This case was filed on 2 September 2021 before the ECOWAS Court. The victim was raped on in January 2019 by a Paramount Chief of her community. Though she reported the incident and took several medical tests proving she was assaulted, there has been no effective investigation till date and the perpetrator has not been punished. The victim feels frustrated by her inability to get justice for the violence she suffered, believing the perpetrator has escaped punishment due to the power he wields.

The suit alleges that due to the lack of effective investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator, Sierra Leone has violated the victim’s right to remedy and access to justice, and has also failed in its obligation to protect the victims’ rights to dignity and to freedom from torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, as well as discrimination. Rights and obligations enshrined in several treaties to which Sierra Leone is party, notably the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

The Plaintiff requests the ECOWAS Court to declare Sierra Leone is liable for these human rights violations; to order Sierra Leone to pay the victim monetary compensation for damages suffered, to provide the victims medical and psychosocial support, and to put in place several other structural measures to curb the prevalence of all forms of sexual violence against women.

UPDATES:

7 March 2022: Court notifies of hearing scheduled for 24 March 2022

24 March 2022: Case called for hearing. Plaintiff’s Counsel presents arguments in absence of Respondent. Case adjourned to 16 June 2022 for judgment.

8 July 2022: Court notifies parties that judgment is slated for 13 July 2022.

13 July 2022: Court passed judgement, declaring Sierra Leone in violation of Adama’s right to remedy and access to justice and the right to dignity. Court orders Sierra Leone to pay Adama reparation worth USD 10,000.