Liberian Judge Justice Yussif D. Kaba has been appointed the Vice President at the ECOWAS Court of Justice. According to a release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, the Liberian judge ascended to the post within two weeks of his official resumption as one of seven judges at the regional court.
The release recalls that Justice Kaba was sworn in as the Liberian member of the ECOWAS Court on December 16, 2017 during the 52nd Ordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja. He replaced his compatriot, Justice Wilkins Micah Wright whose last capacity at the regional court was also the post of Vice President.
The release quotes Justice Kaba as however attributing his recent selection as the Court’s Vice President to the good work done by his predecessor Justice Wright. The Court’s leadership is determined by the college of judges on the bench.
“I would attribute my selection [as the Court’s Vice President] to the good work done here by my predecessor, Justice Wright. His good work gave Liberia a very good image and the expectations of my colleagues on the bench as to what, in their opinion, I can do”, he stated.
He explained that the Vice President is the assistant to the President of the Court: “And the President of the Court is responsible for the administration of the Court and in his absence, the Vice President takes over. So, I gave him [Justice Wright] the credit for that.”
According to the release, Justice Kaba views his assignment as in the interest of Liberia and the ECOWAS sub region that would add to his international experience: “It is an international exposure and an opportunity also to be of service to one’s own country and to the sub region. This is because the area of human right law is a very important in a sub region like ours. Coming out of a lot of civil strives and military interventions and so forth, how the citizens of our sub region can have confidence in our governing structure is very, very important for the maintenance of peace and security. The only institution that can aid in the process of building that confidence in the various governments that we have is the judicial process.”
The Liberian judge then emphasized the need for more Liberian professionals in various fields to be exposed to such international services and institutions. He however hopes that Liberia’s under-representation at most international and multilateral organizations, including the various ECOWAS institutions will soon be resolved.
The current composition of the ECOWAS Court is now as follows:
Hon. Justice Jerome Traore, President, who represents Burkina Faso, Hon. Justice Yussif D. Kaba, Vice President who represents Liberia, and Hon. Justice Hameye F. Mahalmadne, Dean who represents Mali.
Other members of the Court are Hon. Justice Yaya Boiro of Guinea, Hon. Justice Maria Do C.S. Monteiro of Guinea Bissua, Hon. Justice Friday C. Nwoke of Nigeria and Hon. Justice Alioune Sall of Senegal.
Until his recent appointment at the ECOWAS Court, Justice Kaba had served in various capacities in Liberia. They include, Resident Circuit Judge of 6th Judicial Circuit, Acting Court Administrator, Acting Probate Judge, Relieving Judge and member of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate complaints against Judges. Others are Assistant Minister for Litigation, Assistant Minister for Administration and Public Safety at the Ministry of Justice as well as serving as Legal Counsel in the Law Offices of Tulay and Associates in Monrovia, Liberia.