By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has admonished the African Bar Association (AFBA) to ensure that legal practitioners of African descent compete favourably amongst peers on the global stage.
Justice Muhammad said African lawyers must be the best in content and good character in the discharge of their professional duties.
The CJN who spoke while receiving the leadership of AFBA led by its president, Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo on a courtesy visit in Abuja, sought good conduct from the bar men on the ground that African bench cannot be clean if its origin is filthy.
“The African legal system or judiciary is 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, the CJN told the AFBA.
In a statement by Mr. Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, Senior Special Assistant to the CJN on media and publicity strategy to judiciary, Justice Muhammad thanked the delegation, while assuring them of his maximum support in the discharge of their mandates.
Earlier, Uwaifo while briefing the CJN on the visit explained that the African Bar Association (AFBA), 2021 Annual Conference which was scheduled to hold on the 28th of February – 5th of March 2021 in Niamey had been postponed to August 2021 because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
He said that the theme for the conference is, “Setting an Agenda for Transformative Change in Africa.”
Subsequently, the AFBA president formally invited the CJN to the annual conference coming up in August this year in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Uwaifo and his entourage were received by the CJN and some Justices of the Supreme Court namely: Justices John Inyang Okoro, Amina Adamu Augie, Uwani Musa Aba-Aji and Abdu Aboki.
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 the Supreme Court 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.”