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Osinbajo: AU Member-States Need Sensitization on African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
By Deji Elumoye
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stressed the need for Africa Union member-states to be sensitized on the role of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights.
Speaking Friday at a meeting with judges of the Court led by the President, Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud, at the Arusha, Tanzania office of the AU judicial agency, Osinbajo declared that one of the critical issues about the court was urgent need for sensitization among the African countries.
His words: “one of the critical issues is more sensitization among Member-States of the African Union. I think that more Countries would be more willing (to identify as required with the Court). I think that governments just require more assurance especially on the issue of complementarity.”
Expressing strong faith in the work of the Court, the Vice President averred “I believe very strongly in the International and Regional Court system, especially with respect to the protection of human rights”
While noting the challenges faced by the Court, Osinbajo said, “there will always be tensions and challenges because States will always be mindful of their sovereignty.”
He commended the achievements of the Court in spite of many challenges: “I really must commend you for the work you are doing, and landmark rulings of the court. Many have followed your work, especially when cases are about protection of the rights of women and freedom of information and I think there is consensus that the Court’s handling of these cases has generally pointed in the right direction.”
The Vice President then observed that international and regional Courts of Justice and their rulings will also become increasingly important in the years to come as consensus grows around the fundamental importance of protection of individual and collective rights.
Also speaking, Justice Imani informed the Vice President that one of the big challenges the Court faces waa that more African States are yet to ratify the Protocol and make the Declaration under Article 34 (6). She however said that the Court was doing its best in the circumstance, and the 62nd Session of the Court would be starting next week to deliberate on cases before it.
Judges of the Court has two years ago, in May 2019, visited Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is a continental court established by Member States of the African Union by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which came into operation in November 2006 seeking to enhance the protection of human and peoples’ rights on the continent.