Tuesday, 16 February 2021

On Courtesy Visit to the Chief of Justice of Nigeria, Delegation of the African Bar Association Describes Nigeria`s Supreme Court Bench as "the Best In Africa"

The President of the African Bar Association, Mr Hannibal Uwaifo, led some of the leaders of the Association on a courtesy visit to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad and other Justices of the Supreme Court. A wide range of issues affecting the Judiciary, Lawyers in Africa, and how the bar and then bench can positively and effectively promote good governance, access to justice and respect for the rule of Law in Africa, especially in Nigeria, were discussed during the visit.


Addressing the CJN and other Justices present, Mr Uwaifo described Nigeria`s Supreme Court bench as one of the best in Africa, saying it carries out its duties without fear and swallowing the aftermath of its judgement with stoic silence and equanimity. He added that the current Supreme Court bench, ably led by Justice Tanko Muhammad had never stopped anyone or body from criticizing the Court, and had not joined issues with anyone. Mr Uwaifo stated that since by law the judgement of the Court was final, there was no need for the Court to respond or be worried by external comments. 


He praised Hon Justice Tanko Muhammad for his continuous admonition of Lawyers to do away with advocating technical justice at the expense of the substance.He also praised the outstanding scholarship and industry of the the Judges who sit at the apex Court and assured them of the Support of the African Bar Association and Lawyers in Africa. Mr Uwaifo highlighted the activities of the Association and progress made across the Continent and beyond especially in the areas of Human rights, Elections, intervention in crisis and promotion of the principles of Constitutionality and the rule of law. He listed the achievement of the Association and invited to the CJN and other Justices to participate in the next conference of the Association holding in Niamey, Niger Republic from 1st - 5th August,2021.


Responding the Chief Justice of Nigeria Hon Justice Tanko Muhammad thanked the Association for the visit and appreciated the comments and suggestions made by the President of the African Bar Association. He made it clear that Judges of the Supreme Court bench know what they are doing and work very hard to arrive at decisions. He stated that no one no matter how highly placed or close can ever influence the decisions of the Court. He advised Lawyers to feel free to interact with Judges of the Court in ethically accepted ways stating that the Justices needs to interact with Lawyers just as Lawyers needs to be with the Justices. 


He opined that Justices of the Nigerian Supreme Court bench have received sufficient training to know what to do at all times. He agreed with the remarks of the Association that Judges in Africa must work together to learn from each other and apply principles of Law that suits each other particularly in the areas of Judicial precedents and Judicial fraternity. He admonished the Association to invite him and Judges of the Supreme Court bench to deliver papers at Conferences and meetings. He also charged the Association to always invite Judges to Conferences where they can interact with the Bar to advance the Course of Justice and the Legal Profession. 


Supreme Court Justices Present took turns to address the visiting African Bar delegation during which very useful comments and suggestions were made by the Justices on how to advance the course of Justice and properly position the Legal Profession, ethical conducts and the relationship between the Bar and bench when praising the African Bar Association for its work across the Continent and bringing nthe various Legal systems and Lawyers together. Other Justices of the Court Present were Hon. Justices John inyang  Okoro, Amina Augie,  Uwani Aba Aji,  Abdu Aboki and a retinue of Supreme Court officials including the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Court

 

 

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