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ECOWAS Court dismisses case against ECOWAS Commission

February 2, 2024
ECOWAS Court dismisses case against ECOWAS Commission

The Court has dismissed a case filed by a former employee, Mrs. Dorothy Etim, against the ECOWAS Commission. Etim had alleged wrongful dismissal by the Commission and its President, stemming from an incident in 2015 related to allegations of producing forged documents.

The Court ruled in favour of the ECOWAS Commission, stating that the case was filed beyond the three-year time limit prescribed by Article 9(3) of the 2005 Supplementary Protocol. The Protocol establishes that actions against a Community Institution or its staff are statute-barred after three years from the date when the right of action arose.

Additionally, the Court noted that Mrs Etim did not follow internal processes, such as appealing to the Head of the Institution and the Council of Ministers. The judgment emphasized that the claim was submitted well beyond the statutory time limit, making it inadmissible.

The Court also dismissed the Applicant's claims of human rights violations against the ECOWAS Commission, clarifying that only Member States, not Community institutions, are recognized as parties in such matters. The case against the President of the Commission was also dismissed on the grounds that it would be duplicative to sue both the President and the Commission.

The ECOWAS Court is the institution empowered to handle administrative conflicts between Community institutions and their employees. The judgment was delivered by Justice Sengu Mohamed Koroma, with Justices Dupe Atoki and Ricardo Cláudio Monteiro Gonçalves on the panel.

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