Emir of Ilorin seeks expansion of ECOWAS Court’s mandates

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By Lizzy Okoji

 Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has advocated the expansion of the mandates of the ECOWAS Court of Justice to enable the Court determine criminal matters arising from human rights violations in Member States.

Gambari made this known when he received a delegation of the ECOWAS Court led by its Vice President, Justice Gberi Outtarra, at his Palace in Ilorin.

The ECOWAS Court in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja stated that the delegation of the Court were in Ilorin for a week-long sensitisation campaign of the Court.

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Sulu-Gambari, who was a former Presiding Justice of the Lagos Division of the country’s Court of Appeal said:”’we cannot promote human rights without dealing with the criminal matters arising from it.”

The Emir told the delegation that the expansion of the Court’s mandate will make its human rights jurisdiction more holistic.

Ouattara, had earlier told the Emir that the sensitisation campaign was one of the important annual activities of the Court in Member States to familiarise the citizens with the Court and its jurisdiction.

Ouattara stated that the event will also enlighten the Nigerian public on how they can access the Court, to redress the violations of their human rights which had become its preeminent mandate.

He thanked the Emir for the warmth extended to the delegation and for sharing his valuable insight on the Court, specifically its jurisdiction.

The statement said the delegation had earlier paid a joint courtesy call on the State Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Kawu, as well as Commissioner for Justice, Mr Salman Jawondo.

They also visited the Chairman, Ilorin branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Ganiyu Bello.

Ouattara used the opportunity to brief them on the purpose of the campaign which is primarily to create  awareness on the Court and its activities.

He added that the Court  has provisions for electronic filing of cases, holds hybrid –online and in-court sessions.

Ouattara said the visits and other outreach activities of the Court were designed to increase the visibility of the Court across the West African Sub-region.

It stated that Justice Kawu thanked the delegation for their choice of Kwara State and assured them of the participation of the judiciary in the various sessions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that similar activities had simultaneously held in other Member States including: Senegal, Mali, Benin, Ghana, The Gambia, Togo, Guinea, Niger and Liberia.

Other members of the delegation were : Justices Dupe Atoki, Keikura Bangura and Januaria Costa, the Chief Registrar of the Court, Mr. Tony Anene-Maidoh, Directors and some key staff. (NAN) 

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