By Never G. Lomo,firstname.lastname@example.org
The President of the African Bar Association, Hannibal Uwaifo has called on the Liberian government to liaise with the appropriate international, continental and regional bodies to set up the appropriate tribunal to look into cases of all those who murdered innocent people and plundered this land.
Lawyer Uwaifo, the African Bar President made the statement at the start of a four-day African Bar Association conference in Monrovia on Monday, October 21, 2019, which was formally opened by Liberia’s Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor.
It is being held under the theme: “Tackling the Contemporary issues facing the African continent and how lawyers can drive a renaissance” and this is the first time Liberia National Bar Association is hosting the African Bar conference.
The brutal Liberian civil war, which officially ended in 2003, caused the deaths of some 250,000 people, according to UN estimate.
The African Bar President said they must all face justice in a transparent and recognized legal and judicial process adding that this is the only way to rest the past and face the future.
Head of the African Bar Association disclosed that the institution has respected members as judges, lawyers and experts in all field and is available to help the Republic of Liberia in this direction.
Mr. Uwaifo added that while progress has certainly been made since 2016, there were also several setbacks and lot of progress still need to be made to make Africa the continent the world needs to be and do business with.
A number of issues still need to be tackled and corruption in the conduct of public and private business is still rife and may even be rising at frightening dimension, Mr. Uwaifo state.
He however said corruption is a violation of the rule of law, breeds socio economic and political hardships and is mostly reasonable for the Armed conflicts that still dots the African landscape from Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda through Rwanda, Cameroon, Malawi, CAR, DRC, Togo and Angola among others violent violations of human rights and rule of law are still being recorded at an alarming scale.
Narrating further, Cllr. Uwaifo added that the frightening dimension which Xenophobic has particularly occurred in South Africa is worrisome and serious challenge to cohesion and unity of Africans.
The African Bar Association therefore, joined in the condemnation of the vice that has led to the untimely death of several Africans maiming of others and the evacuation of many more.
Cllr. Uwaifo noted that African Union which most African believes is just a talk shop with no direct bearing on the lives of Africans, must wake up to her responsibilities and find practical solutions to these issues of corruption, human rights abuses, xenophobia, armed conflict, bureaucracy, accountability cross border problems and other numerous challenges, which ordinary African face daily.
For his part, the President of Liberian National Association Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe expressed gratitude to the African Bar Association for choosing Liberia as venue for this year conference.
According to Cllr. Gongloe since the formation of the African Bar Association in 2007, this is the first time that the Liberian Bar Association is hosting such international events for the sharing of the knowledge of the law on very important issues facing the African continent.
Meanwhile, Associate Justice at the Supreme Court Jamesetta Wolokollie pointed out that they are aware that our continent has been faced with many challenges when it comes to the rule of law.
Justice Wolokollie said Africa major setback has been and remains our own failure that keep operating in our continent.
Liberia’s Associate Justice further added that corruption, poverty, poor health care, violation of human rights has become the order of the day.
Madam Wolokollie added that teams of national crimes, human salary, drugs and human trafficking along with other security issues are all problems faced by the African continent.
According to Justice Wolokollie, the role to advocate and rule of law should be high in the African continent and called on lawyers to promote and lead with integrity and dignity.
She therefore called on lawyers to reason on how to combat these issues adding that the rule of law should be the hallmark of all lawyers.