Lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, has advocated the setting up of an appellate division of the ECOWAS Court as a solution for flagrant disregard to court rulings by member states.
Falana made this call on Wednesday during a paper presentation at the ongoing International Conference organised by the ECOWAS Court in Lome, Togo to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
According to the Revised Protocol of the ECOWAS court, its ruling could not be appealed by member states.
In its 20 years of existence, less than half of its 150 rulings have been executed by affected member states with only six out of 15 states complying with the pre-requisites for obeying the court ruling.
As a result, Falana said member states could better embrace the rulings if there is an opportunity to appeal them.
“There is the fear that the Court may lose its relevance if its judgments are continuously treated with disdain by member states of the ECOWAS.
“The challenge can be seriously tackled with the establishment of the appellate division of the Court by the ECOWAS leadership and the domestication of the Protocol on the Court by the parliaments of the member states.
“In view of the increasing workload of the Court, the suggestion that the jurisdiction of the Court on human rights is hinged on exhaustion of domestic remedies can no longer be ignored.
“But the Court cannot suo motu introduce exhaustion of local remedies as a precondition for accessing the Court as suggested by some advocates.
“It is a proposal that will require an amendment of the Protocol of the Court,’’ Falana said.
He added that the future of the court was bright as it had a lot of work to do with some countries in the region being overtaken by the military.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Lack of legal provisions, cultural sentiments fueling marital r*pe in Nigeria
By Arinze Chijioke In the early days of Sandra Izuckukwu’s marriage in 2019, her husband, Sunday Izuchukwu, did everything she...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (IV): Surviving in a dangerous media environment
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020. For six...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (III): Precious Owolabi was killed covering a protest
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019-2020. For six months, Nigerian...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (II): Alex Ogbu was telling a story but became the story
This four-part series investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020....
SPECIAL REPORT… TELECOMS BLACKOUT: Nigeria’s latest tactic against banditry grounds businesses, forcing residents beyond borders
The fight against notorious bandits raining terror and kidnapping students in Northwest Nigeria took a new dimension in September as...