COURT PRESIDENT PLEDGES TO WORK WITH MEMBER STATES TOWARDS RESOLVING THE PROBLEMS MILITATING AGAINST THE ENFORCEMENT OF COURT’S DECISIONS
The new President of the ECOWAS Court, Honorable Justice Edward Asante has pledged to work with Member States and other stakeholders to fashion out a mechanism for improving on the level of enforcement of the decisions of the Court.
‘Only Nigeria and Niger have significantly enforced the decisions of the Court,’ the President said on Thursday, 11th October 2018 during a visit to the office of Nigeria’s Permanent Mission to ECOWAS in Abuja.
He said that Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) will also be involved in the process as part of an effort by the Court, including extensive sensitization and advocacy programmes, to ensure an improvement in the level of enforcement.
While Courts’ were not normally preoccupied with the enforcement of their decisions, the President said the Community Court’s efforts were motivated by the nature of its role as a human rights Court whose jurisprudence has contributed to deepening democracy in the region by ensuring respect for human rights, one of its four-fold mandate.
Member States are required under Article 24 of the 2005 Supplementary Protocol on the Court, to determine the competent national authority for the receipt and processing of execution of the judgements of the Court in accordance with the rules of civil procedure in each State.
Only five of the 15 Member States- Burkina Faso, Guinea, Nigeria, Mali and Togo- have notified the Court of the designation of the focal points for the enforcement of the decisions of the Court.
Honorable Justice Asante also requested the head of the mission to help the Court in its ongoing effort to secure a suitable replacement office accommodation from the government of Nigeria, which is obliged under the headquarters agreement between the Court and the country, to provide an accommodation for the Court.
In welcoming the President, Ambassador Babatunde Nurudeen assured him that the office was ‘seized’ with the acute accommodation problem facing the Court and engaged in an inter-ministerial effort towards its resolution.
He acknowledged that the reduction of the number of judges of the Court from seven to five as part of the reform undertaken by the Community has placed a heavy workload on the judges but expressed confidence that with ‘the experience of the new judges,’ they would be succeed in discharging their mandate without significant drop in their output