General News of 2014-06-18

Mahama to swear in new ECOWAS judges

Seven newly-appointed Judges for the ECOWAS Court will be sworn-in by President John Dramani Mahama, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS on Wednesday, June 18, in Accra.

This follows the retirement of six Members of the Community Court of Justice, Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), at the Seat of the Court in Abuja, Nigeria, a release signed by Ms Elohor Ovadje, Information Officer, ECOWAS Court and copied to the Ghana News Agency said on Tuesday.

The Community Court of Justice (ECOWAS) has therefore held a valedictory court session in honour of the six retiring judges.

The Judges are Justice Awa Nana Daboya (Togo), President of the Court and pioneer Judge; Justice Benfeito Mosso Ramos (Cape Verde), Vice-President of the Court; Justice Hansine Donli (Nigeria), Dean of the Court and pioneer Judge; Justice Anthony Benin (Ghana), Member of the Court and a pioneer Judge; as well as Justice Clotilde Nougbode Medegan (Benin), Member of the Court; and Justice Eliam Potey (Cote D’Ivoire), Member of the Court.

The release said at a farewell ceremony, Mr. Tony Anene-Maidoh, Chief Registrar of the Court, thanked the retiring Judges for their contributions to the growth and advancement of the Court and made reference to the remarkable Decisions of the Court that had earned it a place on the world map.

Mr Anene-Maidoh said the greatest achievement of the Court during their tenure lies in the profundity of its jurisprudence and that though the primary mandate of the Court was the interpretation and application of ECOWAS Community Text, the Court has been recognized for its Human Rights jurisprudence.

At the ceremony was Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Nigeria, and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, among other dignitaries, whose valedictory message was delivered by Mr. Adebola Odugbesan, commending the retiring Judges and acknowledging the Court’s steadfastness in executing its mandates especially that of safeguarding and protecting human rights of the Community citizens.

The address of the President of the ECOWAS Commission was delivered by the Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy and Research, ECOWAS Commission.

Justice Awa Nana Daboya, President of the Court, expressed gratitude to the founding fathers of ECOWAS for instituting the Court.

She made mention of the developmental stages of the Court, as well as challenges that had to be surmounted by the pioneer Judges at the inception of the Court in 2001.

Nana Daboya urged the Member-States to uphold the Court, and work assiduously towards the realization of vision 2020, of moving from ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of people.

Justice Hansine Donli, Dean of the Court, stated that the idea of establishing the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS was first conceived by the founding fathers of ECOWAS, and that the plan continued till the enactment of its first Protocol in 1991.

She added that the Court only became functional with the swearing in of the first set of seven Judges on January 30, 2001 in Bamako, Mali by the then Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS, President Alpha Oumar Konare.

While extending best wishes for a successful tenure to the in-coming Judges, she advised members of staff of the Court, to continue to work diligently, and as a team, towards the achievement of the goals of the Court and the Community.

Justice Eliam Potey, an out-going Member of the Court, in his valedictory remark, stated that though the Judges of the Community Court are citizens of various Member States, they were appointed as independent Judges of the Community. He enjoined the Member States and Institutions to support the development of the Community Law.

Mr. Siratoulahi Gnamou, Head of Administration and Human Resources, ECOWAS Court, extended the gratitude of the members of staff of the Court to the retiring Judges for their contributions and realization of numerous developmental initiatives, notably the conception and implementation of programmes geared towards increasing visibility for the Court, and the promotion and consolidation of Community Law in the region.

Source: GNA
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