Immediate past member of the Ghanaian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Clement Kofi Humado has stated Heads of States are obliged to ensure that rulings of the Court of Justice of the Community are respected by member states.
According to him, articles that established the ECOWAS Court resulted from the joint proclamation of the Authority of Heads of States and Governments that they signed, which has been ratified by their various parliaments.
“To that effect and purpose, the importance of the ECOWAS Court. They are obliged by the articles that they have signed to obey the rulings of the court of justice, so the court has jurisdiction over matters that it rules on,”
He further pointed out in a telephone interview that the treaty and protocols would have specified the nature of the matters that the court can handle.
The former Community lawmakers’ comments come in the wake of an ongoing joint delocalised meeting ongoing in Cote d’Ivoire where Speaker Sidie Mohammed Tunis expressed worry over the practice of non-compliance of the rulings of the ECOWAS Court.
“I recall a case in Sierra Leon where a President sacked his vice and the vice said it was unconstitutional for him to be sacked and the way it was done. The Vice sent the matter to the ECOWAS Court of Justice and the sacked Vice-President had a ruling in his favour”.
The President had to compensate him and added that similarly, “rulings should be binding on other Heads of States who ratified the protocols of the establishment of the Court of Justice”.
As to whether the call by the Speaker is coming in late he said, “I don’t think the call by the Speaker is late in coming rather it’s a work in progress and at any stage, the attention of the Heads of States can be drawn to documents they have signed and the need to obey the rulings of the courts”.