An International Civil Right Group, Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA) has dragged the Economic Community of West African (ECOWAS) to the bloc’s court over the proposed military intervention in Niger. The group prayed the court to invoke ECOWAS protocols to stop the planned military action against Niger.
The suit was instituted on its behalf by a Nigerian lawyer, Kayode Ajulo. The suit is marked ECW/CCJ/APP/3/23 said ECOWAS treaties prohibit aggression among member States The group prayed the regional court to invoke relevant ECOWAS treaties and international laws to stop the military invasion of Niger.
The group said any military intervention in Niger would be tantamount to aggression between ECOWAS member states. The group in the suit said the planned military action or invasion would run foul of the obligations in the ECOWAS treaties and therefore amounting to illegality.
Apart from EMA, other plaintiffs in the matter are a former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of the Internal Affairs (NIIA), Prof Bola Akinterinwa and Hamza Dantani, a Northern Nigeria based lawyer Defendants in the matter are the ECOWAS, Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President of ECOWAS Mission, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Niger.
He said the military intervention would specifically violate Articles 1, 5, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 24 of the African charter on human and peoples’ rights and others. According to him, Article 22(2) of the protocol on the community court of justice mandates that when a dispute is brought before the court, member states shall refrain from any action likely to militate against its settlement.
No date has been fixed for hearing in the suit. A military group led by Gen. Abdourhamane Tchiani had on July 26 toppled the civilian and democratic government of President Mohammed Bazoun who has since been clamped into unlawful military detention. NAN reports that the ECOWAS on Tuesday imposed fresh sanctions over the coup in Niger Republic.
The regional bloc had earlier given Niger junta seven days to reinstate President Bazoum or risk sanctions, including possible military action. But the coupists called the bluff of ECOWAS and vowed to resist any foreign intervention on its soil. It also severed ties with Nigeria, Togo, France and the U.S., and shut down Nigerien airspace indefinitely.
At the end of the ultimatum, the bloc scheduled a meeting for Thursday to review the situation in the West African nation. NAN reports that President Bola Tinubu, the Chairman of the authority of Heads of state and Government of the ECOWAS, has vowed to do everything possible to reinstate the ousted Bazoum. (NAN)