ECOWAS Court Fixes 13 November 2019 to Deliver Judgment in case by Nigerien company alleging the seizure of its school

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed 13th November 2019 to deliver judgment in a suit brought by a Nigerien registered company alleging the violation of its right to property by the government of the Republic of Niger following the withdrawal of its licence to operate an educational institution and the seizure of the school’s property.

Honorable Justice Dupe Atoki, who presided over the three member panel of the judges of the Court, adjourned the matter for judgment after hearing both parties.

The company, La Société BEDIR S.A.R.L, claimed in suit no. ECW/CCJ/APP/09/17 that based on an approval by the defendant, it established and ran a private school “la foundation Maarif” in the capital city of Niamey.

In the suit filed before the Court on 6th February 2017 by its Counsel, Mr. Ismail Tambo Moussa, the applicant claimed that the defendant withdrew its licence and other contractual documents citing/alleging flaws in the process for the initial approval thereby rendering the approval null and void/non-existent. The company also alleged that the defendant accused it of refusal to undertake an inspection of the school complex.

The plaintiff averred that the premises of the school was seized by new occupants who forcefully gained entry into the complex, seized all properties of the plaintiff and proceeded to change the name of the school to “Ecole de l’amitie Nigero-Turque.

The plaintiff claimed it had not been compensated even though it had secured a judgment in its favor, which the defendant has refused to enforce, opting instead to appeal.

Relying on relevant international legal texts, the plaintiff alleged the violation of its right to own property and consequently demanded the payment of 24,305,033,982 CFA francs for all the prejudices suffered and the payment of 250,000,000 CFA francs as cost for other sundry fees.

The defence counsel, Mr. Souley Dagouma Mahamadou Labiou however argued that the plaintiff being a corporate entity, lacked the legal personality to approach the Court.

The panel also included Honorable Justices Keikura Bangura and Januaria Moreira Costa.