Home » Press Release » ECOWAS COURT TO COLLABORATE WITH GIABA TO ELIMINATE TERRORISM FINANCING & MONEY LAUNDERING IN THE SUB-REGION
 
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 09:48

ECOWAS COURT TO COLLABORATE WITH GIABA TO ELIMINATE TERRORISM FINANCING & MONEY LAUNDERING IN THE SUB-REGION
The President of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, Hon Justice Jérôme Traore has called for the opening of a new frontier of collaboration with the Dakar-based Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism in the Sub-region.


Opening the 2016/2017 Legal Year ceremony of the Court on Friday, 30th September 2016, the President said that the increasing devastation caused by the twin challenges required more vigorous collaborative efforts in this fight.


 “The Court will within the confines of the powers currently conferred on it ensure that the rules and procedures in force are in consonance with the observance of human rights and guarantee the rule of law,” the President told the guests at the ceremony comprising Nigerian officials, members of the diplomatic corps and staff of the Court.


The solemn ceremony, an annual event of the Court steeped in Judicial tradition formally marks the beginning of judicial activities in a new legal year and enables the Court to inform its stakeholders about its activities in the previous years and its projection for the coming year.


The President listed the priorities of the new legal year to include ‘strengthening the bonds of collaboration between the Community Court and the domestic courts of Member States, and the review of the legal instruments/texts of the Court,’ to reflect the dynamics of the evolving judicial environment.


Honourable Justice Traore, who was presiding over the legal year for the first time as president used the opportunity to pay glowing tribute to his predecessor, Honorable Justice Maria do Ceu Silva Monteiro  and the then Vice President, Honorable Justice Chijioke Nwoke for the ‘remarkable progress’ that characterised their two-year tenure.


The theme for the ceremony was “The Role of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in the Fight Against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism within the West African Sub-region – A Perspective from GIABA”


In a speech to the ceremony, the Guest Speaker,  Col. Adama  Coulibaly, who spoke on  the theme of the celebration  contended that depriving criminals the profit of their crime is central to the various international instruments on money laundering and financing of terrorism.


Col. Coulibaly, who is the Director General of GIABA, a specialised institution of the Community, said GIABA is mandated to ensure the effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, which is a summary of the requirements for countries to adopt the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) with ease.


At the regional level, he said GIABA is involved in a capacity building programme intended to strengthen the capacity of Member States for the prevention and control of money laundering and terrorism financing in the Sub-region. He advocated adherence to various regional legal instruments of the African Union and the Community as the minimum requirement for ensuring the effectiveness of GIABA.


The Director General, who was represented by the Director of Programmes and Projects of the agency, Dr Buno Nduka, called for the support of the Court in the emergence of an environment in  the region that promotes the independence of national courts both in the exercise of their functions and in the appointment of judicial officers.


In an earlier welcome speech, Mr. Tony Anene-Maidoh the Chief Registrar of the Court, said that 46 cases were lodged before the Court within the 2015/2016 legal year and that the Court delivered 49 Decisions comprising 34 Judgments, 13 Rulings and two revision of Judgments during its 89 Sessions.


Moreover, he said the Court also held an External Court Session in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire in April 2016 during which it heard 11 cases, delivered 4 Judgments and 2 Decisions on Application for Supplementary Judgments. ‘Currently, there are 60 pending cases before the Court’, he said.


In his speech to the occasion, the President of the Commission, His Excellency Marcel Alain de Souza acknowledged the remarkable progress made by the Court in the discharge of its mandate within the region’s integration project and its development.


The President, who was represented by Mr. Stephen Nartey, Commissioner, General Administration and Conference, commended the on-going collaboration amongst ECOWAS Institutions and Agencies towards the realisation of the vision of an ECOWAS 2020 vision of a citizen driven Community.


Goodwill messages were also received from the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, the coordinator of ECOWAS Ambassadors in Nigeria, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria and the Nigerian Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory and Foreign Affairs.


Other guests at the ceremony included Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Civil society groups, lawyers, and members of the press.


The Community Court of Justice was established under the provisions of Article 15 of the 1993 ECOWAS Revised Treaty as the principal legal organ of the Community with an original mandate on the interpretation of Community Texts mainly Protocols, Decisions and related instruments.


In the discharge of its judicial function, the Court is independent of the Member States and Institutions of the Community.


The theme for the ceremony was “The Role of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in the Fight Against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism within the West African Sub-region – A Perspective from GIABA” 

For further information, visit the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS website at www.courtecowas.org or contact the Information Officers using the contact details below:

Contacts:

1. Ugoh Sunny, Head of Division,
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Cell +234 8066782628

2. Felicien Hounkanrin (Information Officer)
Cell Phone: +234 803-786-3972
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

3. Elohor Ovadje (Information Officer)                 
Cell Phone:  +234 803-335-4281, (0)818-448-2456
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it