ECOWAS Court To Sanction States That Fail To Enforce Its Decisions

The ECOWAS Court of Justice on Tuesday expressed displeasure at member states’ non-compliance with the its judgments and orders and has drawn up a list of sanctions for defaulters.

President of the court, Awa Daboya, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja that the usefulness of the court does not lie in its mere creation and existence.

She said the court would only be beneficial and powerful in promoting human rights, peace and justice when it adjudicated cases and the decisions were enforced by the member states.

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Unfortunately, she said,  the court’s impact, importance and contributions to peace have been significantly undermined by the continuous disregard to its decisions.

“There is a provision in our law that once decisions are given, they must be implemented in the member states and this is where the court has a relationship with member states. Unfortunately the same states that created the court, adopted the supplementary protocol and compelled them to respect human rights and promote it, are not enforcing its judgment, Daboya lamented.

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She said that member states’ non-implementation of decisions of the court had affected the confidence people had in its ability to implement its decisions and called on member states to fulfil their obligations by enforcing decisions made by the court.

“We rely on member states to implement the execution of judgment by the court set up by them and in which they all agreed to comply with its decisions. Each member state is supposed to appoint a national authority responsible for the enforcement of decisions of the court,” she said.

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Daboya, however, said that ECOWAS would sanction any state identified with non-compliance of the court’s decisions which, according to her, is a major impediment in the quest for peace and stability in the region.

“ECOWAS now has a list of clear sanctions provided against states that do not respect their obligations, apart from the existing diplomatic sanctions, to compel ECOWAS states to execute decisions,” she added.

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