Human Rights Violation Case Brought Before ECOWAS By Barcar Biai Dismissed

Ecowas Court
Ecowas Court

The ECOWAS Court at its 11 External Sitting in Accra has dismissed case of human rights violation filed by Barcar Biai, citizen and former Attorney General of the Republic of Guinea Bissau.

The Court declared that application was inadmissible, and the respondents herein were proper defendants in a claim for human rights violations and dismissed all claims.

Biai had sued ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and the ECOWAS Commission for allegedly violating his fundamental human rights via illegalities relating to Article 16 (4) of the Supplementary Act.

Biai, the applicant, a public servant, held that respondents violated his right when a political travel ban was placed on him and his family, including his assets.

The applicant averred that by the action of the respondents, his rights to free movement, his right to be heard, right to hold public office and the rights to access his accounts at the bank had all been denied.

He said the sanctions imposed on him by the respondents without giving him the right to be heard, triggered various human rights violation as “it was restrictive and prevented the enjoyment” of his rights.

“That this alleged violation herein contravenes Article 53 of the Constitution of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political rights,” the applicant averred.

He therefore prayed the Court to order the respondents to pay him three (3) Billion CFA francs or reparation damages caused.

Biai wanted the ECOWAS Court to order the respondents to re-assume his function as the Attorney General of the Republic of Guinea Bissau because he was “dismissed from his functions for the accomplishment of the deliberation of the same.”

Additionally, the applicant wanted the Court to declare illegal Article 16 (4) of the Supplementary Act in relation to Article 9 (1) paragraph (C) of the Supplementary protocol of the Court.

The respondents held that the ECOWAS Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and the Court was not competent to entertain the reliefs sought in the application, as they related to the exercise of political powers of the respondents in posing sanctions aimed at protecting national security interest, international law and international peace and security.

According to the respondents, the sanctions imposed were both necessary and proportionate to the objectives of stabilizing the political situation in the country (Guinea Bissau).

They therefore prayed the Court to declare that it lacked the jurisdiction, the action was baseless and unfounded as same had not been supported with credible evidence.

The Court in judgement held that it had the jurisdiction to hear the matter.

It noted that as far as human rights violation was concerned, the respondents were not “proper parties in the claim for the violation of human rights and holds that the application is not admissible.”

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