Kanu: ECOWAS Court To Resume Hearing On Alleged Human Rights Violation On February 7, 2018

Kanu: ECOWAS Court To Resume Hearing On Alleged Human Rights Violation On February 7, 2018
Chris Steven, Abuja
The ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed February 7, 2018 to rule on whether to award cost against Nigerian Government for the late filing of its preliminary objection challenging the Court’s jurisdiction in a case brought by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).

Kanu had earlier sued the Federal Government alleging the violation of his human rights.

Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Counsel to Kanu had asked for N10 million in costs as the preliminary objection by the defendant on the jurisdiction of the Court was baseless, done in bad faith and a ploy to prolong the matter in Court and had requested for short adjournment to enable him respond to the issues raised in the objection.

But the defendant represented by Maimuna Shiru alongside other counsels objected to the plaintiff’s request for cost, insisting that they filed their process in line with the rules of the Court.

After hearing both parties, Justice Hameye Foune Mahalmadane, who led the panel of judges, adjourned the matter to that date to also enable it conclude the translation of the documents for the benefit of the non-English speaking judges on the panel.

In suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/06/16 filed on 3rd March 2016, Kanu, alleged that the government of Nigeria violated his rights to life, personal integrity, privacy, fair trial, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, personal liberty, freedom of association, private property, right to existence and right to self-determination following his arrest and detention by agents of the State.

He also contended that the violent attacks, killings and arrest of his supporters was unlawful and sought compensation in the sum of $800 million for gross violation of his rights.

Relying on some Articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Universal Declaration of Human Right and the Covenant of the League of Nations and Resolutions of the United Nation Charter of 1970, the plaintiff sought reliefs of the Court.

Among the reliefs sought was a declaration that his arrest, detention, torture and incarceration on the 14th of October 2015 was a breach of the defendant’s human rights obligations.

Other judges on the panel were Justice Yaya Boiro and Justice Alioune Sall.