By Onumajuru Onyekachi Macsantos (Abia Writers)
Edited by Livingrich Ezeikpe
The organization, "economic community of West African states"(ECOWAS)
was created on May 28, 1975, in Lagos, Nigeria. The body was instituted to help yield positive results in the region through economic cooperation among member states. The major goals and objectives of ECOWAS are to promote regional integration and cooperation for the good purpose of ensuring economic growth, development in the sub-region, peacekeeping, provide necessary security to members states and also help individuals or groups who feel they did not get required justice from its various countries.

Currently, the role of ECOWAS seems to have changed from assisting West African states to justice bidding, where any country or countries that are sponsoring the body get the lion share of justice and rights. The series of court cases relating to individuals and groups can testify to this especially the case of IPOB for instance. The cases of such individuals as, Supreme leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra; Shiite Muslim leader Sheikh El-Zakzaky, and the former NSA col. Sambo Dasuki are all good instances.

The case of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has suffered several undeserved adjournments and judicial insubordination. The Nigerian government has boldly exhibited their judicial malpractices by intimidating both Nigerian and ECOWAS judges in Abuja. The court ordered Nigerian government to release the leader of Shiite Muslim El-Zakzaky and his wife, and also pay them compensation for violating their fundamental rights; still, Nigeria went on to frustrated and thwarted the rulings.

The issue of former national security adviser Col Sambo Dasuki experienced the same thing. The court imposed fine on Nigeria to pay Sambo Dasuki and also release him unconditionally. After all these court rulings the instructions given by ECOWAS court failed; Nigerian government refused to implement any of them. The refusal by the Nigerian government to implement the decision of ECOWAS court is enough for ECOWAS to know that Nigerian government led by Muhammadu Buhari does not obey court orders whether local or international. This act of disobedience to the decision of ECOWAS is enough reason to suspend Buhari but the body is pretending not to know.

The smart and splendid steps taken by ECOWAS in shifting the venue and location of its court to BAMAKO MALI is a welcomed idea but Nigerian government activities need to be monitored in the new location to avoid repetition of what happened in Abuja. The decision of ECOWAS to relocate its court is again accepted and with this latest development, but again it is time for ECOWAS to remind the citizens of West African states that the body can still perform their duties by demonstrating transparency and justice in the case of IPOB/Nnamdi Kanu vs Nigerian government, coming before it on 26th April 2018.

ECOWAS should do the needful to show that there is still atom of Justice in Africa, they should know that their image is fully involved in all these artificial scenarios engineered by the Nigerian government. This is another judicial test for ECOWAS. It is time to save Africa’s face from further shame. The body should send the right signal to the world that ECOWAS still maintains some decorum and modesty. It should fully understand that the whole world is watching with kin interest.
In Biafra, we stand.

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