ECOWAS Court to operate from Lagos

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- The ECOWAS Court of Justice has shifted its operational base from the Community's Secretariat in the Nigerian capital city of Abuja to Lagos, where it has been offered temporary office and residential accommodation by the government, ECOWAS sources said.
The sources told PANA in Lagos Thursday that the Court will operate from the old Senate Building in the country's economic capital, while its seven Judges will be accommodated at the Federal Government's Special Guest House, on the high-brow Victoria Island.
However, the arrangement is temporary as ECOWAS authorities are yet to decide on which of the 15 member States will host the Court, which was inaugurated last year.
The Nigerian government's assistance followed a request from the Court's President, Hassine Donli of Nigeria, earlier this year.
Lack of funds has delayed the full take-off of the Court, but ECOWAS sources said adequate provisions would be made for it in the next budget of the community.
In addition to Donli, the other Judges of the Court are Anthony Alfred Benin (Ghana); Hadjia Awa Nana-Amadou Daboya (Togo); Amina Malle (Mali); El Hadj Mansour Tall (Senegal); Barthelemy Toe (Burkina Faso), and Soumana Dirarou Sidibe (Niger).
The Judges are appointed for a five-year renewable term.
They are to ensure the observance of the law and the principle of equity in the interpretation of the ECOWAS Treaty and also handle disputes referred to the Court by member States, under article 56 of the Treaty.
Meanwhile, the Court has adopted its rules of procedure, stipulating in part, the power, functions and responsibility of its President and the Vice-President, as well as those of other Judges, Court registrars and clerks.
The rules also highlight the method to be adopted for the Court's proceedings, the roles of defence lawyers, parties to disputes, service of warrant, judgements and holidays for the Court, among others.
Donli said the adoption of the rules "has effectively set in motion the legal machinery for peaceful resolution of conflicts in the sub-region.

09 august 2001 21:00:00

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