By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Africa Union (AU) member-states need more sensitisation on the role of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
The vice president met with judges of the court led by the President, Justice Imani Aboud, at office of the AU judicial agency.
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is a continental court established by member-states of the African Union by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
It came into operation in November 2006 seeking to enhance the protection of human and peoples’ rights on the continent.
In May 2019, judges of the court had visited Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“One of the critical issues is more sensitization among member-states of the African Union.
“I think that more countries would be more willing to identify as required with the court– I think that governments just require more assurance especially on the issue of complementarities.
“I believe very strongly in the International and Regional Court system, especially with respect to the protection of human rights.
“There will always be tensions and challenges because States will always be mindful of their sovereignty.”
The vice president commended the achievements of the court and its landmark ruling in spite of many challenges.
He said that many had followed the court especially when cases were about protection of the rights of women and freedom of information.
“And I think there is consensus that the court’s handling of these cases has generally pointed in the right direction,” he said.
Osinbajo said that international and regional courts of justice and their rulings would also become increasingly important in the years to come as consensus grows around the fundamental importance of protection of individual and collective rights.
In her remarks, Aboud told Osinbajo that one of the big challenges the court faced was that more African states had yet to ratify the Protocol and make the Declaration under Article 34 (6).
She, however, said that the court was doing its best in the circumstance, adding that the 62nd Session of the court would be starting next week to deliberate on cases before it.
In attendance at the meeting were the Vice President of the Court Justice Blaise Tchikay, other justices, and the Registrar Dr Robert Eno.
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ambassador Hamisu Takalmawa accompanied the vice president to the meeting.