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ECOWAS COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION TO ACT AS APPELLATE COURT

Dictum

In LINDA GOMEZ & 5 ORS V. REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA, Suit No. ECW/CCJ/APP/18/12 at paragraph 27, where the Court stated as follows: “It is clear that the Court has neither jurisdiction to annul domestic legislations of ECOWAS Member States nor the jurisdiction to act as appellate Court over their domestic Courts”.

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EXPERT IS PERMITTED TO GIVE AN OPINION BASED ON HEARSAY

Para. 40: “It is common knowledge that an expert’s opinion is usually based on his training and experience. In law an expert is permitted to give an opinion on the basis of hearsay information, provided that it relates to specific matters of which he does have personal knowledge. Thus a doctor can give evidence of what he was told by a patient about his condition for the purpose of evaluating his diagnosis; though his testimony is inadmissible to show what symptoms were actually being experienced by the patient; see R. V. Bradshaw (1985) 82 Cr. App. R. 79, CA.”

— Saidykhan v GAMBIA (2010) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/08/10

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THE REVISED TREATY MAY BE CALLED THE CONSTITUTION OF ECOWAS

“21. The Revised Treaty of 1993 is the supreme law of ECOWAS, and it may be called its Constitution. By Article 89 of the Revised Treaty, Protocols made pursuant thereto shall form an integral patt thereof.”

— Ukor v Laleye (2005) – ECW/CCJ/APP/01/04

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CONDITION PRECEDENT TO DETERMINING JURISDICTION

In Hissein Habre v. Republic of Senegal; ECW/CCJ/APP/07/08 & ECW/CCJ/03/10, this Court held that in determining whether it has jurisdiction, it shall consider: • If the issues submitted before it deals with a right which has been enshrined for the benefit of the human person; • Whether it arises from international or community obligations of the state complained of, as Human Rights to be promoted, observed, protected, and enjoyed; • Whether it is the violation of that right which is being alleged. See also Private Alimu Akeem v. Federal Republic of Nigeria ECW/CCJ/ RUL/05/11, pg. 119 affirming the same condition precedent.

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ECOWAS COURT CANNOT ENTERTAIN A CASE ALREADY DETERMINED BY COMPETENT INTERNATIONAL COURT

In El Haji Mame Abdou Gaye v. Republic of Senegal ECW/CCJ/JUD/01/12 at Para 28 and 46, this Court held that: “The only limit to this jurisdiction is as prescribed in Article 10(d)(ii) of the supplementary Protocol on the Court, which bars it from entertaining a case which is already taken by another competent international Court”.

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DESPERATE SITUATIONS CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES – JUMP BAIL

Para. 35: “Counsel for the defendant also submitted that the fact that the plaintiff’s brother secured his bail with an expired passport and the fact that plaintiff jumped bail throw the plaintiff’s character into doubt so the court should not believe him. This argument too is untenable. Desperate situations call for desperate measures. Who would not have acted the way the plaintiff did given the situation that he found himself in? Even if he had succeeded in escaping from the National Intelligence Agency detention centre without bail he would have been justified. The court rejects the call to declare the plaintiff as a person of bad character since he was justified in using every reasonable means to secure his freedom and flee for safety.”

— Saidykhan v GAMBIA (2010) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/08/10

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MERE ALLEGATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION TRIGGERS THE COURT JURISDICTION

Para. 46: “Mere allegation of Human Rights violation as opposed to the veracity of the claim has been held by this Court in decided cases, to be sufficient enough to trigger its jurisdiction to adjudicate on allege violation of Human Rights provided for in the African Charter on Human Rights.”

— Ogwuche Esq. & Anor. v FRN (2018) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/31/18

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