Nigeria has so far disobeyed twenty-five judgements of the ECOWAS court, the first since the establishment of the regional court, and that’s according to a senior lawyer, Femi Falana.
Falana, a human rights activist also said Nigeria is the only country in West Africa that has such a dismal record in terms of obedience of court orders.
Mr Falana said this on Thursday when he featured on an ARISE News programme, The ARISE INTERVIEW.
He said disobedience of court orders has become a component part of civilian administration in Nigeria, a country that is expected to provide regional and continental leadership.
“I must say that a number of African countries are beginning to get it right, you can talk of Ghana, you can talk of Botswana, you can talk of South Africa and a few others where disobedience of court orders is totally alien.
‘Unfortunately, in the case of Nigeria that is required to provide continental and regional leadership, disobedience of court orders have become a component part of civilian administration in a way that Nigeria has continued to encourage impunity,” Mr Falana told ARISE News.
The senior lawyer was of the view that Nigeria’s egregious disregard for the judgements of the ECOWAS court has brought about impunity and has encouraged member nations to disregard judgements of the ECOWAS court.
“Take the ECOWAS for instance, this is the first time that a member state like Cape Verde will come out openly that we are not obeying the orders of the ECOWAS court because we didn’t sign the protocol.
“Under article 15 of the revised treaty of the ECOWAS, all member states shall comply with the decisions of the court and this in line with democratic practice to show that we are civilised and we do not need a dictator under a democratic atmosphere.
“So, it’s the first time and again encouraged by Nigeria because right now at the last time I did some work in this area, I discovered Nigeria was disobeying twenty-five judgements of the ECOWAS court.
“It has never happened in the history of Nigeria and so no country in West Africa has such a dismal record of performance when it comes to obedience of court orders and the government has to appreciate that you cannot operate a democratic government without evidence of commitment to comply with court orders,” Falana said.
By Abel Ejikeme