Republic of Senegal given six months by ECOWAS Court to file a report on the implementation of its judgment
The ECOWAS Court has ordered the Republic of Senegal to submit to the Court, within six months, a report on the implementation of its orders contained in its judgment of October 26, 2020 in a case brought by one Mr. Cheikh Gueye alleging the violation of his right to fair hearing and property.
In the suit, the Senegalese had sought reliefs from the Court for the violation of his fundamental rights by the state.
In the judgment delivered on Tuesday, 27 October 2020 by Justice Dupe Atoki, the Court held the Respondent, the Republic of Senegal, liable for the violation of the Applicant’s rights to fair hearing and property, and ordered the Respondent to pay 70 million CFA Francs as compensation for the violations and another 15 million CFA Francs for the moral damages suffered by the Applicant.
In the initiating application filed before the Court by Mr Abdoul Hamid Ndiaye, counsel to Applicant on July 12, 2016, the Applicant claimed that he acquired a property on April 22, 1963 and that it was mortgaged by someone named Saer Diop for a loan of 3,250,000 CFA Francs without his knowledge.
He further claimed the mortgage institution (la Banque Islamique du Senegal) later seized the property and sold it to one Mrs Salimata Siama for 14 Million CFA Francs following a judgment delivered on March 9, 2004 by a national court.
The Applicant averred that he had no prior knowledge of the decision as he was not contacted by any of the actors involved until January 13, 2006 when there was an attempt to evict him.
He also averred that he sought justice in the national courts but that his rights were not guaranteed.
Relying on relevant Articles enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of Senegal, he urged the Court to hold the Respondent state liable for the violations and pay him 115 million CFA Franc as compensation.
The Respondent had raised a preliminary objection challenging the competence of the Court to hear the matter which was rejected by the Court while the burden of proof on the ownership of the property shifted to the Respondent.
The Court also found the submissions of the Respondent unsatisfactory.
The three member panel on the case also included the Vice President of the Court, Justice Gberi-Be Ouattara and Justice Keikura Bangura.