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A VICTIM IS A PERSON WHO SUFFERS HARM DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY – (ECOWAS Court)

Dictum

It follows from the above that a victim can be a person who suffers directly or indirectly any harm or pain (physical or mental injury), emotional suffering (through loss of a close family member or relation), economic loss (loss of Properties) or any impairment that can be categorized as human rights violation. Additionally, other than the loss, harm or damage, an Applicant must prove an interest in the matter which must be direct and personal. This Court has through several decisions made exception for individuals and organizations who have not suffered directly or personally to institute actions in a representative capacity on behalf of victims.

— The Registered Trustees of Jama’a FOUNDATION v FRN ECW/CCJ/JUD/04/20 para. 67

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WHAT IS LOCUS STANDI?

Locus standi , which is a Latin word simply means a place of standing. It is the legal right of a party to an action to be heard in Litigation before the Court or Tribunal. The term denotes, the right of a party to institute an action in a Court of Law or seek judicial...

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STATEMENT OF CLAIM HAS TO BE SCRUTINIZED TO DETERMINE LOCUS STANDI

It cannot be disputed that the question whether or not a plaintiff has a locus standi in a suit is determinable from a totality of all the averments in his statement of claim. In dealing with the locus standi of a plaintiff, it is his statement of claim alone that has to be carefully scrutinized...

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INTEREST IS THE MEASURING ROD FOR AN ACTION

Para. 27 – 28: “Generally, and from a legal standpoint, the necessity for an applicant to provide justification of interest in a case is attested to by the adage that “Where there is no interest, there is no action”, and also “An interest is the measuring rod for an action”. In other words, an application is admissible only when the applicant justifies that he brings a case before a judge for the purposes of protecting an interest or defending an infringement of such. Such an interest must be direct, personal and certain.”

— Oserada v ECOWAS Council of Ministers & Ors. (2008) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/01/08

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AN INDIVIDUAL CAN BRING AN ACTION ON BEHALF OF A CLOSE RELATIVE – (ECOWAS Court)

An individual can bring an action on behalf of another only when Applicant is a close relation of a victim of violation of human rights. Following from the above, the Court holds that another teleological interpretation is that individuals who are not direct victims can ground an action before the Court if they are relation of the direct victim of violation of human rights. — The Registered Trustees of Jama’a FOUNDATION v FRN ECW/CCJ/JUD/04/20 para. 66

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DEFINITION OF LOCUS STANDI

In B.B. Apugo & Sons Ltd V. OHMB (2016) LPELR-40598(SC) per Kekere-Ekun, JSC 23, B-E, defined locus standi thus: “Locus standi is the legal right of a party to an action to be heard in litigation before a Court or tribunal. The term connotes the legal capacity of instituting or commencing an action in a...

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