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ECOWAS Court sessions resume after three-month break

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The ECOWAS Court says that nine cases have been listed for judgment by the regional court between 7 and 28 October 2020, following the resumption of court sessions.

This comes after a three-month vacation of the judges of the Court.

A statement by the Court in Abuja said on Tuesday, 22 September 2020, that the cases were part of the 19 cases filed against eight Member States, Nigeria’s Cross River State, and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID). They were listed in the latest course list released by the Registry of the Court for the period 25 September to 28 October 2020.

It added that among the cases listed for judgment was a case filed by Counsellor Kabineh Muhammad Ja’neh, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia, against the government. Ja’neh is challenging his removal from office on the grounds that it did not follow due process while he was not granted fair hearing.

In another of the cases scheduled for judgment, a former staff of the ECOWAS Commission, Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi, sued the Commission and claimed the wrongful termination of his appointment.

It recalled that the Court commenced virtual court sessions on judicial activities to guarantee continuous access to justice and timely delivery of justice in line with its mandate, while adhering to the safety guidelines recommended by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). All of this amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic early this year.

“The Court held its inaugural virtual court session on 22 June 2020, after it adopted a new Practice Direction in May 2020, which allowed the use of Electronic Case Management System for electronic filing, e-filing, and virtual court sessions. [This was] as part of measures to ensure the safety of its members, staff, lawyers and other stakeholders.

“Honourable Justice Edward Amoako Asante, President of the Court, had stated in July 2020 that the Court would proceed on annual vacation from 15 July to 15 September 2020, in accordance with Article 24 of its Rules,” the statement added.

-APA

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