African court seeks more citizens awareness, to visit Buhari, others

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A delegation of African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Thursday called for awareness about the court’s operations among Nigerians.

A judge of the court, Justice Stella Anukam, who represents Nigeria and West Africa on the court’s bench, made this call during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja.

The event was scheduled to be a prelude to a visit of a broader delegation of the court to be led by its President, Justice Sylvan Ore, to Nigeria next week.

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During the one-week long trip from April 29 to May 4, the delegation is expected to visit President Muhammadu Buhari, other key Nigerian officials and the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States sitting in Abuja,

Speaking about the problem of awareness about the court, Anukam said, “The problem, which we have identified, not only in Nigeria but also in many other member states, is that very few citizens of Africa are even aware of the existence of the court.

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“So, we decided that apart from the visit to the ECOWAS Court, we should leverage on our being here to sensitise the people to the workings of the court.”

Nigeria is said to be among 30 out of 55 member states of the African Union that have ratified the protocol establishing the African court created to protect the rights of citizens and people of Africa.

But only nine countries without Nigeria have made a declaration enabling their citizens and non-governmental organisations to have access to seek redress over rights violations in the African court.

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The countries which are said to have made the declarations comprise Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda, Tanzania, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and the Gambia.

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