An 11-member delegation fro the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice, has arrived in Freetown.
Speaking to journalists at the Development ministry in Freetown, the president of the Court, Justice Aminata Malle Sanogo said they were here to discuss issues challenging the West Africa sub region.
Justice Sanogo, who is on her first visit to the country since her appointment, said the court wanted to let West Africans beware of the “importance of certain institutions particularly…the Community court of justice.”
The Malian judge explained that the court was established in 1991 and later in September 2001 seven Judges from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo were sworn-in in Bamakoi, Mali.
Justice Aminata Malle Sanogo said the court which sits in Abuja, initially had a renewable five-year term for its judges which was reduced to a rotational non-renewable four-year term.
She went on to say that the Court settles disputes between member states.
The Development Secretary in the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning, Kona Koroma said the visit was important since the court needed to be explained to the people and the people needed to be convinced about its existence.
Mrs Koroma said there was no economic development without an affordable legal system, adding that the rule of law is a vehicle for the fight against corruption.
She averred that the court had a crucial role as they should demonstrate to the West that wrong happens in every country and not just in Africa.
She said they should not depend on traditional rulers to enlighten the illiterate, but rather the services of local NGO’s should be taken into consideration.
She entreated the court to not look like an elitist organization something she said was reason why ordinary people preferred going to their local chiefs rather than to a court.
The delegation also paid a visit to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and the Sierra Leone Law School.