Nigeria calls for ECOWAS Freedom of Expression, Right to Information legal framework

The need for ECOWAS to adopt a regional legal framework for Freedom of Expression and Right to Information has been highlighted.

The call was made by Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke.

According to a press statement from the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) issued in Accra and copied to, the action it describes as a significant endorsement was made March 5, 2012.

The statement indicates that Mr. Adoke’s support for the regional framework was contained in a statement presented on his behalf by the Federal Attorney, Mrs. Victoria Umoren, at the opening of a meeting of ECOWAS’ Technical Committee on Legal and Judicial Affairs in Nigeria’s Federal capital, Abuja.

The meeting was to discuss and adopt ECOWAS’ Draft Supplementary Act on a Uniform Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression and Right to Information in West Africa. He described the ongoing processes aimed at the eventual adoption of the Supplementary Act as “a step in the right direction,” it said.

The statement said, the Draft Supplementary Act, which is an initiative of the MFWA, had prior to its presentation at the Legal Experts meeting, received approval from ministers of information and communication from member states of the ECOWAS after extensive discussions and review by the ministers.

“Although some critical sections which sought to expand the frontiers of free expression in the region were removed at the meeting of information and communication ministers, the substantial part of the provisions of the framework was accepted,” the statement said.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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