The Role Of The Public Complaints Commission In Protecting Worker’s Rights


The Role Of The Public Complaints Commission In Protecting Worker’s Rights Against Administrative Injustice And Maladministration In Nigeria


This research project is titled “The Role of the Public Complaints  Commission in Protecting Worker’s Rights against Administrative Injustice and Maladministration in Nigeria”. The research work has been prompted by the observation made on the decline in the discharge of its roles in some state  offices of the Commission, despite overall achievement  of  organizational  target. The main purpose of this research therefore was to find out what must have been responsible for the decline. To achieve this, data were collected and interview conducted. In the data collected, simple descriptive presentations in Annual reports were consulted. In the course of this research, findings revealed that limitations of the Act have made a negative impact on the performance of Commission’s staff, but that the staff encounters problems while carrying out their respective jobs. Responses also revealed that the Commission needs to continually conduct training programmes especially on investigation,  as  that will boost staff performance. Finally, the argument in this work  is  that,  although the PCC has recorded some achievements regarding the discharge of  its mandate from the time of its inception to date, it might not be rated  high on its score board. In this regard, (the researcher/study) have made recommendations that will have far reaching significance and they are sure to make the commission more focused, more robust and more dynamic, if they are judiciously implemented.


Hon. Chief Justice J.V. Milvain of the trial division  of  the  Supreme court of Albarat,  Canada delivering judgement on 6th January 1990 in the case  of “Feldbrugge V. Netherland A/100/1986 where the complainant was refused the payment of his social benefit after he fell sick and was retired as a result of  ill health – held that the right to continue to receive benefit after sickness is   valid under the law of insurance and should apply. In the Court  of  Human Right, UK Parliamentary ombudsman Re: Ombudsman Act Canada captured the basic purpose for the establishment of the ombudsman when he said… the basic purpose of an ombudsman is the provision of a  watchdog  designed  to look into the entire working of administrative laws…” 1
Therefore, the worldwide popularity of the Ombudsman Institution as a significant part of contemporary governance is certain without question. A research conducted by Dr. V. Ayeni of the Commonwealth Secretariat revealed that at the end of 1999, at least 102 countries had established the office at governmental level worldwide. Within the commonwealth, 38 of its  54  members now have an Ombudsman office including its  four  developed countries and 22 of the 32 so-called small states  including  Botswana.  Presently, 29 of Africa’s 54 countries have governmental Ombudsman offices
From the above premise vis-a-vis the goal of ombudsman, the  decision  to establish it in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. It was established in 1975 with specific power and limitations. The journey so far (i.e. 1975 to 2011) is it worth the trouble and the resources invested. Has the limitation of its  jurisdiction militated against its effective performance? What areas need to be addressed in the commission’s Act for achievement of better results? These and other unraised issues is what the whole of this project addresses.


The ombudsman is one of the most effective Alternative Dispute Resolution institutions in the country, charged with the specialized task of redressing administrative injustices.  Like all other institutions the commission  is expected to operate within a specified statutory “locus” called jurisdiction as provided by section 5 and limited by section 6 of the Public Complaints Commission’s Act.3 Has the jurisdictional provision covered adequately the whole field of administration where injustices are on daily basis meted to the citizenry? Is the limitation on jurisdiction so wide that  the  effective performance of the commission can hardly be achieved?
Lastly, could it be that the effective performance of the  Commission  does not hinged on adequate funding alone but in addition, depends  on  adequate, qualified, trained and motivated manpower who are engaged on
research, monitoring and evaluation of the overall performance of the Commission?


The objectives of the research work are an attempt to:

  1. Examine the law in the Public Complaints Commission Act and other relevant laws.
  2. Examine the application of the Public Complaints Commission Act for protection of worker’s rights against maladministration in
  3. Highlight some factors militating against the effectiveness of the Public Complaints Commission.
  4. Provide recommendations, amendments and better ways of protecting worker’s


This research work is intended to cover the objectives, structure and characteristics of the ombudsman. The work covers also the strengths and weaknesses as well as some decided cases by the commission in performing its duties and historical overview of the ombudsman institution in  Nigeria  and other jurisdictions to compare the roles of Public Complaints Commission, the court, the National Assembly, Public Petition Committee and make recommendation where necessary.


The research is significant in the sense that it will:

  1. Promote social justice for individual citizen without which there can hardly be genuine peace and stability in
  2. Educate and enlighten the general public on the viable options available for redressing grievances against administrative injustice arising from bureaucratic errors, omission or abuse by officials of government or limited liability companies in
  3. Improve administration of the Public Complaints Commission by pointing out some weaknesses observed in its law, procedures, practices, rules and regulation for standards of behaviour for


In collecting the information leading to this research work, combinations of methods were used. Both primary data obtained from respondent via interviews and secondary data via Arm chair research i.e. use of library. However, one must place on record that majority of the data  used  were  obtained from secondary sources.
The empirical and doctrinal research methods. Interviews  were conducted and questionnaires were administered. Reference will be made to journals, annual reports, newsletters, magazines and textbooks


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