The Gambia Bar Association has issued a statement disassociating itself from the so-called Africa Bar Association actions and who’s President and some members are currently in The Gambia meddling in the political crisis in the country.

The Africa Bar Association President and other members on Monday ‘parachuted’ directly into the State House of The Gambia and met the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh, an action widely condemned by the judicial fraternity.

The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) also reacted to the action of the Africa Bar Association members saying they have nothing to do with it. The PALU further consider the Africa Bar Association to be a fraudulent organisation that does not represent anyone other than its few individual promoters; has no known membership on the African continent; does not speak for African lawyers or lawyers’ associations (Bar Associations and Law Societies) and has no known constituency.

In a statement read before the press on Thursday, Sheriff Tambedou, the President of the Gambia Bar Association said they are not connected or associated with Mr Hannibal Uwaifo and his organisation, the African Bar Association.

“The general public is hereby notified that this organisation does not represent all or any associations or bodies of African lawyers as its name suggests. The said African Bar Association is not connected or associated with the Nigerian Bar Association although its members are predominantly Nigerian. It also is not connected or associated with the Pan African Lawyers Union, the International Bar Association, the African Development Bank or related entities”, the GBA said.

According to GBA, the original African Bar Association that was formed in 1971 in Nigeria was dissolved and merged with associations all over Africa resulting in the creation of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU).

“PALU is the credible and most widely recognised legitimate representative of African lawyers and Associations. The organisation promoted by Mr Uwaifo since 2015 has previously attempted to inaugurate itself in The Gambia through a proposed ‘Rebirth’ conference” it stated.

The GBA said it could not in good conscience participate in such an event taking into account the lack of capacity, competence and resources from Mr Uwaifo’s team. “We therefore confirm that the Gambia Bar Association and its international partners have no connection or affiliation to Mr Uwaifo or his organisation” the Gambia Bar Association concluded.

By Alhagie Jobe