By Olayinka Owolewa
The Chief Registrar of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, Mr Tony Anene-Maidoh, has said that a total of 583 cases had been received by the court.
Anene-Maidoh stated this on Friday in Ilorin, at a news conference to mark the end of a week-long sensitisation mission of the Court to Kwara.
He said out of the number of cases, 179 were pending, while rulings had been given in 131 cases and judgment delivered on 303 matters.
Anene-Maidoh also said that decisions had been passed on 21 cases, adding that 54 out of the pending cases are from Nigeria.
The most senior judge at the court, Justice Dupe Atoki, in her contribution said that filing of cases at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice was free, except payment to legal representatives and making copies of the judgment.
She revealed that authorities of the Court of Justice had not received any matter relating to the trial of a Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho in Benin Republic.
Justice Atoki explained that the Court of the 15-member West African countries was only concerned with civil matters brought before it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Benin Republic had charged the activist to court for illegal migration to the country with his wife, dubious connivance with immigration officials and attempt to cause civil unrest in the country.
NAN also recalls that the federal government had also charged him for trafficking and possession of unlicensed arms and ammunition in Nigeria.
The Yoruba Nation activist was also accused by the federal government of seeking to lead a cessation of a certain part from the rest of the country, as well as for inciting people to violence in his call for the freedom of his kith and kin.
“Obviously, there’s been no complaints about a Sunday Igboho before the Court and to all intents and purposes, the court has no idea of who Sunday Igboho is and what’s happening to him.
“Sunday Igboho, for us on this side of the divide, we don’t know what’s that.
“We have no clue of who or what’s happening to Sunday Igboho. Majority of the leadership of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice are not Nigerians.
“I’m like the only Nigerian and for judicial purposes, I have no knowledge of who Sunday Igboho is or what’s his challenge.
“The court is only concerned with matters that have been brought before it and if matters had not been brought before it we would just be a meddlesome interloper trying to fish out issues in public domain and we’re not teleguided by mere newspaper presentations.
“We don’t read newspaper for purpose of determining whether we should intervene or not,” she explained. (NAN)