Nigeria: 'Why ECOWAS Court is pre-occupied with politics'

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - President of the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, Hon. Justice Maria Do Céu Silva Monteiro, has defended the region’s pre-occupation with political issues as part of the process of creating an environment for the sustainable pursuit of the economic development of the region.

Exchanging views with the Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) delegation to Nigeria, Ambassador Michel Arrion, the President said the court was looking forward to a future when the region’s 15 member states would refer cases to it relating to the interpretation of community texts in line with its initial mandate.

The Court, in a statement made available to PANA in Lagos, quoted Hon. Justice Do Ceu Silva Monteiro as calling for EU support in building the capacity of the Court and assistance for the region in the collective fight against the scourge of terrorism, which left citizens in palpable fear and negatively impacted on the region’s political and economic development.

The President said the court was willing to leverage the experience of the EU in the enforcement of the decisions of its court and encouraging respect for human rights, assuring the visitor that the court would soon be able to take decisions in other areas of integration.

Ambassador Arrion, who was on a visit to the Court, suggested that West African leaders strengthen the role of the regional court in the area of economic integration, so that it could play a more active role in regional integration similar to the role played by its EU counterpart.

This, he said, could be done by expanding its mandate in the economic sphere so that it could act more vigorously in the defence of regional instruments designed to ensure the realisation of its core objective of economic integration.

The Court was established under the 1993 ECOWAS Revised Treaty as an interstate court with responsibility for interpreting Community instruments.  

Through its 2005 Supplementary Protocol, citizens were granted direct access to the court which was also vested with jurisdiction for human rights cases and an arbitration mandate.
-0- PANA SEG/MA 5Nov2015

05 november 2015 13:10:50

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