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ECOWAS Court Takes Decision on Mali Versus Société Damou-So SARL Case

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ECOWAS Court Takes Decision on Mali Versus Société Damou-So SARL Case

By: Michael Mike

The ECOWAS Court of Justice, on Tuesday October 31, 2023, delivered its decision in the case between the State of Mali and Société Damou-So SARL in which the applicant requested a review of Judgment No. ECW/ CCJ/JUD/22/21 rendered on June 25, 2021 by the Court in case no. ECW/CCJ/APP/10/18.

The applicant, Republic of Mali mentioned that Société Damou-So SARL, a real estate development company registered in Mali, acquired plots of land from the government of Mali, but irregularities were discovered in the records of these land transactions. In 2015, the National Directorate of Lands and Cadastre canceled these transactions, including those of Damou-So SARL.
The applicant explained that Hamady Kindy, manager of several companies, including Damou-So SARL, contested the revocations by bringing the case before the Supreme Court of Mali. In October 2015, the Supreme Court annulled the revocations made by the National Directorate of Lands and Cadastre, thus restoring the property rights of Damou-So SARL.
Nevertheless, a case was brought by Damou-So SARL before the ECOWAS Court and in the judgment:
It declared that the applicant’s property rights had been violated by the respondent.
It dismissed other allegations of violation of the applicant’s rights.
It ordered the respondent to pay compensation to the applicant for seven expropriated lands.
Also, it ordered the respondent to submit a report on the measures taken to implement the Court’s orders.
The applicant now (Republic of Mali) sought a review of the decision of the ECOWAS Court citing two new facts discovered after the Court’s decision.
In its response, the defendant, La Société Damou-So SARL, explained that although it held copies of the land titles, they were no longer useful because the land to which these titles relate are no longer in its possession. According to Société Damou-So SARL, a bailiff noted in January 2017 that the plots had been divided and inhabited by occupants and construction sites. Despite warnings from local authorities, the new occupants continue to occupy these plots.
The defendant indicated that another bailiff noted in January 2018 the presence of houses under construction, completed houses, construction materials, and bricks on its land. It claimed that the local mayor justified these divisions, based on decisions to cancel administrative acts of transfer.
According to the defendant, it is evident that its land has been expropriated, which, in its view, prevented the applicant from requesting and obtaining a review of the decision under Article 25(2) of the July 1991 Protocol relating to the Court.
By its decision of October 31, 2023, the Court retained its jurisdiction to hear the request for review explaining that the contested decision – judgment no. ECW/CCJ/JUD/22/21 of June 25, 2021 – was rendered by the Court at its seat, and it is the only one authorised to rule on the request for review.
However, it declared the applicant inadmissible in its request for review of judgment no. ECW/CCJ/JUD/22/21 of June 25, 2021. It explained that the facts invoked by the applicant did not exist at the time of the pronouncement of the contested judgment and that it cannot therefore validly serve as a basis for an appeal for review.
The Court emphasised that both facts relied on by the applicant to support its request for review of judgment no. ECW/CCJ/JUD/22/21 of June 25, 2021 do not meet the criteria set by Article 25 of Protocol A /P1/07/91 relating to the Court which provides that “The request for review of a decision is only opened before the Court when it is based on the discovery of a fact likely to exercise a decisive influence and which, at the time of the decision, was unknown to the Court and the applicant, provided, however, that such ignorance is not the result of negligence. »
It added that in the absence of such a fact in the present case, the request for review filed by the applicant in violation of the relevant provisions of article 25 of Protocol A/P.1/07/91 of 6 July 1991 must be declared inadmissible.
The panel of three (3) judges on the bench is composed of:
Hon. Judge Gbéri-Bè Ouattara, Presiding / Judge-Rapporteur
Hon. Judge Dupe Atoki, Member
Hon. Judge Claúdio Monteiro Gonçalves, Member.

ECOWAS Court Takes Decision on Mali Versus Société Damou-So SARL Case

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9th EU-Nigeria Business Forum: Business leaders, policy makers to explore new investment opportunities

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9th EU-Nigeria Business Forum: Business leaders, policy makers to explore new investment opportunities

By: Michael Mike

Nigerian and European business leaders, policy makers and institutional stakeholders will converge on Abuja on July 2, 2024 to identify and explore investment opportunities along specific value chains during the 9th European Union-Nigeria Business Forum.

The Forum, which is holding in the federal capital for the first time, according to a statement on Sunday is being organised by the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, in close coordination with EU Member States and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

Themed “Investing in jobs and a sustainable future”, the event will take place at Abuja’s Continental Hotel.

The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, said the Business Forum, aside from fostering engagement between businesses, policymakers, and stakeholders from Nigeria and the EU, will also facilitates trade, investment, and partnerships through networking, discussions, and policy shaping, to promote economic cooperation between the EU and Nigeria and stimulate sustainable growth for both parties.

She said: @It is important to note that for the first time since its inception, the 2024 edition of the EU-Nigeria Business Forum will be held in Abuja. This will provide an opportunity for the EU, its Member States and the private sector from Europe and Nigeria to engage the new administration on their investment agendas in a transparent and inclusive manner, with a view to fostering confidence and commitment to a stronger and sustainable partnership.”

