O’odua Republic: ECOWAS Court dismiss suit filed by agitators
By Loul Sogo, Accra Ghana
The suit brought by some activists seeking Oodua Republic has been dismissed.
A group of Yoruba Republic agitators had approached the Economic Community of West African States Court demanding for a legal pronouncement on Oodua Republic.
ECOWAS Court of Justice dismissed a the suit the four Yoruba agitators demanding for Yoruba self-determination for the Yoruba who live in Western Nigeria.
The judges said “a representative action is the appropriate and indeed the most practicable option in seeking relief for violation of this right.”
Delivering the Judgement Justices Edward Amoako Asante who led the three-man panel, Gberi-Bè Ouattara, and Dupe Atoki said the agitators lacked the locus standi to file the suit on behalf of the Yoruba nation.
The judges said the applicants could not establish that their demand was not a mere personal opinion.
The case was therefore dismissed by the ECOWAS Court
The four, Risqat Badmus, Ademola Faleti, Yemisi Fadahunsi-Ogunlana and Adigun Makanjuola are members of Yoruba Interest Group,(YIG)
The activists link the socio-economic problems in Yorubaland to the forceful merger and that continued stay in Nigeria will further worsen their situation.
The suit marked, ECW/CCJ/APP/08/22, the applicants demanded for the right to self-determination as enshrined in various International laws and conventions including Article 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and Articles 3, 4, 7 and 18 of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of the Indigenous People.
Their bone of contention is that the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 was by fiat and that the forceful merger had brought misery and agony on Yoruba people.
They said the 1914 British decision was without consultation with Yoruba people either then or even now
The Federal Republic of Nigeria in its response at the ECOWAS Court said there exist a sovereign state with a Constitution and that the application of the agitators was treasonable.
The Federal Government said “the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court to determine the validity of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.”
In his judgement, Justice Dupe Atoki held that as individuals, the applicants failed to prove their ability to act as bearers of the right to self-determination ascribed to the Yoruba people
The judge held that the applicants “failed to exhibit their capacity to represent the Yoruba people, for whom the action was instituted.”