Co.
of Nigeria & Anor. – – – 50

Archbishop Olubunmi Okogie and
others v. A.G. Lagos State. – – – 47

Enahoro and ors. V. Abacha and ors. (1998) 1
HRL RA 424 – – – – 33, 34

Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932) A.C. 562 – – 82

Francis Coralie v. Union Territory of Delhi
Air 1981 SC 846. – – – 107

Ransome Kuti and Ors. v. A.G. of the Federation
and Ors. (1985) 2 NWLR, 16, 211 at 230 – – 32

Shanti Star Builders v. Nafyan Whimalal Totame
& ors. (1990) (1) S.C. 106 Appeal No. 2598 of 1989 – 108
ABBREVIATIONS

AC Appeal Cases
ALL ER All England Reports
ALL NLR All Nigeria Law Reports
CCHCJ Cyclostyled copies of High Court Judgment
CLR Commonwealth Law Reports
COX Cox’s Equity.
Cr APP. R Criminal Appeal Reports
East, P.L.C. East Term’s Reports, Privy Council
ECSLR East Central State Law Reports
ERNLR East Region of Nigeria Reports
FNR Federation of Nigeria Reports
FSC Federal Supreme Court
K.B. King’s Bench
L.L.R. Lagos Law Reports
L.R.N. Law Reports of Nigeria
LR; PC Law Reports, Privy Council Appeals
MJSC Monthly Judgment of the Supreme Court of
Nigeria.
MNLR Mid-Western Nigeria Law Reports
NCLR Nigeria Constitutional Law Reports
NCR Nigeria Criminal Reports
NLR Nigeria Law Reports
NMLR Nigeria Monthly Law Reports
NWLR Nigeria Weekly Law Reports
Q.B. Queens Bench
QBD Queens Bench Division
SC Supreme Court
SCNJ Supreme Court of Nigeria Judgments
SCNLR Supreme Court of Nigeria Law Reports
TLR Times Law Report
VICT LR Victoria Law Reports
WACA West African Court of Appeal
WLR Weekly Law Reports
WLRN Weekly Law Report of Nigeria
WN Weekly Notes
WNLR Western Nigerian Law Reports
WRNLR Western Region of Nigeria Law Reports

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Since the beginning of civilization, man has always been motivated by the need to make progress and better the lives of fellow mankind by exploring the natural environment. It is indisputable that the natural environment before the advent of environmental degradation, created unlimited opportunities for development and economic sufficiency of the inhabitants or the populace, but with the advent of environmental degradation, the inhabitants have been denied these opportunities and made to languish in abject poverty.
In recognition of the dangers posed by environmental degradation, the international community and the Nigerian government have put in place various laws to combat environmental degradation, while the various environmental laws in Nigeria and that of the international community (international legal instrument) in combating environmental degradations intended to yield encouraging result by enhancing environmental sustainability. The recalcitrant attitude of those involved in environmental degradation has continued to attenuate environmental laws with the government and its agency indirectly collaborating in the act of flouting environmental laws.
Unfortunately, the existing law legal mechanism in place have done little or nothing to eradicate this menace of environmental degradation. Environmental degradation continues to evolve everyday and everywhere with no end in sight of how this crime can be checked.
Thus this thesis intends to appraise how environmental degradation constitutes an indictment to human right and environmental laws. It also aims to serve as a theoretical framework for the review and harmonization of the relevant municipal and legal instruments. Similarly international agency/corporation in combating environmental degradation will not be left out.
Hence, it is imperative to give a brief description or definition of environmental degradation.
Environmental Degradation
Before environmental degradation is considered we must first of all know what is environment or what constitutes the environment.
Environment is the natural world in which people, animals and plants live. The Black’s Law Dictionary also defines it as the totality of physical, economic, cultural, aesthetic and social circumstances and factors which surround and affect the desirability of value of property and which also affect the quality of life of people’s lives. Under the Nigeria law, “environment” includes water, air, land and all plants and human beings or animals living therein and the inter-relationship which exist among these or any of them. Therefore Environmental Degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of the ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife.
Environmental degradation is one of the ten threats officially cautioned by the high level threat panel of the United Nations. Therefore the importance and relevance of the environment cannot be over-emphasized, the environment is a complex and delicate system that when properly managed and harnessed can be geared to productive domestic, aesthetic and even spiritual benefit but when poorly managed could predictably be hazardous not only to human survival, but the survival of all living things. It is therefore inferable that the environment is the physical foundation upon which survival rests.
It is however sad to note that over the years, the environment has been greatly threatened with adverse and disastrous effects on human habitation and survival, which has reflected in the World Bank report. More than 30,000 people die each day globally, short of their predestined life span due to environmental degradation and pollution. In a year, 108 million people die as a result of environmental degradation and pollution. Further research shows that between 1990 and 2009, which has a period of 19 years, about 7.3 million people died worldwide due to environmental degradation and pollution. Therefore it constitutes a threat to the existence of mankind and needs to be checked by all the countries and organizations in the globe


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