The President, Economic Community of West African States Court, Justice Edward Asante, has called on justices and other court officials to strive for the unity of member countries.
Asante encouraged them to avoid conflicts and any behaviour that could harm the court’s ability to fulfill its assigned mandate.
He spoke at the dinner and award ceremony held on Saturday to mark the commencement of activities for the new year in Abuja.
Asante said, “Let us work together as a family so that we can achieve everything we want to achieve for our communities. We should bear in mind that we are not working for ourselves but for our communities.”
The ECOWAS court president called for commitment among the staff, adding that unity would make them achieve their objectives.
“We have to be more committed and dedicated. We should be able to do other tasks assigned to us to benefit the entire subregion and especially the indigent citizens of our community. I will also urge us to foster unity which is the most important thing for our court.
“We need to work together as one family. Bickering among others will not help us to achieve the mandates of the court,” he said.
Asante also called on the court staff to prepare for upcoming cost-cutting measures to be implemented throughout the year.
This, he said was a result of the dwindling revenue of the court.
He said, “The community we work for is in serious financial crisis. Community levy is dwindling and we have to bear in mind that missions are going to reduce. Today you might be selected for a mission, and be very important for a particular mission the next time you may not be.
“Everybody should brace themselves up for it. It is not about favoritism but the quality of work and relevance to particular programmes. We did very well last year and we should pat ourselves on the back and look up to a better year this year. ”
The court, located in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was founded in 2001 to uphold and apply principles of equity in interpreting and applying the provisions of the Revised Treaty, along with other legal instruments adopted by member countries.
However, military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have announced their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States.
The leaders of the three Sahel nations on Sunday issued a statement saying it was a “sovereign decision” to leave the ECOWAS “without delay.”