News from Africa

ECOWAS Charges Member States To Implement Decisions Of The Community Court

West Africa

Té / 1 October 2012

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, has called for greater sensitization and awareness in the Member States to improve the execution of Decisions of the Community Court of Justice.

In an address read on his behalf by the Vice President of the Commission, Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, at the opening of the Court’s 2012-2013 legal year in Abuja on Thursday, 27th September 2012, the President said the theme of the legal year: “The Community Court of Justice and the Effectiveness of the Implementation of ECOWAS

Community Law” was most appropriate at a time when justice, human rights and good governance are high on the Community’s agenda.

In addition, he said the theme would make Community citizens more aware of the Court, how to engage with it and the modalities for implementation of its Decisions in line with the Community’s Vision 2020 of an ECOWAS of the People.

“Armed with such knowledge,” President Ouedraogo said, “our citizens will be better placed to initiate, either by themselves or through their counsels, a writ before the honourable Court to express their grievances.”

He also highlighted the need for all parties to be knowledgeable about the Community’s laws, adding that the extent to which due respect and adherence is accorded to the decisions of the Court is linked to the level of knowledge and acceptance of the Court’s legitimacy in Member States.

The President pledged the readiness of the Commission’s new management team to support judges of the Community Court of Justice, and that in response to the Council of Ministers’ directive, the Commission will in its 2013 programmes, explore the possibility of establishing an appellate jurisdiction within the Court.

The Court of Justice as the principal legal organ of the Community was established pursuant to the provisions of Article 15 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993.

Protocol A/P1/7/91 as amended provides that the primary function of the Court is the interpretation and application of the provisions of the Treaty, Protocols and Conventions annexed thereto as well as subsidiary legislation of ECOWAS, which forms the basis of the ECOWAS Community Law.

In the discharge of its judicial function, the Court is independent of the Member States and Institutions of the Community.

The opening ceremony affords the Court the opportunity to brief stakeholders on its judicial activities in the past year and to highlight its programme for the new legal year.

During the opening, one-minute silence was observed in memory of Ghana’s President John Evans Attah Mills, who passed away on 24th July 2012 at the age of 68.

Among those present at the opening ceremony were the President of the Court, Honourable Justice Awa Nana Daboya, six other judges of the Court and Mr. Tony Anene-Maidoh, the Court’s Registrar.

Barrister (Mrs.) Ima Okpongete, represented the Minister of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohamed, while Solicitor-General, Mr. Abdullahi Bala, represented the Justice Minister and Attorney-General of the Federation, Honourable Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN).

Also present were Julie Rose Ouedraogo, a Judge at the High Court of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Professor Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy President of Nigeria’s Senate and Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps, and representatives of Bar Associations and other invited guests.

ABUJA, Nigeria, October 1, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)

View online :

Facebook Twitter Google plus