Court orders appointment of valuer to help determine value of land at centre of pending suit

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has ordered the appointment of an expert in real estate valuation to help the Court determine within two months, the value of a property that is the subject of a suit for the violation of right to property pending before the Court.

Honourable Justice Dupe Atoki, presiding judge in the suit brought by Mr. Hamma Hiya and Mrs. Bintou Alassane Maiga against the government said it had become necessary to order measure of inquiry to ascertain the value of the land in dispute considering that both parties are not in agreement on its value.

In taking the decision, the Court relied on Article 57 (1) of the Rules of the Court which states that “The Court may at any time, in accordance with these rules, after hearing the parties, order any measure of inquiry to be taken or that a previous inquiry be repeated or expanded.”

The Court ordered that the two parties should bear the cost of the expert, who should be based in Mali, in the absence of evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim and relying on Article 45 (1) of the Rules of the Court.

In the case ECW/CCJ/APP/09/18 filed before the Court on 5 February 2018 by counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr. Moussa Maiga, the plaintiffs claimed that their right to property were violated by the government of Mali following the reallocation of their separate pieces of land to the UN mission in Mali   without the payment of compensation while efforts to resolve the matter with the government failed.

The plaintiffs are seeking among others, orders of the Court for individual compensation amounting to Three Hundred and Fifty Million CFA Francs (350,000,000) in favour of each of the plaintiffs for the prejudice suffered and for the defendant to equally bear the cost of litigation.

The case was adjourned to 24 March 2020 for judgment. Also on the three member panel are Justices Gberi-Be Ouattara and Januaria Costa.