The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJA) Justice Ibrahim Muhammad has advocated for a unified legal system for the continent of Africa to allow for mutual legal development.
Justice Muhammad 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.”
The CJN, who spoke in Abuja, while hosting a delegation from the African Bar Association (AFBA), urged the association to “work hard for the unification of African Judiciary and mutual legal development.”
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the CJN on Media, Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, said in a statement on Sunday that 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.