ECOWAS Court to deliver two judgments during its inaugural virtual session on Monday, 22nd June 2020

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice will on Monday, 22nd of June 2020 deliver two judgements as it resumes its suspended court proceedings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the advisory of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO).

In the first case, suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/33/17/SUPP, filed on 8th of September 2017, Dr Rose Mbatomon Ako is suing five defendants – the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA); it’s The Director General; The Chairman, Committee of Governors of the Central Banks of ECOWAS Member States; Attorney General of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Dr Ako, the plaintiff who is a former employee of the first defendant, alleged that the first and second defendants unlawfully and illegally evicted her from her official residence and seized her personal belongings, thereby rendering her an internally displaced person, following the wrongful termination of her appointment.

She averred that although the Court had in an earlier judgment ECW/CCJ/JUD/01/13 to her suit ECW/CCJ/APP/15/11, awarded compensation in her favour, the Court was silent on some reliefs particularly that relating to the recovery of her personal belongings.

She is therefore seeking among others, orders of the Court declaring that the first and second defendants enjoy limited diplomatic immunity and therefore liable contrary to their argument; mandate the first and second defendants to execute the judgment of a High Court of Sierra Leone awarding her damages; compel the defendants to pay special damages estimated at $379,552 and punitive damages in the sum of $150,000, and a mandatory injunction compelling the defendants to release the properties of the plaintiff.

In their defence, the defendants argued among others, that the plaintiff’s application for review of repetitive issues on the same judgment was an abuse of court process and that the ECOWAS Court was not an appeal court.

The judgment will be delivered by a panel of three judges comprising Honourable Justices Edward Amoako Asante (presiding), Gberi-Be Ouattara and Januaria T.S. Moreira Costa.

The ECOWAS Court had on 13th of May 2020 issued a Practice Direction on Electronic Case Management and Virtual Court Session, to enable it resume its judicial functions and deliver timely justice in line with its mandate.