➥ CASE SUMMARY OF:
Odafe Oserada & Anor. v ECOWAS Council of Ministers & Ors. (2008) – ECOWAS
by “PipAr” B.C. Chima
ECOWAS – ECW/CCJ/JUD/01/08
➥ JUDGEMENT DELIVERED ON:
Friday, 16 May 2008
➥ AREA(S) OF LAW
➥ NOTABLE DICTA
⦿ INTEREST IS THE MEASURING ROD FOR AN ACTION
Para. 27 – 28: “Generally, and from a legal standpoint, the necessity for an applicant to provide justification of interest in a case is attested to by the adage that “Where there is no interest, there is no action”, and also “An interest is the measuring rod for an action”. In other words, an application is admissible only when the applicant justifies that he brings a case before a judge for the purposes of protecting an interest or defending an infringement of such. Such an interest must be direct, personal and certain.”
⦿ UNSUCCESSFUL PARTY SHALL BE ORDERED TO PAY COSTS
Para. : “Whereas in the terms of Article 66(2) of the Rules of the Court “The unsuccessful party shall be ordered to pay the costs if they have been applied for in the successful party’s pleadings”, it is ripe to adopt same.”
➥ LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:
Hon. Justice Aminata Malle-Sanogo
Hon. Justice Awa Nana Daboya
Hon. Justice El Mansour Tall
⦿ FOR THE CLAIMANT
⦿ FOR THE RESPONDENT
➥ CASE HISTORY
The Applicant complains of violation of the Revised Treaty, by the advertisement of the post of Secretary General of ECOWAS Parliament and by the decision allocating such post to the Republic of Guinea. He requests for the annulment of Regulation C/REG.5/06/06 of the Council of Ministers allocating the post of Secretary General of ECOWAS Parliament to Guinea, and equally asks for the annulment of all acts resulting from the said Regulation.
He relies on C/REG.20/12/99 abolishing the quota system of allocating posts within ECOWAS Institutions and asserts that by virtue of Article 12 (b) of the ECOWAS Staff Regulations, and Article 18(4) of the Revised Treaty, vacancies for permanent posts shall be filled by competitive recruitment procedure. For the Applicant, Guinea, with financial contribution of only 0.77% from the 2006 ECOWAS financial year, occupied two managerial positions within the institutions of ECOWAS, and that there is no justification for taking the post of Secretary General of the Parliament away from Nigeria and giving it to another country. 10. He adds that restricting the application to the nation of Guinea, as evidenced by the vacancy announcement of the post of Secretary General of ECOWAS Parliament in the 30th April 2007 edition of This Day newspaper, amounts to an act of injustice against him as a Community citizen, which deprives him and his immediate constituency of the right to apply for the post, and that the same applies to the other citizens and constituencies within the Community.
➥ ISSUE(S) & RESOLUTION
I. Whether the Applicant has any interest at stake?
RULING: IN RESPONDENT’S FAVOUR.
Para. 29: “Indeed, the provision made under Article 10(c) of the 2005 Supplementary Protocol on the Court, in respect of bringing cases before the Court to contest the legality of an act of the Community, does concern the existence of an act or inaction of a Community official which violates the rights of the person requesting the annulment of such act. The complaint brought forward in the instant case, by the Applicant, boils down to stating that his company has been deprived of the opportunity of competing for a professional position – which does not constitute in any way whatsoever a direct harm done against him. Now, if there is any injury caused in not allowing his company to compete for the post, such injury can only be detrimental to the Community and not to the Applicant.”
Para. 32: “It is imperative to note that in his Application, the Applicant does not demonstrate any of the features of having an interest at stake. His mere status as a Community citizen or promoter of a regional development company is not sufficient to concretely determine his interest in the case.”
Para. 33: “In order for an application seeking to contest the legality of an act to be deemed admissible, it is not sufficient for the act in question to affect the applicant in whatsoever manner that it may be; there should exist, as an additional condition, a sufficiently direct relationship of cause and effect. The act made by the Council of Ministers, i.e. the Regulation complained of, must affect the legal status of the Applicant. The principle according to which “any act adversely affecting the legal status of a person may be brought before the law courts” is trite law (see CJEC Reports 17 July 1959, p.275; CJEC Reports 17 March 1967, CBR Cement Works, Cases 8 11/66, p.93; ICCEC, 27 February 1992, Vichy v. Commission, Case T.19/91; 1992, II, p. 415).”
“Declares the action brought by Odafe Oserada Esq. inadmissible, for lack of interest.”
➥ MISCELLANEOUS POINTS
➥ REFERENCED (STATUTE)
➥ REFERENCED (CASE)
➥ REFERENCED (OTHERS)