• Nigeria calls for collaboration between members-states

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The President of the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Justice Edward Amoako Asante has expressed the determination of the court to live up to its statutory role of promoting community laws and regional peace in the sub-region.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has called for close collaboration between institutions, specialized agencies and member states for ECOWAS to function effectively.

Justice Amoako noted that beyond this role, the regional court has in the exercise of its human rights jurisdiction which has become its defining mandate, contributed significantly to the promotion of regional peace and stability as well as good governance, transparency and accountability.

He spoke in Abuja at the unveiling ceremony of the new building of the court.

He however lamented that the effectiveness of the court has been circumscribed by the poor enforcement of its decisions, which stands at about 30 per cent despite the court’s impressive record of decisions and courage attributable to the independence and character of the judges.

The ceremony was attended by senior officials of the host government, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, ambassadors of the ECOWAS Member-States and representatives of other stakeholders.

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The new building, located on Plot 1164 Joseph Gomwalk Street of the district, was allocated by the federal government of Nigeria in response to a request by the Court for a bigger office complex to accommodate its staff who previously worked from two locations within the city.

Justice Amoako disclosed that additional facilities have been installed in the building in order to promote greater productivity and efficiency and assured them that the challenges associated with the relocation will be addressed.

He said the relocation into the building opens a new dawn in the life of the court adding that beyond the improved physical environment that it provided for staff, it also offers the court an opportunity for improved efficiency and productivity in the performance of its role as an international court.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada said ECOWAS can only function effectively if there is close collaboration between the institutions, specialized agencies and member states.

He expressed the country’s confidence in the leadership of the court, the minister noted that as a host country, Nigeria is obligated to provide a befitting edifice and infrastructure to enable members of the court to function effectively.

“As a responsible member of ECOWAS, Nigeria is always ready to ensure that it provides the necessary support and encouragement to all ECOWAS institutions, ” the Minister stated.