On 6 June 2024, the ECOWAS Court of Justice held that the Republic of Togo violated Mr. Al-Hassan Dibassi
Fadia’s right to a fair trial under Article 7(2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 1981. Mr.
Fadia, a former pilot with ASKY Airlines, claimed that Togo violated his human rights through disciplinary
measures taken against him by ANAC-Togo, the national civil aviation authority of Togo, following
accusations of falsifying flight records.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, President of the Court and judge rapporteur in
the case, the Court ordered the Republic of Togo to pay 15 million CFA francs in general damages to Mr.
Fadia. The Court also ordered Togo to reverse and expunge the disciplinary measures from its official records.
In an application filed with the ECOWAS Court in 2023, Mr. Al-Hassan Fadia, a pilot formerly employed by
ASKY Airlines, said that he passed the practical test for the Airline Transport Pilot License for Aeroplanes in
France in 2019 and was duly issued a French ATPL(A) pilot license, which he converted to a Guinea-Bissau
ATPL(A) license. ANAC-Togo, the civil aviation authority in Togo, validated his Guinea-Bissau license for use
with ASKY Airlines. After further training, the Applicant said that he was promoted to captain with ASKY
Airlines in November 2020. However, shortly afterward, ANAC-Togo accused him and two other pilots of
falsifying flight records to obtain their licenses. Following proceedings before the Disciplinary Board of
ANAC-Togo, Mr. Fadia’s license to fly as captain was withdrawn, and he was required to resume further
tutelage as a “Pilot in Command under Supervision” (PICUS). ASKY Airlines subsequently terminated his
In his application to the Court, Mr. Fadia argued that the disciplinary measures taken against him by the
Togolese civil aviation authorities violated his right to equality and equal protection of the law, his right to a
fair trial, and his right to work.
In its defence, the Republic of Togo stated that during the validation of a French ATPL(A) license for ASKY
pilot Mr. Aurelien Rami, ANAC-Togo found irregularities in his flight records, prompting an investigation into
the files of other ASKY Airline pilots. The investigation revealed that Captain Andriamora, Chief Pilot at ASKY,
conspired with Mr. Rami and Mr. Fadia to fraudulently obtain their licenses by falsifying flight logbook
entries. It is for these reasons that disciplinary measures were taken against the Applicant. The Respondent,
therefore, maintained that all actions taken were lawful and urged the Court to dismiss the application as
In its judgment, the Court found that the offences for which Mr. Fadia was tried at the Disciplinary Board and
the sanctions imposed were enacted under Ministerial Order No. 033/2021/MTRAF of 29 July 2021, after he
had been accused of falsifying records in his flight logbook. The Court, therefore, concluded that the
disciplinary measures violated the protection against retroactive application of laws under Article 7(2) of the
African Charter.
However, the Court concluded that the link between Mr. Fadia’s dismissal by ASKY Airlines and the alleged
breach of his right to work by the Republic of Togo was not convincingly established. Nor was the Applicant
able to show that he had been subjected to unjustifiably selective treatment in violation of his right to
equality and equal protection of the law, given that he was subjected to the same disciplinary measures as
his co-accused pilots.
The panel included Hon. Justice Gberi-Bè Ouattara and Hon. Justice Sengu Mohamed Koroma.