The stalemate over the coup in Niger Republic and the inability of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the impasse has taken a new dimension as a group of eminent human rights crusaders has warned the subregional leaders to desist from taking any military action against the coup plotters, headlinenews.news report.
The Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA) in conjunction with foremost diplomat, Professor Biola Akinterinwa, and legal practitioner, Hamza Nuhu Dantani, on Monday dragged ECOWAS Chairman, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the member states before the ECOWAS court in Abuja to stop the defendants from declaring war on Niger Republic.
The group in a letter obtained by newsmen titled: “Notification of Pendency of Case Before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice/Call for Strict Adherence to the Protocol of the Honourable Court,” drew the attention of the President to the fact that invading Niger Republic is an act of aggression which is contrary to the relevant international laws, rules, procedures and conventions which Nigeria and other member countries are signatories to.
The letter, signed by their the group’s solicitors led by Kayode Ajulo, also informed the President that it has gone to court to seek certain reliefs to stop ECOWAS from invading Niger Republic, adding that it is also against the ECOWAS protocol for any member state to take action on a matter that is pending before the ECOWAS court.
The group argued that the proposed military action in Niger Republic violates Articles 1, 5, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22 & 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Articles 1 (2), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 & 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Articles 1, 3, 22, 23 (3), 25 (1) & 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948; Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 of the Declaration on the Right to Development 1986; Articles 6, 15, 31, 63 & 64 of the Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States; Article 10 of the Supplementary Protocol (A/SP.1/01/05) amending the Protocol (A/P.I/7/91) relating to the Community Court of Justice and Articles 10 (c), 22, 26, 27, 28, 56 of the ECOWAS Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace– Keeping and Security 1999.
“We wish to further draw your attention to Article 22(2) of the Protocol on the Community Court of Justice which mandates that “When a dispute is brought before the Court, Member states or institutions of the Community shall refrain from any action likely to aggravate or militate against its settlement.
”In the case before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Authority of Heads of State and Government (of which your Excellency is the Chairman), President, ECOWAS Commission, The Federal Republic of Nigeria (of which your Excellency is the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces) have been sued as sovereign legal representatives of respective institutions including the Republic of Niger.
“It is your Excellency’s sacred duty as the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and the President and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria under your hand to bring the institution of the Case before ECOWAS Community Court of Justice to the attention of the other Defendants/Respondents and to insist, particularly in your Excellences’ subsequent meetings, that the Defendants/Respondents, refrain from taking any action in respect of the subject matter pending the determination of the case, in view of your Excellency and Nigeria’s protocol obligation under the Article above quoted.
“Your Excellency, it is our firm confidence that by your enviable knowledge of the high international standard of due adherence to the rule of law and respect for the supranational judicial process obtainable in a Case of this nature, we need not further stress the need to ensure that all the Defendants/Respondents concerned maintain the status quo presently obtaining, and restrain themselves from taking any step susceptible to being regarded by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice and international Community as prejudicial to the interest of our client or any of the parties in court.
“Your Excellency would agree with us that as the law stands presently, the Resolution on proposed military actions is discontinued pending the determination of the Case by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria and other Defendants/Respondents have never been known to confront the international judicial system nor subject themselves to international ridicule and is beyond mischievously foisting a fait accompli on an International Court to which charter or protocol she is a High Contracting Party.
“It is without any reservation that we proceed on the common ground that your Excellency would use your good offices as the Chairman, Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and President & Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to adhere and advise compliance on the part of the afore-listed Defendants/Respondents,” the letter read in part.
The letter was copied to ECOWAS secretariat, the Chief of Staff to the President and the Solicitor-General of the Federation & Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice.
The National Patriots, Nigerians United for Peace founded by Dr. G. Fraser. MFR, FIDES JUSTICIA ASSOCIATES are working closely with the group and are mobilising support for this action to ensure peace through their extensive network.
This is a fantastic development. We must commend the ingenuity of this group and those associated with this cause like Dr. Fraser. I have read her submissions and I appreciate her brilliance. I am glad about this action. President Tinubu and ECOWAS will have no choice now but to soft pedal and maintain the status quo since an action has now been filed in the regional court! Well done. Kudos to all of you. Thank you for rescuing Nigeria from plunging itself into a pointless exercise in futility!!!!
Oluwole Tajudeen, Banker, Lagos.
Congratulations for this Suit.
I am impressed by this bold step and courageous act. This means that the ECOWAS resolution is illegal due to the revised ECOWAS Treaty. Nice one!!!!!
President Tinubu will now have to restore light to Niger with this Court action. Thank you all. Well done. I have heard of this National Patriots and like their style. I have been following them with keen interest. They always support positive causes objectively. Thank you Mr. Ajulo.
