QUICK LINKS

×
  • World
  • Updated: February 06, 2021

Falana On Alex Saab's Case: Cape Verde Can't Question ECOWAS Court, Diplomatic Status

Latest News

Bada Yusuf Amoo
Bada Yusuf Amoo

Bada's writings focus on government policies, general news, and politics. He is a prolific write...

More From this Author

Femi Falana (SAN), a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist on Friday faulted the argument of the Cape Verdean government claiming Alex Saab does not have a diplomatic status.

Falana is Alex Saab’s attorney in the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS) court.

Alex Saab is a Venezuelan diplomat to Iran who was arrested by Cape Verde’s security operatives and Interpol earlier in June 2020 when his private jet had a stopover inside the Cape Verdean territory. The arrest is believed to be on the order of the United States government.Since his arrest, Saab has been kept in Cape Verde’s government detention while political and legal struggles linger over who should take custody of the businessman between American and Venezuelan governments.

The Nigerian lawyer argued before the judge that Cape Verde cannot claim that Alex Saab is not a diplomat as he is a Special Envoy to Iran and he is recognized in that role by Iran. Falana highlighted that the African Union has accepted his appointment as such and therefore Saab’s immunity and inviolability are absolute and cannot be challenged by Cape Verde.

Dr Henrique Borges, Cape Verdean Representative at the court had submitted that Cape Verde does not recognize the authority of the ECOWAS Court to decide this case as it has not signed and, consequently, not bound by the Additional Protocols of ECOWAS.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Tourist In Cape Verde Dies from Disease

“This is not only a contradictory position but laughable. On the one hand the Court has already ruled on December 2, 2020 that it has jurisdiction in this matter and yet here we are on February 5 and Cape Verde is making a submission to a court whose jurisdiction over it it allegedly does not recognize”

However, Falana haggleg Henrique’s submission. He noted that Cape Verde being an African country has to comply with  the ECOWAS Ruling in accordance with the Revised Treaty (Article 15) besides the Additional Protocols.

“Under the provisions of the Additional Protocol 2005, if 9 States Members sign it, it becomes binding for all the States Members of ECOWAS. In this case, 14 out of 15 member states signed with the only one not signing was Cape Verde and that only because its Prime Minister at the time had to return to CV to deal with an emergency. Cape Verde has not at any time since expressed any discomfort with the protocols, at the material time fully participated in the discussions to agree the protocols and, importantly has one of its jurists appointed as a member of the ECOWAS Panel of Judges, its current Chief Justice is a member of the Committee of Chief Justices of the ECOWAS Court and a current serving member of the Cape Verde Supreme Court was previously a member of the ECOWAS Court. Once again, by its conduct Cape Verde can be seen to have accepted the jurisdiction of the ECOWAS Court”.

 

Tags

Join our Telegram platform to get news update Join Now
Bada Yusuf Amoo
Bada Yusuf Amoo

Bada's writings focus on government policies, general news, and politics. He is a prolific write...

More From this Author

0 Comment(s)

SPONSORED

Nov 25, 2020

2023 Presidency: Would you vote for APC again in 2023?

2023 Presidency: Would you vote for APC again in 2023?

Yes 27.50%

No 72.50%

141 days 19 hours remain

See this post in...