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Disobedience to rule of law, bane of African stability, says Uwaifo

By Godwin Dunia
05 October 2021   |   4:03 am
President of African Bar Association (AfBA), Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo, has identified disobedience to rule of law by African leaders as reason the continent has continued to witness an unending political crisis.

AFBA President, Hannibal Uwaifo

President of African Bar Association (AfBA), Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo, has identified disobedience to rule of law by African leaders as reason the continent has continued to witness an unending political crisis.

He said African leaders have failed to follow the principles of separation of powers, adding that such is reason for the continent is rooted in bad governance.

“African continent is rooted in perpetual crisis and bad governance because of refusal of our leaders to follow the principles of rule of law and natural justice and the principles of separation of power. The principles of rule of law envisaged that no one is above the law,” he said.

Speaking at a media briefing Uwaifo also attributed the current political upheavals in some countries of the ECOWAS region, as a result of disregard of ECOWAS Community court judgments.

He made reference to Cape Verde infraction of ECOWAS Court order that requested the release of a Venezuelan diplomat, Ambassador Alex Saab, who had been in detention since 2020.

Uwaifo said: “Ambassador Saab’s human rights violation would be brought before the 2021 yearly conference of AfBA holding in Niamey, Republic of Niger from October 3 to 7 2021.

“ECOWAS court was created by leaders of ECOWAS for the region of West Africa to expand the frontier and access to justice by resolving crisis that arises within the region.

“But what we are experiencing is that African leaders are not taking their obligations seriously.

“Disregard to court orders and judgments is like the crime of military coup d’etat and ECOWAS leaders should treat them accordingly, as they are currently taking the illegal change in government in Mali and Guinea.

“AfBA has condemned the coup irrespective of what led to it. We had advised President Conde that he was leading the country into crisis, but that doesn’t mean military coup is the solution”.

AfBA, therefore, called for respect of all treaty obligations and the independence of judiciary in Africa.