ECOWAS Court: Member states not executing our judgments

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The ECOWAS Court of Justice has expressed concern over non-implementation of its judgment by the members’ states.

The Vice President of the Court, Justice Micah Wright, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that only three out of 15 member states had put in place mechanism to execute the court’s decision.

His words:  “The court has experienced a couple of hardships or impediments as you say in the dispensation of its work, for example, notably in the execution of the judgment of the court.

“The court as you know does not have a police and the court does not execute or implement its own decisions, the court depends upon the goodwill of the member states.

“So, when the court renders a judgment, the court forwards the judgment to the member states and requests the member states to execute or implement that judgment – that is one of the impediments we have.

According to him, out of the 15 countries, only three – Nigeria, Guinea and Togo – have put in place proper mechanisms for the enforcement of judgments by the court.

Wright said that the court was making efforts to get other member states to see the wisdom in complying with the judgment issued by the court.

The Vice President said that another impediment that the court was facing was insufficient fund for its operation due to non-payment of levy by member states.

“The court and by extension the entire community is facing financial difficulties where member states are not paying up the community levy and that is the means of finance for all ECOWAS activities,” he said.

“The court is always at disadvantage when the funds are being distributed. But we have to take more initiatives to impress it upon the commission the mandate of the court is of such that the court is alone.

“The court cannot source external funding like the commission or like other institutions. We don’t want to compromise our independence and neutrality by going out to seek donor funding”, he stressed.

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