Thomas Lang, Lecturer, University of Jos.
This is a fantastic move! I respect all those associated with this action and commend their efforts. Thank you for applying a strategic face saving mechanism to help Nigeria out of a futile action. Great job. Now, I expect President Tinubu to restore electricity to Niger immediately without delay. He must obey the rule of law. It is now evident that the ECOWAS resolution is ultra vires of the ECOWAS Treaty prohibiting aggression amongst member States. Cutting off Electricity is an act of Aggression. It was carried out a few days after the Coup in Niger without giving the Niger authorities an opportunity to fair hearing. That Resolution is against the provisions of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty, against the African Charter on Human Rights and Peoples Rights and also against the relevant statutes of the United Nations. President Tinubu should as a matter of urgency appoint a Special Adviser on Legal Matters like Kayode Ajulo, and a Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs like Bolaji Akinyemi. President Tinubu needs a Special Adviser on Security who should be a Rtd General and a Minister of Defence who should be a Rtd General as well.
It appears he is not being advised properly. It’s not too late to adjust before Nigerians start to turn against him. People are facing a lot of hardship and what we need now is understanding not acts of aggression and interference in other peoples’ internal matter.
Tunbosun Adeyemi, Insurance Exec, Lagos
* I don’t know what’s going on. I want to thank all those who participated in this action. Thank you. President Tinubu is a listening President and will surely comply. I want to thank Headlinenews.news for being a pacesetter in breaking news and giving us a comprehensive package. I thank Dr. G. Fraser MFR, our brilliant dynamic iron lady who is highly resourceful & talented. She is a role model for women in Nigeria. Thank you.
I hope this action will douse the tension in the sub region. Niger has appointed a Prime Minister which shows flexibility not rigidity. Why is ECOWAS placing new sanctions? They should not allow Western Powers to push them against their own people. African must unite. We must reject the looting of our commonwealth. I expected President Tinubu to champion our cause but it appears he is being ill advised and may not be on our side anymore. He needs the people. He needs the North, he should not make us turn our backs against him. We are holding his government and if we remove our support that will be the end of his government. He must stop allowing the West to control him. We are members if IoC, we will not dance to the dictates of the West. Please let somebody educate our President about International relations before things get worse. He is sitting on a keg of dynamite.
Prof Isa Aliyu, Lecturer.
* This is madness. Did I read yesterday that the ECOWAS is putting more sanctions on Niger? I think ECOWAS and President Tinubu have missed road Walahi. If they are not careful, this government will shoot itself in the foot. Tinubu should listen to the people. We are mobilising in Northern Nigeria now and he will know our strength if he tries to frustrate Niger. We will soon give him an ultimatum to restore electricity in Niger or face problems. What is his problem? Why is he working against the people who supported him to power! He is looking for trouble. I learnt they budget N1.5 trillion for the Niger war and many people including ECOWAS top shots, Diplomats, Nigerian Presidential Aides are interested in that money! Corruption as usual. They want to sacrifice blood for their self enrichment? Never. We will expose them and resist it.
Hope this Court action which is a true face saving action will be responded to immediately.
Comrade Ishaqu Bello, FCT.
* Nice move. I like this Court action. Did ECOWAS not read the Treaty & AU Charter before drafting the ill advised resolution? Why do those in power in Africa like putting the Carts before the Horse? Where is their head and minds? Corruption has chopped their brain that they can never reason properly to put the people first and study their statutes. They are impulsive and find out they need to revert itself. This is not acceptable at all. The ECOWAS will soon lose the respect of member States and the people of the sub region. It appears they have become a puppet to Western powers & can no longer be trusted. Once the people lose confidence in them, that’s the end.
Stella Johnson, journalist, Akure.
* After reading the letter written to Mr. President, I am shocked that Nigeria could cut off power to Niger. Let’s take this face saving offer and draw back and soft pedal at tomorrow’s ECOWAS meeting in Abuja. How can they place more sanctions when the Sultan and Abdulsalam are going back to Niger for their response on the ECOWAS solutions? It doesn’t make sense. What is the hurry with sanctions? Burkina Faso & Mali have Junta heading them, why bully Niger? Because Western powers need the Uranium? No no no. This is too suspicious. We are not fools in Nigeria. We can smell a rat – a big fat rat!!!!! Mr. President should not deceive us and get us involved in what is not our business. Enough is enough.
Nigerians will react Oo.
Please find better advisers to advise Mr. President. He has no NSA as far as we are concerned, that man there is just a friend & loyalist but one can’t afford to be sentimental over the security of a country in a period like this! Nigeria needs an experienced, competent, capable NSA with capacity now!!!!!! Please advice. Reward friends with Contracts or non- sensitive positions.
Etim Ekpeyong, Activist, Uyo.