Shaping Truth, Reshaping Justice

Shaping Truth, Reshaping Justice : Sectarian Politics and the Nigerian Truth Commission

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Shaping Truth, Reshaping Justice explores the realities of the Nigerian truth commission, the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission. In doing so, the book examines the events of the Nigerian truth telling forum, comparing some of its aspects to the South African and Latin American counterparts from which it derived a number of its elements. Using the most public of ethnic conflicts in Nigeria's history as a case study, Shaping Truth, Reshaping Justice scrutinizes the ways in which the HRVIC interacted with the Nigerian socio-political melee and the way in which the pertinent ethnic groups presented a narrative of their 'enduring conflict.' Nwogu argues that this interaction does not indicate the participation of ethnicity in politics; rather, it is the politicization of ethnicity by elite members of these ethnic groups who utilize the official and moral forum that truth commissions provide to revitalize ethnic identities for the purpose of elite political aspirations. Ethno-political groups appropriated the commission as a formal space for the (mis)remembering of histories and the re-arrangement of politicized memory so as to mobilize constituencies, claim and reclaim political territories and gain access to social and economic resources at the national level. The government undermined its own ability to deliver the spectrum of justice that was particularly available through the HRVIC. This severely limits the potential for reconciliation. Looking at the HRVIC from this point of view shows the truth commission, designed to symbolize discontinuity, in reality reflects continuity with the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 146 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 317.51g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739122495
  • 9780739122495
  • 2,125,340

Review quote

Nwogu'sShaping Truth, Reshaping Justice, the first published account of the Nigerian truth commission, is richly researched, rigorously argued, and superbly written. It is a remarkably insightful analysis of the device of the truth commission and its potential to transform the culture of malevolent governance. This book will form the defining reference point for any future work on the subject. -- Makau Mutua, Buffalo Law School, State University of New York In this illuminating and accessible work, Nneoma Nwogu examines the question of restorative or retributive justice through trial tribunals and truth commissions... Nwogu brilliantly reveals a notion of transitional societies beyond the usual politico-economic ideas of underdevelopment by including the reality of unresolved conflicts and failed justice systems from the point of view of victims and the masses. Yet truth is not enough and has to be contextualized as a necessary part of justice. This book is original and an important contribution to a limited, but growing field in African Studies with a new perspective on social justice through truth and trial. -- Ifi Amadiume, Dartmouth Collegeshow more

About Nneoma V. Nwogu

Nneoma V. Nwogu is an attorney with Hogan & Hartson LLP in Washington, D.C. She received an M.Phil. from Oxford University in International Development with a focus on more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Chapter 1. Truth Commissions as a Justice Mechanism Chapter 4 Chapter 2. Nigeria's Truth Commission: The HRVIC Chapter 5 Chapter 3. A Case Study: The Ohaneze Petition and the Arewa Response Chapter 6 Chapter 4. The Politics of Unintended Consequences Chapter 7 Chapter 5. Situating the HRVIC Chapter 8 Afterwordshow more