The President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights [the Court], Justice Sylvain Ore led other judges of the Court on a courtesy call on the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Paul Usoro, SAN at the NBA Headquarters, in Abuja.
In his address, Justice Ore noted that the judges of the Court were in Nigeria to advocate the need for the Nigerian State to make a declaration of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Justice Ore said that of the thirty countries that have ratified the African Charter, only nine have made declarations of the charter. He said that it is only when this declaration is made that Nigerians and Nigerian civil societies may have access to the Court.
The President of the Court identified the NBA as a critical stakeholder in ensuring that the Federal Government makes a Declaration on the Charter
Responding, Usoro, SAN decried the incessant cases of disobedience of court orders by State agencies in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Mr. Usoro noted that the reluctance of government to make the declaration on the African Charter will not be unconnected to the fact that state actors are the most frequent violators of human rights. The NBA President advised the leadership of the Court to exercise stronger advocacy by engaging the legislature, the national judiciary, the media and labour in the cause.
The NBA President expressed appreciation to the President of the Court for identifying the Bar as a valuable stakeholder promising the Court of strong support of the Bar.
In attendance at the meeting were the General Secretary and the Assistant Publicity Secretary of NBA, Mr. Jonathan Gunu Taidi and Mr. Akorede Habeeb Lawal respectively.