As part of its sensitisation and advocacy mission to Lagos State, ECOWAS Court delegation has reemphasised its mandate and functions with regards to the protection and enjoyment of their fundamental rights as enshrined in the community law and access to the court by Individuals and Corporate bodies.
The court is described as one of the key institutions of ECOWAS and functions as principal legal organ of the community.
Addressing Journalists at a press Conference in Lagos, the leader of the delegation, her lordship, Justice Dupe Atoki while stating the importance of the sensitisation mission, highlighted five major pillars of the court and they includes: mandate of the Court, relationship between the ECOWAS Court and the National Courts, Awareness of Community law, Enforcement of Judgements of the Court and Active International of officials of both Institutions.
Justice Atoki who is the Judge of the Court, led the delegation to the Lagos state Judiciary headed by Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, said the visit was to afford both institutions to discuss issues bothering on Community law, the relationship between the ECOWAS court and the National Courts and the enforcement of the decisions of Court.
According to her, if any community is desirous of having a rapid and more meaningful regional integration, it must be willing and prepared to invest particularly in institutions that will make people develop their potentials with dignity.
“A fully fledged Community Court of Justice with all its attendant jurisdictional roles is one such institution. The Community’s goal for a stronger economic integration must pay the price now by investing in institutions that will guarantee its existence.”
Similarly, Community Citizens should equally know that the progression of supranationality in their various Communities embarked upon, is for them. The right that flow from the Treaty and other Community texts are for them.They should enjoy them and claim them without obstacles and of course where necessary.
The experience of any successful Regional Economic Communities, like the European Union, has shown that the process of integration and the establishment of an economic union can only be achieved where individuals and corporate bodies have reasonable access to a virile Court of Justice.”
While attributing ECOWAS Court of Justice to a pace setter amongst Regional Courts in Africa, she believed the paradigm shift was essentially anchored on the human rights mandate of the Court and of course the granting of access to the court by individuals.
The sensitisation mission which began from the 1st to the 5th of October, 2019 commenced with a courtesy visit to the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwoolu, Lagos State Judiciary, Management and Students of Lagos State University, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Ikeja branch amongst others.
The delegation which is composed of her lordship, Justice Dupe Atoki, Mr Nkeita Aprakou, Yusuf Danmadami,Mr Issa Tauheed and Mr.M Kilimbe expressed profound gratitude to the Community Court of Justice, Lagos state government, NBA and NUJ Lagos State Council for adequate coverage and excellent facilities placed at their disposal to ensure the successful conduct of the deliberation.