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Court dismisses case by former ECOWAS Commission staff

Sacked KATH Accountant sues KATH

Court dismisses case by former ECOWAS Commission staff

The ECOWAS Court has rejected the case filed by Dorothy Etim, a former employee of the ECOWAS Commission, stating that she filed her case after the time limit. Etim accused the ECOWAS Commission and its President of wrongfully terminating her employment, claiming that she was dismissed based on allegations of producing forged documents to obtain an education grant for her children. She argued that she was not given the opportunity to defend herself against the accusations and did not receive any response to her letters regarding the matter. Etim requested the Court to declare her dismissal as unfair and demanded payment for her unpaid salaries, entitlements, and exemplary damages.

In response, the ECOWAS Commission requested the Court to dismiss the case referring to Article 9(3) of the 2005 Supplementary Protocol, which states that legal actions against a Community Institution or any Member of the Community are time-barred after three years from the occurrence of the incident. The Commission also argued that Etim did not follow the internal appeal processes, such as approaching the Head of the Institution and the Council of Ministers. They urged the Court to dismiss all her claims.

The Court, in its judgment delivered by Justice Sengu Mohamed Koroma, noted that according to Article 9(3) of the Protocol, claims against a Community Institution or its staff are time-barred after three years. Therefore, since Etim filed her case six years after the incident occurred, the Court deemed it inadmissible. The Court also dismissed Etim’s allegations of human rights violations against the ECOWAS Commission, highlighting that only Member States, and not Community institutions, can be held responsible in such matters. Additionally, the Court declared that it would be redundant to sue both the President and the Commission in this case.

The panel of judges that delivered the judgment included Justices Dupe Atoki and Ricardo Cláudio Monteiro Gonçalves.

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