Conduct speedy trial of rape case-ECOWAS court to Nigeria

The applicant, a Nigerian woman filed a suit at the court against Peter Okoro for raping her somewhere in 2011 in Lagos.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has ordered the Republic of Nigeria to see to the speedy conduct of a rape case involving the accused, Peter Okoro who is said to have raped an applicant 11 years ago.

According to the court, the lack of speedy trial by the country’s prosecutors is a violation of the applicant’s right to a fair trial under Article 7(1) of the African Charter.

The applicant, a Nigerian woman filed a suit at the court against Peter Okoro for raping her somewhere in 2011 in Lagos.

She indicates that subsequent to the incident, she was kept on admission at the Lagos State Hospital for four days where it was reported after thorough examination that her vaginal canal was open and her hymen had been broken into thus confirming the incident.

The External Court session of the Community Court of Justice of the ECOWAS is being held in Ghana for the first time since its formation; under the auspices of the Judiciary of Ghana from March 20 to April 2, 2022.

Ghana’s President, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo who is Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS opened this external Court session on Monday, March 21, 2022, at the 5th Floor of the Law Courts Complex in Accra.

Additionally, the applicant notes that the incident was reported to the Police Station at Aijwe, Lagos after which Okoro was arrested and charged, and arraigned before the Lagos State Court and he pleaded not guilty.

The applicant laments that the case has faced several deficits due to the numerous adjournments coupled with the fact that the prosecution has till now not called any witnesses for the trial to start.

Moreover, the applicant expresses shock as to why the case was filed by the prosecutors in a court lacking jurisdiction to deal with the charge of rape but not a High Court.

She, therefore, sought inter alia a declaration that the Republic of Nigeria has violated her right to a fair hearing pursuant to the African Charter on Human Rights and damages to that effect.

In its ruling the court presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante upheld the applicant’s relief to the fact that her right to a fair hearing had been violated by the Republic of Nigeria pursuant to Article 7(1) (a) of the African Charter of Human Right and ordered the same to submit in 6 months to the court, steps taken by it to implement the orders.