The defence team of Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab has welcomed the commitment by Cape Verde president, Jorge Fonseca for closer regional integration between his country and the ECOWAS.
The team said they want the president to move beyond making the public declaration to putting into action his call.
Femi Falana, one of the lawyers for Mr. Saab in a statement said Cape Verde must practice what it preaches by actualizing it especially in the case of his client.
“I can only hope that Cabo Verde will practice what it preaches. President Fonseca can show that his words are not just platitudes on the occasion of ECOWAS Day by ensuring that Prime Minister Ulisses Correia and his ministers start respecting all of the institutions of ECOWAS,” he said.
President Fonseca in a statement to mark ECOWAS day on May 28 said Cape Verde is looking to strengthen its involvement in the movement of persons and goods across the sub-region.
“I repeat, once again, our firm desire to intensify regional integration, seeking increasingly virtuous forms of movement of persons and goods, technical and economic convergence and economic convergence,” he said, adding that, the celebration of the day provides a good time “to reflect, in order to make a better future and to increase the effectiveness of our strategies to strengthen democracy, rule of law, integration and development, in view of the just aspirations of our peoples to peace, stability, security and a development that will provide well-being for all.”
Femi Falana who believes that Cape Verde has not dealt appropriately with his client Alex Saab over the matter of alleged corruption and planned extradition to the US to face charges said “Cabo Verde has, in the matter of H.E. Alex Saab, shown nothing but disdain and disrespect for the jurisdiction of the ECOWAS Court of Justice and the binding nature of its decisions.”
He therefore called on the president to ensure that he respects the ECOWAS court’s March 2021 ruling that called for the release of Alex Saab rather than continuing to disregard it.
Alex Saab was arrested and detained in Cape Verde in June 2020 over allegations of corruption. Attempts by his lawyers to secure his release and stop processes to extradite him to the US to face charges there has proven challenging as Cape Verde has been hesitant in complying with a ruling by the ECOWAS court for his release.