A Nigerian lawyer has urged President Akufo-Addo and ECOWAS leaders to take preventive measures to avert coups and illegitimate changes of government.
ECOWAS, according to Femi Falana, should take preventative efforts to enforce respect for human rights, the rule of law, and remove impunity for political leaders who routinely want to rewrite their national constitutions for personal gain, rather than acting after a coup has occurred.
In a letter to ECOWAS Chairman President Akufo-Addo, he wrote that “unlawfully rewriting national constitutions to stay in office means acting beyond the law, and contrary to ECOWAS treaties and conventions, as well as significantly undermining member states’ democratic institutions.”
His remark comes at a time when the African continent has seen three coups and an attempted takeover in the last year alone.
Mali has had two coups, Guinea’s government has recently been taken over by the military, and Niger has had an attempted coup.
Mamady Doumbouya, a Guinean military colonel, claimed on Sunday, September 5 that the country’s constitution had been abrogated following a coup.
The mutinous soldiers promised to restore democracy after taking the radio.
He claimed that elections in many of these states are not fair, trustworthy, or free, and that political opponents and activists who speak out against these activities are imprisoned or killed.
CONTINUE>>>A Nigerian lawyer has filed a petition with President Akufo-Addo to take preventive measures to avert coups and illegitimate changes of government
“Despite the illegality and terrible human rights violations in several of these member nations, ECOWAS has persisted to send election observers to these countries,” Mr. Falana stated.
The legal expert suggested that the regional bloc use its treaty and protocol responsibilities to fight for complete and effective respect for democratic ideals, human rights, transparency and accountability, and the rule of law in each of its member nations right away.
“ECOWAS should also make the meaningful and effective implementation of its treaties and conventions on democracy and human rights, as well as adherence to the rule of law, a requirement for continued membership.”
Mr. Falana went on to say that the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), (a combined multinational formation made up of units from the armed forces of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria) should be revived, expanded, and funded to fight insurgency in the region, “to prevent members of the armed forces from hiding under the pretext of fighting insecurity to sack constitutional governments.”