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ECOWAS Court breaks silence on Sunday Igboho case



Authorities of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice on Friday said that it has not received any matter relating to the trial of a Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho in Benin Republic.

Speaking with journalists at the end of its one week sensitization mission to Kwara state, the vice- president of the Court, Justice Gberi-be Ouatarra represented by a member of the court, Justice
Dupe Atoki, alongside other members of the team, said that the Court of the 15-member West African countries only concerns itself with civil matters brought before it.

It is recalled that the Benin Republic had charged the activist to court for illegal migration to the country with his wife, dubious connivance with immigration officials and attempt to cause civil unrest in the country, while the federal government had also charged him for trafficking and possession of unlicenced arms and ammunition in Nigeria.

The Yoruba Nation activist was also accused by the federal government of seeking to break away a certain part of the country from the rest of the state as well as inciting people to violence in his call for the freedom of his kith and kin.

“Obviously, there’s been no complaints about supposed Sunday Igboho before the Court and for all intents and purposes, the court has no idea of who Sunday Igboho is and what’s happening to him.

“Sunday Igboho, for us in this side of the divide here we don’t know what’s that. We have no clue of who or what’s happening to Sunday Igboho. Majority of leadership of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice are not Nigerians. I’m like the only Nigerian and for judicial purpose, I have no knowledge of who Sunday Igboho is or what’s his challenge. The court is only concerned with matters that have been brought before it and if matters had not been brought before it we would just be a meddlesome interloper trying to fish out issues in public domain and we’re not teleguided by mere newspaper presentations. We don’t read newspaper for purpose of determining whether we should intervene or not”.

The deputy president of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, who said a total number of 583 had been received with 179 pending cases, added that it has given rulings on 131 cases and delivered judgement on 303 matters.

Justice Atoki also said that decisions had been passed on 21 cases, adding that 54 out of the pending cases are from Nigeria.

She also said that filing of cases in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice is free except payment to legal representatives and making of copies of the judgement.

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