ECOWAS Court Delivers Judgments in Human Rights Violation Cases Involving Togo and Niger

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has declared itself ‘incompetent’ to entertain a suit brought by 34 persons against the Republic of Togo for the alleged failure to fully implement an earlier judgement of the Court in a case brought by the plaintiffs against the government.

In suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/12/15, Aziagbede Kokou & 33 others had asked the court to award 30 million CFA in favour of each of the plaintiffs against the government of Togo for the damages suffered with the partial implementation of judgement no ECW/CCJ/JUDG/07/13 decided by the Court three years ago.

In the judgement, the Court had ordered the government to carry out a prompt inquiry into the alleged violations of the rights of the plaintiffs and ensure that their rights were protected.

The plaintiffs claimed that the compensation is for damages suffered because of the alleged partial implementation of the judgement.

In declaring the Court incompetent to entertain the matter, a three member panel of the Court presided over by the President, Honorable Justice Jerome Traore also ordered the plaintiffs to bear the costs.

Also on the panel were Honorable Justices Hameye Foune Mahalmadane and Alioune Sall.

In another judgment in a case filed by one Mr. Sahabi Moussa against the Republic of Niger, the Court held that it lacked jurisdiction to hear suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/23/15, as it had been decided by a national court and it has no competence to review the decision of national Courts.

The plaintiff was ordered to bear the costs.

In his initiating application, the plaintiff, Mr. Moussa, a citizen of the Republic of Niger claimed that he applied to be considered for the vacant position of Head of Dioundou Canton, in the Administrative Department of Gaya in Niger.

Following a petition and court action filed by the other contestants for the position, he averred, his application was annulled by a national court

He contended that the annulment without a trial was a violation of his right to fair hearing.

Consequently, he sought an order of the Court to annul the purported election of the Head of Dioundou Canton, and an award of costs for prejudice suffered.

On the panel were Honorable Justices Jérôme Traoré (presiding), Yaya Boiro and Hameye Foune Mahalmadane.