Laurent Metongnon et al. vs Republic of Benin
On December 06th, 2018, Mr Laurent Métongnon and 3 other defendants, the applicants, filed an application instituting proceedings before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Court or the ACHPR) for alleged violations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) in its Articles 6 and 7.
Mr Metongnon and the other applicants, all managers of the Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale (CNSS), were the subject of criminal proceedings initiated by the Beninese authorities on the basis of the report of a global verification mission orchestrated by West African Monetary Union (WAMU). Further investigation carried out by the Inspectorate General of Finance (IGF) revealed that the applicants had made risky investments in a bank declared to be in difficulty for the sole purpose of receiving commissions. The applicants claimed that they had been placed under a warrant of detention by the Cotonou Public Prosecutor without the facts having been corroborated beyond a reasonable doubt.
The applicants claim that by a decision dated April 19th, 2018 the Beninese Constitutional Court ruled that the Public Prosecutor had infringed Article 35 of the Constitution. However, by a judgment dated July 31st, 2018, the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Cotonou ) found them guilty of the offenses of abuse of office and corruption, then sentenced them, each, to a prison sentence of five (5) years. They state that despite the appeal, they were referred to the Court for the Suppression of Economic Offences and Terrorism (CRIET). The applicants filed the application before the African Court on December 6th, 2018.
On March 25th, 2020, the Republic of Benin deposited the instruments of withdrawal of the Declaration of Jurisdiction of the Court to receive applications from individuals and non-governmental organizations. In issuing its decision on March 24th, 2022, the Court has been faithful to its settled case law of dealing with all cases enrolled in the Registry before the date of entry into force of the withdrawal of the declaration.
Benin raised objections regarding the lack of jurisdiction and inadmissibility of the complaint. The Court delivered its judgment on March 24th, 2022 and considered that while it did have jurisdiction to hear the case, the application was not admissible since not all domestic remedies had been exhausted at the time of the commencement of the proceedings, a necessary condition for the admissibility of an application (Article 50(2) of the Rules of Court).
This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.