Lawyers of Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo called out to a court in Nigeria to set aside the statements of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) proclaiming his rival Alassane Ouattara from the presidential winner in November.
Gbagbo refused to cede power to Ouattara, whose victory was announced by the Independent Electoral Commission and approved by the UN but rejected by the Constitutional Council headed by a close ally of outgoing president.
Defenders of Gbagbo brought an action before the Court of Justice of ECOWAS in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, arguing that recognition of Ouattara as president of Côte d'Ivoire "violates the supremacy" of the Ivorian Constitutional Council.
His lawyers also argue that the recognition of his rival by Ecowas breach of UN resolutions.
"We urge the court to consider that these statements are illegal and if they are illegal, they are null and void," he told reporters one of the lawyers, Mohammed Lamine Faye.
The U.S., EU and African states put pressure on Gbagbo to resign, including measures to prevent it from paying salaries to civil servants and soldiers who support it. Ecowas has threatened to use force if Gbagbo refused to cede power.