From Godwin Tsa Abuja
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, has called for a unified legal system for the African continent for the purpose of mutual legal development.
Justice Muhammad who spoke in Abuja during a courtesy visit by a delegation of African Bar Association (AFBA) observed: “The African legal system or Judiciary is like a broken mirror, reflecting different directions, especially the directions of the various colonial homes of the respective countries.
“Yet, Africans are the only people, who in the past, resolved disputes and issues through traditional institutions.”
He accordingly urged the association to “work hard for the unification of African Judiciary and mutual legal development.”
According to a statement released by the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the CJN on Media, Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, Justice Muhammad expressed gratitude for the visit but urged the association to ensure that African lawyers can compete favourably among the best of lawyers around the world, in content and good character.
He quoted the CJN as stressing that his admonition was informed by the fact that the continent’s Bench cannot be clean if its origin is filthy.
The delegation led by AFBA’s President, Hannibal Uwaifo, was 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 told the CJN that the visit was on behalf of the Chairman of AFBA Governing Council, Joseph B. Daudu (SAN), adding 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,’’Uwaifo said
He added his association’s 2021 Annual Conference, which was scheduled to hold between February 28 and – March 5 in Niamey, Niger Republic has been rescheduled for August 2021 because of the COVID-19 crisis.