Date of Birth: 5 August 1945
Time of Birth:
Place of Birth: Rogbere
Abdulai Osman Conteh, a distinguished figure in Sierra Leonean law and politics, has left an indelible mark through his multifaceted career spanning legal, political, and judicial realms.
Born on 5 August 1945 in Rogbere, Gbinleh Dixon Chiefdom, Kambia District, British Sierra Leone, Conteh hails from the Susu ethnic group, primarily based in northeastern Sierra Leone. His academic journey began in Freetown, where he attended Albert Academy and later Fourah Bay College before pursuing further studies in the United Kingdom. Conteh earned a multitude of educational qualifications, including a Ph.D. in International Law from King's College, Cambridge, along with various law degrees and prestigious accolades.
Returning to Sierra Leone in the early 1970s, Conteh embarked on a distinguished legal career, initially serving in the SL Law Officers Department before transitioning to private practice and academia. His expertise in law led to significant contributions to legal education, as he taught law at Fourah Bay College for several years.
Conteh's political journey commenced with his affiliation to the All Peoples Congress (APC) party. Over the years, he held pivotal governmental positions, including Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, and First Vice-president and Minister of Rural Development. Additionally, he served as a member of Parliament, representing Kambia District, his paternal home district, from 1977 to 1992.
In recognition of his leadership and expertise, Conteh was nominated as a candidate for Chairperson of the African Union Commission in 2008, underscoring his stature on the continental stage.
His illustrious legal career extended beyond Sierra Leone, as he assumed the role of Chief Justice of the Belize Supreme Court from 2000 to 2010. During his tenure, Conteh authored landmark decisions affirming the common law doctrine of aboriginal title and Maya customary land tenure in Belize, significantly impacting land rights and indigenous communities.
Conteh's judicial prowess transcended borders, as he was appointed as a Justice of the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands in 2008 and later served on the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas until November 2015.
Outside of his professional endeavors, Conteh is devoted to his family, being married to Radia Labi Conteh and raising six children.
Abdulai Osman Conteh's legacy is characterized by his unwavering commitment to justice, legal scholarship, and public service, embodying the principles of integrity, fairness, and dedication throughout his illustrious career.