11 December 2012

West Africa: Ecowas Court Sits in Ibadan Amidst Tight Security

Security within and around the Oyo State High Court complex in Ibadan was tightened Monday as the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) otherwise called the ECOWAS court began a week sitting in the court.

An Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and three police pick up vans were noticed at the frontage of the High Court along Ring road, while armed policemen comprising both regular and mobile stood guard restricting movement of vehicles except those on official duties into the court premises.

The traffic management of the police created some traffic hiccups along the Ring road/Mobil/Ade-oyo road.

Several cases in other courts, especially the litigation between the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), Onala parish and the state government on the demolition of the church a fortnight ago by the agents of the state government suffered adjournments as the judges joined the Chief Judge, Justice Badejoko Adeniji, to receive the visiting ECOWAS court judges.

In her welcome address, Adeniji expressed joy at the choice of the state for the sitting of the ECOWAS court which she described as the principal legal organ of ECOWAS.

The court, the CJ said, had the main function of resolving disputes relating to the interpretation and application of the provisions of the revised treaty of ECOWAS and annexed protocols and conventions.

Earlier, the President of the ECOWAS Court, Justice Awa Nana Daboya, had stated that the resolve to shift the sitting of the court to Ibadan was in pursuant to the provisions of Article 14 (2) of the protocol, the court may choose to hold one or more sessions outside its seat of court.

Togolese lawyers, who came to represent their clients in Gnasingbe Kpatcha and others versus Republic of Togo were present at the formal opening.

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