West African Lawyers Slam Burundi Coupists

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The West African Bar Association (AFBA) has condemned the attempted coup in Burundi, maintaining that the foiled coup was a major setback towards the sustenance of democratic governance in the country.

‪The body also implored President Pierre Nkurunziza to jettison the idea of his third-term bid and concentrate more on good governance that would translate to the aspirations of his people.

However, in a statement signed by the President and Secretary of AFBA, Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo and Mrs. Flavania Charles, yesterday in Benin City, the association expressed joy at the return of the ousted president, and the establishment of a proper constitutional order under the rule of law.

Burundi, last week, went into political turmoil, following protests by thousands of Burundians over the third-term bid of the president that resulted to a coup masterminded by Major General Godefroid Niyombare.

The statement noted that the advent of military coup in any part of the African continent can no longer be tolerated under any guise.

Even at that, AFBA further pointed out that the people of Burundi deserved peace in their country and should not be subjected to avoidable crises that have been claiming innocent lives in the wake of crises trailing the third-term bid of the Burundian president.

Commending international organisations for moving swiftly against the entrenchent of military dictatorship in Burundi and the prompt return to constitutional democracy in the country, AFBA said it was saddened by the untold sufferings and misery this unfortunate adventure has brought against the people of Burundi.

‪”We will not hesitate to press for criminal charges against those behind the attempted coup in Burundi at the International Criminal Court. AFBA is currently studying the development in Burundi with a view to ascertaining what next step to take in the forthcoming confab of the association,” it stated.

‪Meanwhile, AFBA has commended the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN, for repositioning the association to play its role as the conscience of the society.

‪ “The prompt manner in which disciplinary actions are taken against erring lawyers, the transparency in transactions involving the NBA and good record keeping of the Alegeh presidency, the recent launch of the stamp and seal for lawyers in Nigeria and organising of quality seminars/workshops are eloquent testimonies that the NBA president is committed towards ensuring that the legal practice in the country is elevated to serve the purpose of social engineering in the society”, AFBA noted.

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