Mr Alfred Agbes Woyome
Mr Alfred Agbes Woyome

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is set to hear the case involving Mr Alfred Agbes Woyome verse the Republic of Ghana on May 8, at Arusha, Tanzanian.

The African Court document made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday signed by Dr Robert Eno, the African Court Registrar mentioned other countries to appear alongside Ghana, as Benin and Tanzania.

In the Application 001/2017 – Alfred Agbesi Woyome Vrs. Republic of Ghana, Mr Woyome alleged to have provided engineering financial services to Ghana pursuant to an agreement for securing funds for the rehabilitation of the Accra and Kumasi Sports Stadia for the Confederation of the African Cup of Nations Tournament, 2008.

The Applicant alleged that, by not respecting the terms of the agreement, Ghana violated the rights provided under the Charter; enjoyment of rights and freedoms recognised in the Charter without distinction (Article two of the Charter).

It also avers that equality before the law and equal protection of the law, (Article three of the Charter) and right to fair trail (Article seven of the Charter). The African Court on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) in Tanzania, has ordered Ghana to suspend all efforts to retrieve the GH?51.2 million judgement debt paid to businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, until the court determines an appeal filed by the businessman, who argues that his human rights were being abused by Ghana’s Supreme Court.

In a unanimous ruling on November 24, 2017, the 11-member panel ordered Ghana to suspend the seizure of any property belonging to the businessman, “take all appropriate measures to maintain the status quo and avoid the property being sold’’ until the case was determined.

Alfred Agbesie Woyome proceeded to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in November 2017 when government began a valuation of his properties in an attempt to retrieve GHC51 million wrongfully paid to him in a judgement debt.

Other Countries expected to appear before the continental court, are Benin in an Application 013/2017 – Sebastien Germain Ajavon v. Benin slated for May 9, 2018.

The Applicant alleges that Benin has violated his rights by withdrawing his customs licence and disrupted his radio and television stations’ signals.

The Applicant is also alleging that the proceedings instituted against him by the Public Prosecutor and the Benin Customs Services in the cocaine trafficking case was not fair.

Tanzania is also expected to face the African Court on May 10 in an Application 001/2015 – Armand Guehi v. United Republic of Tanzania.

Mr Guehi, an Ivorian national, who has been convicted and sentenced to death for murdering his wife, is challenging the conviction on the ground that it violated his right to a fair trial.

The African Court is a continental court established by African countries to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa. It complements and reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The African Court was established by virtue of Article one of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court, (the Protocol) which was adopted by Member States of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in June 1998. The Protocol came into force on January 25, 2004.

As at February 2018, only eight out of the 30 States Parties to the Protocol had made the declaration recognizing the competence of the African Court to receive cases from NGOs and individuals.
The eight States are; Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Malawi , Tanzania and Rep. of Tunisia.

The 30 States which have ratified the Protocol are: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda.

The African Court has jurisdiction over all cases and disputes submitted to it concerning the interpretation and application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (the Charter), the Protocol and any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the States concerned. Specifically, the Court has two types of jurisdiction: contentious and advisory.

The African Court is composed of eleven Judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity.

The African Court meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold Extra-Ordinary Sessions.

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