Lawyers' body won't relent in anti-graft fight

Sunday December 16 2018


By Zephania Ubwani @ubwanizg3

Arusha. The Pan African Lawyers' Union (Palu) will not relent in joining hands with other organizations to fight corruption in the continent.

"It is no small task but we will not lose our steam", affirmed Mr. Emeka J.P. Obegolu, the president of the Arusha-based umbrella association of law firms in the continent.

He said during a gala dinner organized over the weekend for the organization's partners that graft was a menace that should be fought with all available tools.

Palu, he observed, would also work with other platforms to address all other shortcomings afflicting societies in Africa so as to create conditions for prosperity.

The Registrar of the African Court on Human and People's Rights (AfCHPR) Dr. Robert Eno described Palu as "one of our pillars when we have difficulties".

He said since 90 per cent of the cases before the Court originated from Tanzania and filed by those who had no legal assistance, it was Palu which filled the gap.

"Many of them cannot defend themselves. The lawyers' union are always ready to take up the challenge and this has enhanced the work of the Court", he said.

Dr. Eno added that Palu had played its rightful judicial role for the African Union (AU) and allied bodies especially in speaking loud against graft and holding leaders accountable.

The organization was founded in Arusha in  2012 by African bar leaders and eminent lawyers to promote and defend their shared interests.

It brings together the continent's five regional lawyers' associations and currently it has a membership of over 2,000 lawyers.

"Our mission is to advance the law and legal profession, the rule of law, good governance and human and people's rights", said Donald Deya, the chief executive officer of the union.

According to him, Palu is currently preparing the draft protocol for the extension of jurisdiction of the African Court to include international crimes.