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ECOWAS Court Orders Côte d’Ivoire to Pay CFA50 million for Violation of Citizens Rights

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ECOWAS Court Orders Côte d’Ivoire to Pay CFA50 million for Violation of Citizens Rights

By: Michael Mike

The ECOWAS Court of justice on 30th of November, 2023, declared the State of Côte d’Ivoire liable for violation of rights of Adou Kouamé and nine other Ivorians, and ordered the Ivorian government to pay 50 million CFA Francs to each of them as compensation.

In its judgement delivered by Hon Justice Ricardo Claúdio Monteiro Gonçalves, Judge Rapporteur, the Court declared that the Respondent – State of Côte d’Ivoire violated the right to healthy environment and health, right to private and family life, right to adequate standard of living and food, right to freedom of religion and right of minorities to have their own culture.

However, the Court dismissed the Applicants – Adou Kouame and Others’ claim that their right to property was violated, for lack of sufficient evidence of ownership. The Court also declared the second, thirteenth and fourteenth Applicants in the suit as improper parties before the Court, stating that they did not present evidence showing their relationship with the parents they claimed to be representing respectively. The Applicants request for collective compensation was dismissed by the Court too.

In the case with suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/08/21, the Applicants – Adou Kouame, village head of Similimi and 14 other residents, claimed that the State of Côte d’Ivoire’s failure to protect them from the negative effects of the mining activities in their community violated their right to healthy and sustainable environment, and health, right to religious and cultural freedom, right to private and family life, right to adequate standard of living and food, and right to property guaranteed under international laws cited in the application.

The Applicants’ lead counsels, Mr Rashidi Ibitowa, Ms Geneviève Aïssata Diallo and Mr Jonathan Kaufman argued that the Ivorian government did not “take measures to give effect to human rights protected by international law,” adding that the mining operations have had adverse effects on plantations, forests, rivers and places of worship causing them health hazards from polluted water, polluted air, explosions, noise pollution and ground tremors. And that their ancestral places of worship were destroyed by the mining activities including altars for sacrifices and they are of the opinion their ancestors are angry with them because their prayers and invocations were no longer answered.

They also asked the Court to hold the State liable for failure to validate the impact assessment results of 2010 that would have resettled them, adding that the Ministry of Mining and Geology renewed the mining licence of the company in 2018 despite the fact that the environmental damage persisted, and the company had not fulfilled its obligations.

They demanded 12 billion CFA francs as compensation for the estimated 600 residents of Similimi, and another 3 billion CFA francs for the Applicants for the prejudice suffered, and an order for their resettlement, among other reliefs.

The Respondent – State of Côte d’Ivoire said that following the exploitation of the mines, and the residents’ demand for compensation from the mining company as well as complaint of adverse effect on water and human health, the Minister of Environment engaged its agencies – Ivorian Anti-Pollution Centre (CIAPOL) and the National Environment Agency (ANDE) and that their reports led to the suspension of the activities of the mining company by an Order of 11 November 2015.

However, the company was allowed to resume activities in 2016 while implementing corrective measures, adding that periodic meetings between all parties continued until 2020 and that a general meeting was also held in 2021.

The Respondent asked the Court to declare the case inadmissible arguing that the matter was within the jurisdiction of national courts and that the claims of the Applicants were ill-founded and should be dismissed.

In the judgment, the Court which held that the matter was within its jurisdiction, also asked the State of Côte d’Ivoire to ensure the residents of Similimi community located in Bondoukou district in Côte d’Ivoire were resettled in compliance with relevant laws, ensure a healthy environment is restored rapidly, end the ongoing environmental degradation, and hold the perpetrators responsible for the environmental degradation.

The State of Côte d’Ivoire was ordered to bear the cost of litigation, and submit to the Court within three months, measures taken to implement this judgment.

Also on the bench were Justices Edward Amoako Asante (presiding) and Dupe Atoki (Member).

ECOWAS Court Orders Côte d’Ivoire to Pay CFA50 million for Violation of Citizens Rights

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government of Nigeria has commiserated with the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania over the passing of former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

The former President died on Thursday. He would be remembered as
an African Elder Statesman, who was an astute and influential politician that contributed significantly to laying the foundation for Tanzania’s economic development.

A statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Francisca Omayuli on Friday said: “Nigeria stands with Tanzania in this period of grief. May the soul of the departed former President rest in peace and may God grant the bereaved family, the Government and the good people of the United Republic of Tanzania the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

By: Ladi Dapson

The Borno state government has charged the youths to take the lead in peace building,conflicts management and learn how to be tolerant in respective of faiths and ethicity coloration.

