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THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD CONNOTES AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE REPRESENTATION

Dictum

Para. 53: “The Court recognizes the principles of Audi alteram partem (hear the other side) which requires that persons affected by an adverse position must be given an opportunity to make representation. The right to be heard by its own nature connotes an opportunity to be heard within a reasonable time by an impartial court or Tribunal. This right is not limited to a one on one verbal representation but encompasses every avenue accorded to a party to be heard in a matter. This Court 18 reiterated the principle that parties must be given an opportunity to be heard in any matter affecting their interest in the following words: “the right to fair hearing is a human right derived from the concept of fair hearing, in this regard, a fair trial is not only seen as an additional instrument for protection of the rights of defence largo sensu…..” See MOHAMMED TAYYIB BAH V. REP OF SIERRA LEONE JUD NO: ECW/CCJ/JUD/11/15, (Unreported) in its consideration relied on the case of Ugokwe v. Okeke (2008), CCJELR pg. 149@ 146.”

— Uuter Dery v Republic of Ghana (2019) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/17/19

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ECOWAS COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION TO ACT AS APPELLATE COURT

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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BURDEN TO PROVIDE RECORDS OF PENSION IS ON GOVERNMENT

In the case of Registered Trustees of Association of Former Telecom Employees of Nigeria &17,102 Ors. V. Federal Republic of Nigeria & Ors; ECW/CCJ/JUD/20/19, when this court held that: “It follows therefore that once the claimant makes out a prima facie case of entitlement to pension, by proof of employment but lacks access to the key information needed to substantiate his claim same being in the control of Respondent, such claim cannot fail due to being unsubstantiated. It is a recognized fact that salary records and computations matrix are in the normal cause of events in the custody and preserve of the employer in this case the Respondent. The burden to provide records of the pension entitlement of the Applicant having shifted to the Respondent, the Applicants are exonerated from proving their entitlement.”

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FAIR HEARING NOT BREACHED WHEN A DOCUMENT IS EXPUNGED BY TRIAL JUDGE

I have seen in recent times counsel forcing into cases the principles of fair hearing even when they are so distant from the case. The principles of fair hearing will not be invoked in favour of a party where the trial Judge correctly expunges an exhibit earlier admitted. It is only when the document is...

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ECOWAS COURT IS NOT AN APPELLATE COURT

An ancillary issue which the Court needs to address relates to the allegation of the status in law of the petitioner. The Supreme Court having ruled that the petitioner was duly registered and stricto senso not been a human right issues, this Court will not review the decision as it amounts to sitting on appeal on the decision of the national court. The court further reiterates that it is not an appellate court and will only admit cases from national courts where human rights violation are alleged in the course of the proceeding. See Private Alimu Akeem v. Federal Republic of Nigeria ECW/CCJ/RUL/05/11, Hissein Habre v. Republic of Senegal ECW/CCJ/RUL/03/10 and Messrs. Abdoulaye Balde & 5Ors. V. The Republic of Senegal ECW/CCJ/RUL/01/13. Jerry Ugokwe Vs Nigeria (2004-2009) CCJELR, Ocean King Vs Senegal ECW/CCJ/JUD/07/11, Bakare Sarres Vs Mali.

— Uuter Dery v Republic of Ghana (2019) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/17/19

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THE FAIR HEARING OF A PERSON CANNOT BE WAIVED BY ANOTHER

I cannot agree with the view of the learned Respondent’s counsel that the Appellant’s counsel compromised the right of the Appellant and thus the Appellant cannot complain. The right to fair hearing cannot be waived or compromised as it is not donated but inherent for the person involved. – Ogunwumiju JSC. Junaidu v. State (2021)...

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THE DOCTRINE OF EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW

In BADINI SALFO V THE REPUBLIC OF BURKINA FASO JUD NO: ECW/CCJ/JUD/13/12, the Court while relying in its judgment in CNDD v. COTE D’ IVOIRE (2009) Para 55, and PROF. ETIM MOSES v. REP OF GAMBIA, (2007) Para 31, held that: “Equality before the law presupposes that equal treatment is accorded people finding themselves in similar situations. Thus, examining the allegation of the violation of the principle of equality requires that, at least two similar legal situations be put side by side as to compare and find out whether an ill treatment was concretely meted out to either one or both of them”.

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