The Justice Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria has found Sierra Leone culpable of rights violation and ordered the country to pay 20 thousand US Dollars.

The penalty was levied after Sierra Leone was found wanting for rights violation of UNISEL, a local company who the court ruled that they were prevented from using their land and property situated at Wilberforce in Freetown.

UNISEL said the Sierra Leonean Government prevented them from using their 4.99-acre land and building they purchased legally in 2013.

The company said they paid the sum of Le 219,500,000 (Old Leones) and 250 thousand US Dollars for the building to the Government but later found out that there was a glitch in the acreage.

They said all effort to solve the issue through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning fell on deaf ears thereby disadvantaging them from using the said property.

UNISEL said the Sierra Leonean Government violated their rights according to Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The three-judge panel presided over by Justice Dope Atoki of Nigeria, Justice Sengu Koroma of Sierra Leone and Justice Ricardo Claudio Goncalves of Cape Verde ruled in favour of UNISEL with Sierra Leone being unrepresented despite service being issued to them.