African court to deliver judgment on Falana vs AU case
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is set to deliver judgment in a matter involving the Nigeria-born lawyer, Femi Falana, and the African Union (AU), PANA reports Thursday. The AU said in a communiqué that the verdict of the case will be delivered at the court’s seat in Arusha (Tanzania) on 26 June. Falana is said to have filed an application with the African Court in February 2011, alleging that he had made several futile attempts to get his country, Nigeria, make necessary moves towards depositing the declaration required for the establishment of the African human rights court.
He further alleged that he had been denied access to the African Court “because of the failure or refusal of Nigeria to make the declaration allowing Nigerian individuals and NGOs to bring their cases directly before the African Court.”
Falana went on to submit that since his efforts to have Nigeria make the declaration failed, he decided to file an application against the AU, as a representative of its member states. The Nigerian lawyer reportedly made further arguments that it was a violation of human rights of the people if they are not allowed to have access to the regional court.
The AU on the other hand, is also said to have disputed the allegations of the applicant and maintainsed that the “African Union is neither a party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, nor to the Protocol establishing the court.”
The AU further submitted that it was not the legal representative of its members which are sovereign states. As such, the AU says the court has no competence to decide the matter and argues that the “application is inadmissible because the respondent is not a party to the African Charter and/or the Protocol establishing the Court.”
* Pana 21/06/2012