Connect with us


ECOWAS Court wants judicial systems of Member States harmonised





President of the ECOWAS Court, Justice Edward Asante has advocated for the harmonization of the judicial systems of Member States in order to attain a Community legal regime that supports the region’s integration objectives.

Asante made this known while making a presentation at a judicial forum for judges, magistrates and officials of the Kwara state judiciary in Ilorin during the Court’s ongoing week-long sensitization campaign in the state.

The Communications Department of the ECOWAS Court disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

Asante in the presentation delivered by Justice Dupe Atoki, said harmonization of the ECOWAS judicial system can be achieved through the alignment of the legal texts of the Community with those of the States.

Asante stressed that the relationship between the ECOWAS and national courts as ‘a crucial element in the integration process of ECOWAS.’

“It is therefore of utmost importance that Member States of ECOWAS domesticate the ECOWAS Revised Treaty and the Protocols and Supplementary Acts of the Community.

“It is also imperative, to deepen the relationship between the judges of the ECOWAS Court of Justice and the national courts of ECOWAS Member States,” Asante said.

Asante stated that with the international character of the ECOWAS Court and its long held position, it is neither in competition with national courts nor an appellate court over its decisions.

He explained that the ECOWAS Court and National Courts play complementary roles in the dispensation of justice and the integration of the region.

“In a long chain of decisions, the ECOWAS Court of Justice has consistently held that it is not an appellate Court over national Courts of Member States.

“And has maintained that it has no jurisdiction to make any declaration on the Judgments of national courts, except where the national Courts or parties refer issues of interpretation of Community texts.”

He stated that the ECOWAS Court only that the national courts have the obligation to implement the decisions of the Court.

The President identified the possible areas of conflict between the regional and national courts to include their co-location within the same geographical space; their concurrent human rights jurisdiction.

Other areas of conflict to include “the lack of requirement for the exhaustion of local remedies before the ECOWAS court which could result in forum shopping.

“The failure by Member States to domesticate the Revised Treaty of 1993 and the Protocol on the Court in accordance with their treaty obligations.

“Failure by Member States to comply with or enforce the Judgments of the Court; the gaps in the ECOWAS legal texts.

“And the municipal laws of Member States leading to the failure to clearly define the relationship between both courts.

Chief Judge of Kwara, Justice Sulyman Kawu praised the thoughtfulness of the regional court in organizing the campaign.

Kawu said the sensitisation would not only create greater awareness of the Court among the citizens but open the door for more legal practitioners from the state to ‘ply their trade before the court’ and widen their scope of the law.

He reminded those with judicial powers of the ‘enormous and far reaching powers they exercise over our fellow men and women.

This he said requires legal practitioners to exhibit good character, reputation, diligence, hard work, honesty, integrity, sound knowledge of the law and consistent adherence to professional ethics.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


UN Secretary-General visits Buhari At State House



United Nations Secretary-General Antonio


The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday paid visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.

He was received by top government officials.

Buhari’s conversation with Guterres centred on the need to ensure peaceful and democratic elections as well as the robust participation of women and young people in all areas.

President Buhari also thanked the UN boss for the visit, stressing that it came at a time when the world is focussing on the Russia/Ukraine crisis. Buhari also believes that the visit underscores the assurance that the world is with Nigeria.

On his part, the UN scribe called for developed nations to ramp up vaccine support to countries in the global north, halt the asymmetrical distribution and reform the global financial system.

Earlier in the day, he visited the UN House in Abuja alongside some top officials and diplomats of the agency.

Guterres is on a two-day official visit to Nigeria – the first of such.

The UN chief had arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday and also visited Borno State where he proposed the reintegration of repentant terrorists. This, he said, is key to the restoration of peace in the North East region.

“The best thing we can do for peace is to reintegrate those, that in a moment of despair, became terrorists but want to become now citizens and to contribute to the well-being of their brothers and sisters,” he told a gathering at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.

The UN scribe is also expected to perform the wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the August 26, 2011, suicide bomb attack victims.

Continue Reading


Ukraine : UN Agencies Condemn Attacks On Health Care Facilities



UN logo


UN agencies on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to attacks on healthcare professionals and facilities in Ukraine, describing such incidents as acts of “unconscionable cruelty”.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 31 attacks on health care have been documented via the WHO’s Surveillance System for Attacks on Health Care (SSA), the heads of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund and the World Health Organization said in a joint statement.

“To attack the most vulnerable -– babies, children, pregnant women and those already suffering from illness and disease, and health workers risking their own lives to save lives –- is an act of unconscionable cruelty,” they said, calling for an immediate ceasefire.
In 24 of the reported attacks, health care facilities were damaged or destroyed, while in five cases ambulances were hit. A total of 12 people were killed and 34 injured, according to the UN agencies’ statement.

“Humanitarian partners and health care workers must be able to safely maintain and strengthen essential health service delivery, including immunisation against Covid-19 and polio, and the supply of life-saving medicines for civilians across Ukraine as well as to refugees crossing into neighbouring countries,” said the statement, signed by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, UNFPA counterpart Natalia Kanem and WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

At least three people were killed, including a young girl, in an attack Wednesday on a children’s hospital in Mariupol in southern Ukraine.

According to the United Nations’ reproductive health agency two other Ukrainian maternity hospitals had already been attacked and destroyed before that strike.

“Attacks on health care and health workers directly impact people’s ability to access essential health services -– especially women, children and other vulnerable groups,” the UN agency chiefs said in their statement on Sunday.

“We have already seen that the health care needs of pregnant women, new mothers, younger children and older people inside Ukraine are rising, while access to services is being severely limited by the violence,” the statement added.

Oxygen and medical supplies, including for the management of pregnancy complications, are running dangerously low, they warned.

“The health care system in Ukraine is clearly under significant strain, and its collapse would be a catastrophe. Every effort must be made to prevent this from happening,” the UN agencies warned.

“We call for an immediate ceasefire, which includes unhindered access so that people in need can access humanitarian assistance. A peaceful resolution to end the war in Ukraine is possible.”


Continue Reading


Yoon Suk-yeol wins South Korea’s presidential election



Yoon Suk Yeol


Yoon Suk Yeol, a conservative former top prosecutor, has been elected South Korea’s new president, defeating his chief liberal rival in one of the country’s most closely fought presidential elections.

With more than 98 percent of the ballots counted, Yoon had 48.6 percent of the votes against his rival Lee Jae-myung’s 47.8 percent.

Yoon said on Thursday that he would honour the constitution and the parliament and work with opposition parties when he takes office as the country’s next leader, calling the election result a “victory of the great people”.

“Our competition is over for now,” he said in an acceptance speech, thanking and consoling Lee and other rivals.

“We have to join hands and unite into one for the people and the country.”

At a separate ceremony with supporters, Yoon said he would put top priority on “national unity,” adding all people should be treated equally regardless of their regional, political and socioeconomic differences.

“I would pay attention to people’s livelihoods, provide warm welfare services to the needy, and make utmost efforts so that our country serves as a proud, responsible member of the international community and the free world,” he said.

Yoon is to take office in May and serve a single five-year term as leader of the world’s 10th-largest economy.


Continue Reading