Passed legislation mandating additional reductions
(3) The provisions of section 3 of the Constitution conferred on the individual the right to equal treatment of the law.
That right was conferred irrespective of the person's sex.
He complains that the court a quo erred in holding that the applicant had sufficiently shown that any of the provisions of sections 3-16 (inclusive) of the Constitution had been, was being, or was likely to be contravened in relation to her by reason of the provisions of section 4 or section 5 of the Citizenship Act so as to confer on her locus standi to apply to the High Court for redress pursuant to section 18 of the Constitution.
After holding that the provisions of the Constitution should be given a "generous interpretation", the court a quo erred in failing to give any or any adequate effect to other principles of construction, in particular, the principle that an Act of the National Assembly must be presumed to be intra vires the Constitution; the principle that an Act or instrument, including the Constitution should be construed as a whole; and with regard to section 15 (3) of the Constitution, the principle of inclusio unius exclusio alterious, to which effect is given in section 33 of the Interpretation Act.
Further, the complaint went on, the court a quo, having extended the definition of discrimination in section 15 (3) of the Constitution, also erred in failing to consider and apply the limitations to the rights and freedoms protected by section 15 of the Constitution which are contained in sub-section 4 (c) (the law of citizenship being a branch of personal law), sub-section (4) (e) and subsection (9) (to the extent that the Citizenship Actthat citizenship was not a right protected under Chapter II of the Constitution, nor was any right "to pass on citizenship" there created or protected.
Consequently, section 15 which specifically mentioned and dealt with discrimination, therefore, did not confer an independent right standing on its own.The section was the key or umbrella provision in Chapter II under which all rights and freedoms protected under that Chapter must be subsumed.The fact that discrimination was not mentioned in section 3 did notmean that discrimination, in the sense of unequal treatment, was not proscribed under that section.The definition in section 15 (3) on the other hand was expressly stated to be valid "in this section".The right expressly conferred by section 3 could not be abridged by section 15 merely because the word "sex" was omitted from the definition of "discriminatory" in the section.