Republic of Mali ordered to Pay 596,822,400 CFA as Compensation to two Malians for violating their rights to property

The ECOWAS Court has ordered the Republic of Mali to pay the sum total of 596,822,400 as compensation to two Malians, Mr Hamma Hiya and Mrs Bintou Alassane Maiga, for violating their rights to property.

Delivering judgment on Tuesday, 9th March 2021 in a suit brought by the two citizens, the Court also ordered the Malian government to submit to the Court within three months measures taken (by the government) to implement the orders/judgment of the Court.

In the judgment delivered by Justice Dupe Atoki, the judge rapporteur, the Court held the Respondent state in violation of Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right by its trespass/unlawful encroachment and non-payment of compensation to both Applicants for their property. It therefore ordered the payment of 288,411,200 CFA Francs to each of the Applicants for the violation of their rights to property and another 10,000,000 CFA Franc to each Applicant as compensation for the moral prejudice suffered.

In awarding the compensation, the Court cited the report of the independent expert that estimated the current value of each property at 288,411,000 CFA Francs.

The Court had during its 9 December 2019 hearing in the matter, ordered the appointment of a real estate expert to help it determine the value of the property in contention following the disagreement of both parties on the value of the land in dispute.

In suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/09/18 was filed before the Court on 22 January 2018 by counsel to the Applicants, Mr Moussa Maiga alleging violation of their right to property by the government of Mali following the reallocation of their separate (but neighbouring) pieces of land to an international organization with an office in Mali without compensating the Applicants.

The Applicants averred that all attempts to resolve the matter with the government were unsuccessful.

Among the reliefs sought by the Applicants in their initiating application, were orders for the payment of an individual compensation of Three Hundred and Fifty Million CFA Francs (350,000,000) to each of the Applicants for the prejudice suffered and for the Respondent to equally bear the cost of litigation.

Also on the three member panel were Justices Gberi-Be Ouattara and Januaria Costa.