7 ECOWAS C’nity Judges Sworn-In

 The Chairman of ECOWAS President Mahama, in a pose the new judges, with them are Vice President Amissah  Arthur  (fourth from right) Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood (fifth from left)                                                   Photo: Vincent Dzatse


The Chairman of ECOWAS President Mahama, in a pose the new judges, with them are Vice President Amissah Arthur
(fourth from right) Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood (fifth from left) Photo: Vincent Dzatse

THE Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President John Mahama, yesterday swore in seven new judges to serve on the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice at the Flagstaff House, Kanda in Accra.

The judges, who were chosen by a jury from among 300 candidates, will serve a four-year term.

The 44th summit of regional leaders held in Yamoussoukro last February, approved the judges’ appointments, following the report of the regional Judicial Council charged with the recruitment of judges of the Community Court.

They are: Mr. Jerome Traore, Burkina Faso, Mrs. Maria Do Cue Montero Silva, Guinea Bissau, Mr Yaya Boiro Guinea, Mr. Micah Wilkins Wright Liberia, Mr. Hameye Foune Mahlmadane, Mali, Mr. Friday Chijioke Nwoke,

Nigeria, and Mr. Alioune Sall, Senegal.

They replace their colleagues from member states whose tenures have expired.

Performing the swearing-in, President Mahama urged the judges to maintain fairness and integrity in the discharge of their duties, stressing that their work should enhance peace, security and stability in the sub-region.

In the fair and judicious performance of their duties, President Mahama noted that the court would achieve its objective of contributing to the attainment of the sub-regional integration project.

“A key aspect of this integration agenda is the implementation of our community’s vision of transforming our body from an ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of the people by 2020,” he said.

He said the judges would also be called upon to provide guidance for the interpretation and application of the ECOWAS treaties, protocols, conventions, decisions and regulations.

President Mahama said the judgments of the court shall be

binding on the member states, community institutions, corporate entities and individuals, as mandated by the ECOWAS treaty.

Lack of compliance or implementation, he said, could frustrate the quest for true regional integration and undermine community institutions.

Kadre Desire Ouedrago, President of the ECOWAS Commission, said the oath taking or the solemn declaration before the Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government was an essential requirement without which the newly-appointed judges might not pass judgment.

The original mandate of the court, which became operational in 2001, covers interpretation and application of community texts and human rights. It also plays the role of arbitration and serves as a public service court for the community on matters between the community and its staff.

Its mandate was expanded in 2005, with the addition of human rights jurisdiction and the liberalizations of access to enable citizens to avail themselves of the services of the court.

Present at the ceremony were, the Vice President, Kwesi Amissah Arthur, Chief Justice, Georgina Wood, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hannah Tetteh and the Attorney –General and Minister of Justice, Mariettah Brew Appiah Oppong.

By Samuel Nuamah

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