As part of the EU Global Gateway Strategy, she explained, EU-funded projects will complement private sector investment in areas, which bring about critical social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
In the case of Nigeria, particular attention is paid to the harnessing of local talent, particularly among youth and women, as well as economic, social, and environmental resilience. Against this backdrop, she stated, the 9th EU Nigeria Business Forum will focus on current and prospective investment in the digital, health, and agricultural sectors.

According to Ms Isopi, the Business Forum will discuss options and respective benefits towards establishing a bilateral legal framework between the EU and Nigeria, bringing certainty, stability, and sustainability to bilateral trade and investment relations.

Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, expressed her support, saying: “I commend the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, as well as the EU Member States, for their dedication to promoting economic cooperation and stimulating sustainable growth. Let us seize this opportunity to pave the way for a prosperous future for both Nigeria and the EU.”

The Forum will run in a hybrid format, targeting sectoral associations, business community, and entrepreneurs, and is expected to attract at least 400 in-person participants, excluding those who will join the event virtually. It will also feature panels on a range of issues, including Confidence in the Nigerian Economy – sustainable solutions to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Digitalisation Leapfrog, Healthy Economies Thrive, and From Agriculture to Agribusiness.

9th EU-Nigeria Business Forum: Business leaders, policy makers to explore new investment opportunities

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ActionAid Nigeria Condemns the Abduction and Arrests of Peaceful Protesters on Democracy Day

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ActionAid Nigeria Condemns the Abduction and Arrests of Peaceful Protesters on Democracy Day

By: Michael Mike

ActionAid Nigeria, a local Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) affiliated with ActionAid International, a global federation of social justice groups with a presence in over 70 countries, has condemned the clampdown by security operatives on peaceful demonstrations by some Nigerians on Democracy Day.

A statement on Wednesday by the Country Representative of ActionAid Nigeria, Andrew Mamedu read: “We witnessed a disturbing crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy activists. In Lagos, one of the leaders, Juwon Sanyaolu, was forcefully abducted by suspected Department of State Security (DSS) operatives, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

“In Abuja, students and activists from Activista who went out to advocate for good governance were also arrested in Gwagwalada and are currently placed in detention.

“We condemn this blatant suppression of constitutional and democratic rights, and demand:

  • The immediate release of Juwon Sanyaolu and all arrested activists
  • An end to the repression of peaceful protests and respect for our constitutional rights
  • An investigation into the abduction and arrests, and accountability for those responsible.”

Mamedu said: “President Tinubu’s speech today highlights the importance of democratic values, human rights, and the protection of freedom of expression and assembly. Yet, his government’s actions contradict these principles. We urge the President to practice what he preaches and ensure our rights are respected.

“The Nigerian Community of Activists for Good Governance which ActionAid Nigeria is part of will not be silenced. We will continue to demand justice, equality, and democracy for all Nigerians. The true meaning of this Democracy Day is not just to celebrate the past but to commit to a better future. We will hold the government accountable for their actions and ensure that democracy is not just a historical fact but a living, breathing reality.

“We remember the sacrifices of pro-democracy activists, including our current president, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who fought for our democratic rights, and we will continue to honour their legacy by standing up against oppression. We will not be deterred by intimidation and violence but will persist in our struggle for a better Nigeria.

“We call on all Nigerians to join us in demanding an end to the crackdown on peaceful protests and the immediate release of all arrested Activista members. Together, we can build a Nigeria where democracy is not just a celebration but a way of life.”

ActionAid Nigeria Condemns the Abduction and Arrests of Peaceful Protesters on Democracy Day

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How Zulum demonstrates rare leadership in Borno

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How Zulum demonstrates rare leadership in Borno

By: Yusuf Adamu

Borno state governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, has again demonstrated an unequal leadership prowess in the governance of the state by transmitting power to his deputy, Hon. Usman Kadadur. Such a move by the governor since coming to power in 2019 has put Professor Babagana Umara Zulum on a pedestal of trust and honor. 

The governor has continued to show the world that power is transient, and as such, leaders must learn to appreciate the fact that harmonious working relationships with their subordinates are key to governance. 

This is, to my knowledge, the second time the governor is doing this. On Friday, he wrote to the assembly stating his desire to hand over
power to his deputy, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, in an acting capacity, as he left for Hajj in the Holyland of Saudi Arabia. 

The executive communication to the Borno State House of Assembly (BOHA), which was read by the Speaker, Honourable Abdulkarim Lawan, during an emergency session on Friday, speaks volumes about the kind of relationship the governor has with his deputy. This is a demonstration of trust, which is lacking in some states of the federation, and Borno has remained a point for others to emulate. 

The speaker, Honourable Lawan, said that the letter is in accordance with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, adding that Kadafur will act from June 10th to July 8th, 2024. He further explained that the move is necessary to ensure the continuity of governance and the smooth running of the affairs of the state in the absence of the governor. 

This also demonstrated the cordial working relationship and understanding between the executive and legislative arms in Borno State. This singular act of the governor has once again brought to light the desire of the governor to leave by his constant statement that he remained the servant of the people and will always abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic in discharging his duties as governor. 

*Yusuf Adamu is the former Adviser to then Borno state governor and current VP, Kashim Shettima

How Zulum demonstrates rare leadership in Borno

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