West Africa: Political Hotfire - Should ECOWAS Court Legal Jurisprudence Override the Liberian's Justice System?

15 November 2020
opinion

The Economic Community of West African States was born in 1975 by 15 African countries, commonly referred to as ECOWAS. In 1975 an ECOWAS Treaty included a mandate for the establishment of a Community Court of Justice (CCJ) to adjudicate disputes related to the interpretation and operation of Human Rights violations. The CCJ was officially launched in 1991 and became operational in December 2000. The CCJ has seven judges, each serving a five-year term. No two judges can be nationals of the same state. The CCJ is located in Abuja, Nigeria.

West Africa has experienced a series of conflicts and judicial killings starting with Nigeria the headquarters of the CCJ where Boko Haram operates above the Justice system of CCJ. Most of the states like Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, etc. have seen civil wars as well as ethnic and religious clashes leading to the deaths of thousands and thousands of innocent citizens. What has the CCJ don't about that? Corruption and bad governance have ravaged ECOWAS countries, leading to the death of massive innocent people which is also part of CCJ's Human Rights issues, what has CCJ done about that?

Col. Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi was captured and killed by former President Obama's government and the European Union, October 20, 2011, which is also part of the gross Human Rights abuses, what did the CCJ do about that? There are doubts over the CCJ's definition of Human Rights and its selective in ECOWAS. The Jen'nah case seems to be a special interest case that is unprecedented by any legal standards.

The basic lawful core of the duties and responsibilities of the CCJ is definitively to delve into human rights violations in ECOWAS countries. This dream is yet to be fulfilled. For example, Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group operating under the nose of the CCJ has continued to massacre thousands and thousands of Nigerians and non-Nigerians what is the CCJ doing about such human rights' grave violation? The killing of over 150000-innocent Liberians in its then 16-years civil wars what did CCJ do about that and the Jen'nah LURD rebel movement contributed to these deaths, did the CCJ ask the former Associate Justice about that?

The killing of hundreds and hundreds of demonstrators in Guinea by the Guinean Government what did CCJ do about that? There is a growing judicial killing of innocent citizens in West Africa by West African leaders where is the CCJ on that? Nonetheless, the CCJ is deeply troubled over the impeachment of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Jan'neh's impeachment case.

What is ironic is the fact that the CCJ has had sleepless overnight duties looking into an impeached Associate Supreme Court Justice Jan'neh case who cried foul over his impeachment and filed a lawsuit to the CCJ through his Counsel Femi Falana for miscarriage of justice in his impeachment trial in which he is claiming an amount not less than twenty-five million United States Dollars US$25,000,000.00 (Twenty Five Million United States Dollars) as compensation and an Order directing the Republic of Liberia to restore Mr. Jan'neh's as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia!.

CCJ should begin to operate within its legal confines rather than interferes in the internal affairs of the Liberian government. The impeachment of KabinehJan'neh, who was once a former spokesperson of a rebel movement, LURD was done under clear and transparent legal guidance. His impeachment was opened to the general public and all legal proceedings were assured. The CCJ should learn how to respect lawful decisions made by a duly constituted government of Liberia.

The CCJ will need to revamp its human rights priorities and benchmark approaches. The CCJ should focus on the human aspects of human rights that deal exclusively with the killing of innocent citizens in the various member countries, rather than wasting its pressure time and energies on the removal of a former rebel spoke person Jen'neh from the Supreme Court bench. The CCJ will need to confront Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group in Nigerians, and bring them to justice.

It is with grave disappointment, to witness the CCJ imposed a fine on the Guinean government for killing its citizens for demonstration. Why the CCJ should imposed a monetary fine on a government for taking the lives of its innocent citizens when the government of Guinea should be taken to the Huge for persecution. The CCJ will need to understudy the constitution of the Republic of Liberia and learn how its judicial system works before jumping to a conclusion regarding decisions reached by the government of Liberia.

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