By Vincent Kalu
The African Bar Association has expressed satisfaction with the judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court delivered on March 15, 2021, in which the court ordered the immediate release of and payment of compensation to Mr. Alex Saab, a Venezuelan diplomat illegally detained by the government of Cape Verde.
In a statement after the quarterly meeting of the Human Rights Council, held in Monrovia, Liberia, the association’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Osa Director, quoted the Executive Council of the African Bar Association as endorsing the decision of the court, insisting that from the investigations carried out by the association following a petition from the wife of the detained envoy, Ambassador Saab was on a humanitarian mission to Tehran, Iran, to source food for the suffering people of Venezuela when the aircraft he was travelling in stopped to refuel in Cape Verde, and he was immediately arrested by the on a non-existent warrant for unproven charges.
The ambassador has been in the illegal detention since June 2020, and all efforts to secure his release or allow him access to his lawyers and family members have proved abortive despite an earlier ECOWAS Court ruling to that effect. It is the belief of the African Bar Association that Cape Verde is setting a very dangerous precedent that will soon come back to hunt her and her government. It warned that Cape Verde cannot be bigger, wiser or stronger than the whole of ECOWAS community.