ECOWAS Court fixes Friday to hear suit challenging sanctions on Mali
By Our reporter
Sept. 23, 2020 - The ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed Friday to hear two interlocutory applications in a case instituted by two associations in Mali against the ECOWAS Commission and the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
The case is challenging the legality of the Aug. 18 sanctions imposed on the Republic of Mali, following the military coup against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
In the interlocutory application filed by the Malian Coalition and the Consumers Association of Mali, both registered in the country, the associations are asking for the orders of the Court suspending the sanctions.
A statement issued by the media unit of the Court on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the association also sought for accelerated hearing of both cases challenging the sanctions.
According to the case with suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/36/20, the two associations claimed that the President of the Commission acted ultra vires in imposing the sanctions.
They argued that the procedure was not in conformity with the relevant ECOWAS texts under which sanctions should be brought against Member States for failure to honour their obligations to the Community as this is reserved for Heads of State and Government of the Community.
The plaintiffs are being represented by Mr Modibo Diakite, Mr Oumar Tounkara, Mr Abdrahamane Diallo. Mr Maxime Poma and the law firm of SCP d’Avocats DO-FINI CONSULT.
They further claimed that the sanctions, which were enforced by neighbours Côte d’Ivoire and Niger with the closure of their borders, are negatively impacting on a population already ‘bruised by insecurity, the Covid-19 pandemic as well as poor governance.”
“In the initiating application filed before the Court on Sept. 9, the associations claimed that the sanctions constitute not only the violation of the right of the people of Mali to the freedom of movement guaranteed in ECOWAS texts.
“But also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the economic, social and cultural rights of Malian citizens in the Community as well as their right to non-discrimination.
“Among the reliefs sought is an order for the payment of compensation for prejudices suffered in the sum of 1,000,000 CFA francs for each individual, another 10,000,000 CFA francs for each legal person as well as the payment of the same amount for the violation of human rights.
“The associations also prayed the court to order the state of Côte d’Ivoire to pay a symbolic 1 CFA to the plaintiffs for the violation of their human rights through the discriminatory treatment of Malians,” it said
According to the statement, a three member panel of the court comprising Justices Dupe Atoki (presiding), Keikura Bangura and Januária Tavares Silva Moreira Costa will hear the case.
It said that the proceeding will be virtual and can be followed via “Zoom” using the ID: 849 4983 1562 with the passcode: 6650799 10am on Friday.