The applicants, represented by their lawyers, Moukaila Yaye and five others, argued against the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic.
Niger Republic has dragged President Bola Tinubu and the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS to The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court.
The ECOWAS Court has now fixed December 7 to rule on interim measures sought by Niger Republic..
The ruling date was fixed after the court heard both parties during its sitting held on Monday, November 21, 2023, in Abuja, Nigeria.
The applicants, represented by their lawyers, Moukaila Yaye and five others, argued that the sanctions imposed by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, have caused adverse effects on the Nigerien people, including shortage of food, medicine, and electricity, due to the closure of borders and cut off of electricity supply by Nigeria.
The applicants asked the court for interim court orders to compel the Authority of Heads of State and Government to suspend the sanctions immediately.
They said Niger was treated unequally and unfairly compared to the other three member states (Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea) that also experienced coup d’état in recent years.
The applicants also asked the court to declare its competence to examine the case and declare the application admissible in accordance with the court’s texts.
The respondents – Authority of Heads of State, the Mediation and Security Council, and the ECOWAS Commission – represented by Mr François Kanga-Penond – objected to the inadmissibility of the application and asked the court to reject the applicants’ request.
Kanga-Penond told the court that coup d’état was not recognised in a democracy and that the junta does not have the legal capacity to bring a case before the court, adding that the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum has a pending case before the court in which he is challenging the legitimacy of this same junta.
Kanga-Penond emphasised that the lack of legal capacity of the junta to approach the court robs the court of the jurisdiction to examine their request for interim measures.
“In the initiating application, the applicants – the State of Niger, six Nigerien organizations, and a Nigerien national asked the court to declare the measures taken by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS during its extraordinary sessions of July 30 and August 10, 2023, allegedly aimed at restoring constitutional order in the Republic of Niger, illegal.
“They requested the court to nullify all decisions of these ECOWAS organs imposing sanctions, including the decision to resort to military intervention in the Republic of Niger,“ the statement added.