ECOWAS: ECOWAS Court to hear rights case against Nigeria 24 Sept

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has fixed 24 Sept. 2015 for hearing in a case brought by an Islamic organisation seeking 105 billion Naira (US$523 million) in compensatory damages against the Nigerian government over the death of 800 people and the displacement of 60,000 others in the violence that followed the 2011 presidential election.

In the suit, filed before the court on 16 Jan. 2014, the Registered Trustees of Jama’a Foundation and 5 others are asking the court to declare that the failure of the defendants, their agents or privies to protect their lives and properties in the course of the 2011 presidential election violated their rights as provided for in the relevant treaties and convention to which Nigeria is a party.

The organisation contends that the deaths, destruction and displacement which affected some of its members constituted a sustained violation of their right to life, human dignity, equal protection under the law, and other economic and social rights of the applicants and other members of their community.

The plaintiffs are also asking the court to direct the defendants to implement the recommendations of the Sheikh Lemu investigative panel set up by the Nigerian government in the wake of the post-election violence as it affects them.

Responding, counsel to the respondents urged the court to hear its preliminary objection in which it is among others contesting the locus standi of the plaintiffs before entertaining their prayers.

Hon. Justice Chijioke Nwoke, who presided over the case, suspended ruling on the preliminary objection and said the court will take both the preliminary objection and substance of the matter together in accordance with Article (5) of the Rules of the Court.

On the application to call witnesses, the court granted leave to the plaintiffs to call the witnesses to appear before the court at the next hearing date.

The court also adjourned until 12 October 2015, at the instance of the plaintiffs, another case relating to the Nigerian civil war and involving Vincent Agu and 19 others against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and 5 others in order to give the parties the opportunity to conclude an ongoing settlement.

In this case, the plaintiffs are claiming that the inaction of the defendants resulted in the maiming and injury of people by landmines and explosives remnants of the Nigerian civil war, which remain a threat to human beings.

Both cases were heard by a panel of three honourable judges of the court - Hon. Justice Chijioke Friday Nwoke (presiding), Hon. Justice Jérôme Traoré (member) and Hon. Justice Micah Wilkins Wright (member).
-0- PANA SEG 16June2015

16 june 2015 10:14:24




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