The State Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof Usman Tar made this known during an inaugurating of 100 awardees of yoths as Peace Advocates in Borno State held in Maiduguri.

He urged the youths to take the advantages of their population in Nigeria just like the way China took the advantage of their population and bring some innovation to boast their economy.

“Today we inaugurating the young peace Ambassadors that we will be going into the society tricking down the capacity of peace building and tolerance that we have thought them.

“The outcome of this excise is that we now have critical young mind that will serve as ambassadors of peace go out and target specific community as well as teach the art of peace, conflict resolution, conflict management, peace building, and diplomacy.

“So that the society will be more tolerant, more engaging and society will learn to leave side by side with people of all faiths and tendency,”he said.

Earlier, the Founder of Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment, Amb. Ahmed Shehu said youths are critical stakeholders in peace processes, urging the people in the community to identify the youths in their community and give them the necessary support.

“As a civil society, we thought we have to play our role towards ensuring we have a stable society.

“What we observed in these efforts is that a critical element is missing. This is the youth groups and we thought why can’t we come up with an initiative where we build the capacity of the youth and make them youth advocates and unleash them to the society for peacebuilding.

“We carefully selected young people and voices across all sectors, from the media, CSOs and academia. Our dream is you would go back to the community and change the narratives,”Ahmed said.

He was awarded for a responsible media practice and promoting of a culture of peace.

One of recipients of the Peace Advocate Award and Social Media Influencer, Aliyu Mohammed Tong applauded the Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment and partners for finding them worthy of this award after a series of trainings and community engagements.

“As we accepted the award we equally took it as a challenge to positively make an impact in our various communities by stepping down the knowledge we gained on reintegration and sustainable peace.”Aliyu thanked.

Some of the recipients include Mohammed Usman, General Manager of Al-Ansar Radio; Usaman Mohammed, Report with Yerwa Express News; Umaru Kirawa, Correspondent of Newscentral Africa, Zainab Yetunde Adam, Reporter with NTA amongst.

The project was funded by the British Council in partnership with the Borno State Ministry for information and Internal Security and implemented by Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment.

Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

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New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

By: Michael Mike

The newly appointed Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Kemi Nandap has promised to evolve policies that would prevent illegal migration, safeguard the lives of Nigerians and foster positive bilateral relations.

Nandap made the promise on Friday in Abuja during her decoration with her new rank by the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo

The Comptroller General, while expressing gratitude to President Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Interior for her new appointment, said: “I extend my sincerest gratitude and profound reverence to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the trust and confidence placed in me to lead this esteemed organisation. I am very grateful to my Honourable Minister of Interior- Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo-for his vision, meticulous focus, tireless work ethic, and leadership. I must also acknowledge and sincerely thank the Permanent Secretary and the entire Board for their unwavering support and endorsement.”

She added that: “As I step into this role, I want to first assure our fellow Nigerians that I am fully prepared and committed to serving our nation with utmost dedication and integrity. I am not unaware of the socioeconomic challenges and pains facing our beloved country, and I pledge-to use the functions of the Nigerian Immigration Service to alleviate these struggles to the best of our
ability.

“To that end and under the guiding principles of the “Renewed Hope” agenda set forth by his excellency, President Tinubu’s administration, we will strive towards unity, growth and development. We will prioritize the welfare of our immigration officers and enhance the ease and .efficiency of engagement between Nigerian citizens and the Immigration service. We will focus on improving the entry and acclimatization processes for compliant foreigners through various visa and residency programmes.

“Furthermore, we are steadfast in our resolve to strengthen policies to prevent illegal migration, safeguard the lives of our citizens and foster positive bilateral relations. Tightening border security will be our major objective to reduce the porosity of our borders and enhance overall national security.

She added that: “We will strive to implement revenue generation programmes to bolster the economy, contribute to our tax quota, and aid in job creation.

“In addition, we will continue to integrate cutting-edge techology to modernize the Nigerian Immigration Service. Our Honourable minister has demonstrated the power of technology in creating a seamless e-passport system for citizens. We will continue under his aegis to reform the service for greater efficiency and ease.”

Earlier, the Minister of Interior has charged the new CG that it was important that she performs as no excuse for non-performance would be entertained.

He noted that the entire nation is looking up to her to perform and not ready to entertain any excuse.

New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

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