The President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, on 16th February, 2023, paid tribute to a former Judge of the Court, Justice Keikura Bangura, who passed away on 6th February, 2023 and was buried in his home town at the weekend after a programme of tribute at the country’s Supreme Court in Freetown by the judiciary.

The solemn sessions, which was held on Thursday, 16th February 2023, also included the opening of the book of condolence for the late judge, who served as a judge of the Superior Courts of the Judicature before his appointment to the ECOWAS Court of Justice.

In the tribute, Justice Asante recalled with a sense of pride, the late judge’s meritorious service to the Court during his four year tenure which ended on October 2022 and exemplified by his role as Judge Rapporteur in the celebrated case of Amnesty International Togo and seven others against  the Republic of Togo in which the Court in 2020 ordered the government to pay 2 million CFA to each of the applicants for the violation of their right to Freedom of Expression over the shutdown of the internet in 2017.

The landmark judgment delivered on 25th June 2020 earned the Court the 2022 Global Freedom of Expression prize of the University of Colombia, New York

In the tribute, which was delivered by a judge of the Court, Justice Sengu Mohamed Koroma, the President noted that the late Judge contributed to the achievements recorded by the Court including the historic delivery of the highest number of decisions, some of them landmark, over the last four years. These decisions, he added, helped in the strengthening the Court’s jurisprudence in the protection of the human rights of the citizens, in the exercise of one of its four mandates.

He recalled that before joining the Court, the late Justice Bangura served in the law office department of the Ministry of Justice where he spent the greater part of his career starting as State Counsel.  He later rose to become a Senior State Counsel before being promoted to the position of Principal State Counsel and then the Acting Head of International and Constitutional Law before his elevation to the bench.

Reflecting on his remarkable career, the President noted that the late judge ‘has created something that will endure in his dedication to duty and those cherished values for which he will be remembered.’