Osinbajo to address African Court in Arusha, Tanzania

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Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo will depart Abuja on Sunday for Arusha, Tanzania, to attend the formal opening of the 2022 Judicial Year of the African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Osinbajo’s Spokesman Laolu Akande, in a statement, said the vice president had been designated as the guest speaker at the inaugural event to be attended by leaders from across the continent and beyond.

In 2021, at its 15th anniversary, the court resolved it would convene a solemn ceremony at the commencement of the first of its four sessions of each year to mark the official opening of the judicial year.

The ceremony will be a means of enhancing the court’s visibility and engaging as many stakeholders as possible.

Osinbajo will speak on the theme “The African Court and the Africa we want.”

The overall objective of the ceremony, according to the court, is to provide a forum for interaction with member states, key judicial authorities, inter-governmental, semi-governmental and non-state actors; exchange of ideas; and reflection on the work of the court for the year.

“Eventually, the event will expectedly spur an enhanced understanding by stakeholders of the work of the court, and an increased interaction with key judicial authorities on the continent and key stakeholders,” the statement said.

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights was established pursuant to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on June 9, 1998.

The protocol came into force on Jan. 25 2004.

The court became operational in 2006 and officially started working in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and later moved to its current seat in Arusha, Tanzania.

The mission of the court is to enhance the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights by strengthening the human rights protection system in Africa.

The court will ensure respect for and compliance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as other international human rights instruments, through judicial decisions.

The court is made up of justices drawn from the continent by election and is currently led by Lady Justice Imani Aboud, as its President. She is from Tanzania.

Others include Justice Blaise Tchikaya, Vice President, Republic of Congo, Justice Ben Kioko, Kenya, Justice Rafaâ Achour, Tunisia, Lady Justice Ntyam Mengue, Cameroon and Lady Justice Marie Thérèse Mukamulisa, Rwanda.

Lady Justice Tujilane Chizumila, Malawi, Lady Justice Bensaoula Chafika, Algeria, Lady Justice Stella Anukam -Nigeria, Justice Dumisa Ntsebeza, South Africa and Justice Sacko Modibo, Mali will also be in attendance.

While in Tanzania, the vice president will also hold bilateral talks with his counterpart, Dr Philip Mpango.

Osinbajo is expected back in Abuja on March 1.

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