Mr. Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights crusader, has written to the United States government over the continued detention of his client, Alex Saab — a Venezuelan diplomat accused of money laundering.
Saab has been in detention at the Republic of Cape Verde since 12 June 2020 at the request of the United States of America, despite a court judgment ordering his immediate release.
However, in his letter dated May, 17, Falana stated that the Economic Community of West African States (the ECOWAS Court) delivered a judgement on March 15, which seemed Saab’s detention as illegal.
The court further mandated his immediate release from custody and the cessation of the extradition process to the United States.
Nonetheless, Falana berated the American Government for “encouraging the authorities in Cape Verde to ignore and disobey the ECOWAS Court judgment would not only undermine judicial independence and the rule of law but also lead to a denial of justice for Mr. Saab, and a perpetration of impunity by Cape Verde.
“Saab’s case is a true test case for your administration to show that it will never support or encourage the habit of governments simply ignoring court orders.
“In this respect, I urge your administration to make clear to the authorities in Cape Verde the importance of respect for human rights and the rule of law by immediately taking effective steps to enforce the ECOWAS Court judgment, and to release Mr. Saab from arbitrary detention.”
By Mayowa Oladeji…
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