President Mahama advises ECOWAS Judges to be fair

John Dramani MahamaPresident John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday appealed to members of the Economic Community of West African States Community Court Judges, to be fair and circumspect in the discharge of their duties.

He said they should also use the courts to promote fairness and unity to avoid grievances from contending parties within their jurisdiction.

President Mahama, also the Chairman of ECOWAS, made the appeal when he swore-in seven newly selected ECOWAS community court of Justice Judges at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.

The Judges who would serve for the next four years are; Jerome Traore of Burkina Faso, Mrs Maria Do Cue Montero Silva of Guinea Bissau, Mr Yahaya Boiro of Guinea and Mr Micah Wilkins Wright of Liberia.

The rest are; Mr Hamaye Foune Mahlmadane of Mali, Mr Friday Chikoje Nwoke of Nigeria and Mr Alioune Sall of Senegal .

The original mandate of the court, which became operational in 2001, covers interpretation and application of community texts and human rights.

It also plays the role of arbitration and serves as a public service court for the community on matters between the community and its staff.

They were selected from a pool of 300 competent and in good standing Judges from the sub-region.

President Mahama asked them to use their positions to enhance peace, security and stability in the sub- region and promote the development of member states by judiciously applying the law to litigants.

He indicated that their fair and judicious application of the law would subsequently contribute to the attainment of the sub- regional integration project.

President Mahama said the Judges would be called upon to provide interpretation and application of the ECOWAS treaties, protocols, conventions and decisions and the efficient discharge of their duties would ensure that the rights of ECOWAS citizens are guaranteed and protected.

The ECOWAS Chairman said there is the need for them to respect the cultures of member states as they are working in a multicultural environment in the sub-region.

Mr Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, President of the ECOWAS Commission on behalf of the judicial council commended the former Judges for their performance and expressed the hope that the new ones would follow the trend in the discharge of their duties.

He appealed to them to remain committed to their duties and avoid favouring particular states engaged in the courts. GNA

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