ECOWAS Court To Rule On Niger Republic Junta’s Case Against Tinubu, Others

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court has scheduled December 7 for a ruling on interim measures in a case presented by the State of Niger and seven others against the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and two additional parties.
The Niger Republic junta initiated the case, contending that the sanctions imposed by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, have had adverse effects on the Nigerien people. These effects include a scarcity of food, medicine, and electricity due to border closures and the discontinuation of electricity supply by Nigeria.
Represented by their legal team, including Moukaila Yaye, the applicants argued for interim court orders compelling the ECOWAS Authority to immediately suspend the sanctions. They alleged unequal and unfair treatment of Niger compared to three other member states (Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea) that also experienced recent coup d’états.
Additionally, the applicants urged the court to affirm its competence to examine the case and declare the application admissible according to the court’s regulations.
On the other side, the respondents – the Authority of Heads of State, the Mediation and Security Council, and the ECOWAS Commission – represented by Mr François Kanga-Penond, contested the admissibility of the application. They urged the court to reject the applicants’ request, asserting that a coup d’état is not recognized in a democracy. Kanga-Penond emphasized that the junta lacks legal capacity to bring the case before the court, citing the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum’s pending case challenging the junta’s legitimacy before the same court.
“In the initiating application, the applicants – the State of Niger, six Nigerien organizations, and a Nigerien national asked the court to declare the measures taken by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS during its extraordinary sessions of July 30 and August 10, 2023, allegedly aimed at restoring constitutional order in the Republic of Niger, illegal.
“They requested the court to nullify all decisions of these ECOWAS organs imposing sanctions, including the decision to resort to military intervention in the Republic of Niger,“ the statement added.
Ada Peter

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