ECOWAS court committed to integration, justice for members’ citizens —Wright

The vice president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court, Justice Micah Wright, said the court was committed to ensuring justice and integration of citizens of member-states.

Wright told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Thursday, that the court would do all within its ambit to deliver the core mandate in its operations and sustain its value.

“The core mandate in the operations of the court is judicial activities; it is the hearing and disposition of cases filed by aggrieved persons before the court.

“We have to ensure that we perform our core function which is to hear cases and bring justice to the citizens of West Africa.

“We must do that, if we don’t, we become irrelevant and the entire community will not achieve its mandate of integration,” he said.

According to him, the core function of the community is to integrate the people of West Africa and the role of the court involves that of integration process.

Wright said that the court had very important role because it rendered justice on issues involving citizens of the sub-region.

“If we do not do that then we have failed in our mandate and we have lost our relevance.

“So, we have to do everything possible to stick to our core mandate and function to sustain our core value,” he said.

He said that in the process of accomplishing its mandate, the court had to consider the welfare of the staff.

“We have staff and they are very important stakeholders; without the staff, we will not be able to accomplish what we are accomplishing.

“While we are in the process of delivering our mandate of hearing cases and delivering judgment, we have to be concerned about the wellbeing and welfare of our staff,” he added.

He said that a good portion of the court’s budget, between 70 per cent and 75 per cent, was expended on staff, including their salaries and benefits.

He explained that it was necessary for the court to motivate the staff so that it may not lose its relevance.