Head of Law Department, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone - Emmanuel Ekundayo Constant Shears-Moses Esq - has recently stepped down after almost six years in the position.
Dr Dante Allie Bendu, Dean of Faculty of Social Science and Law, said on 2nd, June, 2017 that the rotational policy for heads of departments of the University stipulates that occupants of the office should spend between two to three years per term, and based upon satisfactory performance, one would be honoured to serve a two term tenure.
“Mr Shears-Moses has served a two three-year term,” he said. “No one is usually allowed to serve beyond a two term limit. Some people serve for only a term, but based on his performance, he was allowed to serve for two terms, that is, for six years. The procedure for changing heads of departments is when your term is up they will serve the next person in the queue to take the position.”
Dr Bendu said there was no political influence in relieving Mr Shears-Moses, as is being rumoured.
“Even myself, I once served as head of department, and when my term was up I had to go even though I didn’t want to go at the time. Now listen, I was present when the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, Prof Gbamanja, admitted to three key lecturers at the Law Department - Justice Sengu Koroma, Mrs Melinda Davies, and Mr Roland Wright - that Mr Shears-Moses was not sacked. He was simply relieved of his position, because his two term tenure had ended,” said Dr Dante Bendu.
It was Prof Joko Smart, then as head of the Law Department, who brought in Mr Shears-Moses as a lecturer in 1996. Six years later in 2012, Mr Shears-Moses took over as Head of Department from Mr. Eke Halloway.
“When I came, I reorganized the syllabus,” he said. “I introduced several new elective modules including conflict of laws, arbitration law, labour and social security law, tax and revenue law, international human rights law, banking law, intellectual property, and legal research. This opened the door for more lecturers to come in, but salaries were a pittance so they were not interested, however they came in saying they wanted to help.
“I then reorganized the law society, so students can fully participate. I also instituted a yearly dinner instead of a party, among several other initiatives, including a law library, with books from outside, for which both students and lecturers were happy for.
“Of course intake into the Law Department increased but I was interested in quality, so I set new entry requirements with a 3 in English, and a 4 in other subjects. I kept to my standards and expected others in the University of Sierra Leone to keep to theirs too.
“Obviously, I became unpopular because of my stance but a good degree is always necessary - so that you can stand with other lawyers both in Sierra Leone and elsewhere,” he said.
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