CJN Urges Unification of African Judiciary

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad has urged for the unification of the African Judiciary if it must compete favourably with its counterpart across the globe.

Justice Muhammad who made the call on lawyers in the African continent however admonished them to always show professionalism in the discharge of the legal duties.

A statement issued yesterday by the CJN’s media aide, Mr. Ahuraka Isah, said Muhammad gave the charge when he hosted a delegation of the African Bar Association (AFBA) in his office at the Supreme Court, Abuja.

While thanking them for the visit the CJN said the association should do everything it can to ensure African lawyers “compete favourably amongst the best of lawyers around the world in content and good character. “This is because African bench can’t be clean if its origin is filthy”.

The statement noted that Justice Muhammad described African legal system “like a broken mirror reflecting different directions, especially the directions of various colonial homes of respective countries. Yet, Africans are the only people who in the past resolved disputes and issues through traditional institutions.

“The association should work hard for the unification of African judiciary and mutual legal development”, he said.

Earlier, President of the Association, Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo, told the CJN that they were in his office to brief him on the activities of the association, and also invite him to their 2021 Annual conference slated for August this year in Niamey, Niger Republic.

Uwaifo, who told the CJN that the visit was on behalf of the chairman of AFBA Governing Council, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), added that it was also part of the association’s continuous consultations with Chief Justices of Supreme Courts across the continent.

‘’The visit is to afford us the opportunity to brief Your Lordship firsthand about our activities, our positive impact in the legal profession and judicial sector across the continent, and also to enable us to make suggestions for post COVID-19 era for the African judiciary’’.

Uwaifo noted that the AFBA 2021 Annual Conference which was scheduled to hold from February 28 – March 5, 2021 in Niamey has been postponed to August 2021 because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The theme for the conference is “Setting an Agenda for transformative change in Africa’’.