Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament and Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu
By Adebiyi Adedapo
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will soon enact a law to ensure that coup plotters are tried by the Community Court of Justice (ECOWAS Court) even if they were pardoned by their countries.
Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament and Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said this at the opening of the 2012/2013 legal year of the Community Court of Justice weekend in Abuja.
He stated that the ECOWAS parliament would ensure that coup plotters are convicted by the CCJ and be made to serve their jail terms in any of the West African countries.
This according to him would ensure protection of democracy and democratic institutions in the sub-region.
“There is no doubt that whatever innovations we make in the integration and development process in the sub-region are meant to facilitate the welfare, conditions and lives of the people of the community. The 2005 supplementary protocol on the community court of justice ably captures the judicial welfare of groups and individuals within the sub- region,” he said.
He also said that ECOWAS had granted direct court access to individuals and corporate bodies with respect to issues bordering on human rights violation and action or inaction of community officials, which is considered as a violation of the rights of individuals and corporate bodies.
“The supplementary protocol does not provide for the exhaustion of local remedies as a condition for gaining access to the court. This innovation is indeed a very giant stride towards effective dispensation of justice at the community level,” he added.
However, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) in his address at the occasion, said the CCJ has since inception played an important role in the implementation of the community