The Law of Privacy: Appraising the Practice of Professional Journalism in a Democratic 21st Century Nigeria

Akintayo, Johnson Babafemi, Eteete, Michael Adam, Ekeh, Charles Maduabuchi


The issue of the invasion of privacy in the practice of professional journalism is not a strange phenomenon to those following happenings in Nigeria. Although there is a law guarding against such practice, it appears journalists derive great pleasure from reporting matters that relate to individuals’ personal lives as long as such news is sensational. This paper attempts a synthesis of some of the principles that should inform the development and implementation of the right to individuals’ privacy in a democratic state like Nigeria. Since a chapter of the country’s constitution makes provision for guaranteed and protected rights to certain aspects of citizen’s personal lives, homes, correspondences and several other situations, the paper argues that there is no better time to take the implementation and enforcement of such rights to the next level as now.  The research relied on the analytical and critical methodology of study. It made several recommendations which includes the necessity for a re-appraisal of the current laws of Nigeria relating to citizen’s right to privacy viz-a-vis the duty of journalists to publish and reconcile the gaps where any in the legal regime of protection of persons’ privacy. Doing this, the paper concludes, will help significantly in upholding the dignity and integrity of human beings in Nigeria, thereby fostering the protection of fundamental human rights of citizens, and as well help in strengthening and deepening of our democratic values.

Keywords: Fundamental Right to Privacy, Constitutional Right to Publish, and Liabilities in Defamation

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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