Justice Peter Umeadi is the Former Chief Justice of Anambra State and APGA Presidential Aspirant ahead of 2023 presidential election.
LAW PERSONALITY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
You were President of the World Association of Judges for two consecutive terms, when did your tenure end. How do you think that membership of such international professional associations will impact positively on the efficiency of Nigerian judges?
Yes, I joined the Governing Board of the World Jurist Association (WJA)after the election at the 25th Biennial World Law Congress on November 2nd 2017 at the Caribbean Island of Aruba. I was elected President of the World Association of Judges (WAJ) under the auspices of the WJA. On my return to Nigeria I was admitted to see My Lord the Chief Justice of Nigeria (as he then was) Justice W.S.N. Onnoghen, GCON where I formally notified him of my election and he gladly received the news of my appointment, congratulated me and wished me well. The next day I met with Administrator of The National Judicial institute (NJI) Justice R.P.I Bozomo OFR. His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano the Governor of Anambra State called in from USA to congratulate my humble self. I was further received by Abubakar Malami SAN, Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in his office in Abuja. In that position I stepped into the big shoes of Prince Bola Ajibola, of blessed memory, former Judge of the World Court at Hague and the immediate past President of the World Association of Judges. The World Jurist Association came about in July 1957 when a gala was organized in honour of the American Bar Association in London. There Charles Ryhne the President of the American Bar Association, Justice Earl Waren the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and Sir Winston Churchill agreed to promote Peace through Law which later changed to World Jurist Association “world ruled by law not force.” In 1963 Charles Ryhne and Justice Earl Waren convened in Greece, the first World Conference on Law. The President of America John F. Kennedy in a message to the conference termed it “The First World Conference on World Peace through Rule of Law” bringing to fore “the rule of law, separation of powers, to ensure freedom and justice” In 1965 President Lydon B Johnson inaugurated the 2nd World Law Congress in Washington DC which was chaired by Truman and Eisenhower both past Presidents of the United States of America. Nigeria has a rich history of participation in WJA. Justice M.L Uwais GCON, former Chief Justice of Nigeria is an Honorary President of WJA Worldwide; Justice M.B Belgore GCON former Chief Justice of Nigeria was onetime President of the Nigerian Chapter of WJA. and thereby member of the Advisory Council. Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON former President of the Court of Appeal an ardent participant of WJA. The World Law Congress of WJA has been hosted in Nigeria. While I was the President of the World Association of Judges I secured the privilege to register the World Association of Judges under the auspices of the World Jurist Association in Nigeria. I am therefore a Trustee of the World Association of the Judges registered as a corporate body on 23/4/2019 with no. CAC/IT/NO128023. The center for Continuing Education for Judges in Nigeria is the National Judicial institute (NJI). The NJI has a close relationship with the WJA, which have yielded beneficial and rewarding results. In the last World Law Congress which took place in Madrid Spain from 19th – 20th February 2019 Justice W.S.N. Onnoghen CJN (as he then was) was billed to be one of the speakers. The NJI allowed a whopping 64 (sixty four) Judges to attend. At the World Law Congress in Madrid in 2019 I was reelected as the President of the World Association of Judges and retained my seat on the Global Board of WJA. I was President for WJA Africa; President for WJA Nigeria and Representative of WJA to the United Nations in Geneva. Soon after the Madrid Congress trouble erupted on the Board. The new worldwide President got the upper hand in the Board room skirmishes and sometime in January 2020 all the Board Members including my humble self were removed. In April 2020 I was surprised to receive a letter from the Executive Director of World Jurist Association and World Law Foundation informing me that a letter from the Worldwide President had been enclosed for me. She mentioned that after all matters had been settled she hoped I can join the Congress and keep on working for the promotion of the Rule of Law. I opened the enclosure and found the brochure for the World Law Congress for 2021 slated for Bogota Colombia and a two page letter signed by the Worldwide President of WJA saying he would be delighted if I could actively participate in the Congress and ended the letter with “I would love you to join the project”. On my twitter handle @me_llord I tweeted as follows “Javier Cremades Gracia, Worldwide President World Jurist Association and World Law Foundation, graciously invited me to participate at the XXVIII Biennial Congress of the World Jurist Association to be held in Bogota from 8th – 10th February 2021. I delightfully accepted”. The magic of the moment was that Javier Cremades retweeted my tweet which now went viral. I was the only member of the removed Board who was invited back. I am happily back to promoting the Rule of law. I am a Member of the Organizing Committee of the World Law Congress 2021 now shifted to November 2021 in Bogota Colombia. As a run up to Bogota, Opening Sessions via webinar on Zoom have been planned. It started in Barcelona and gone to Chile. I held a meeting via Zoom with the Executive Director and the CEO of the Congress where I was mandated to coordinate the Opening Session in Nigeria for April 2021 which is tagged the African Round Table including eminent jurists across the continent of Africa. For now, all my titles on WJA did not survive our removal from the Board. I should be content with Trustee of World Association of Judges and Member Organizing Committee of the World Law Congress 2021.