From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

In Sierra Leone, a Lawyer took Bar Association into the Mud
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR
Jun 24, 2015, 23:22

My personal opinion is that the Sierra Leone Bar Association means well for this country in the same way this newspaper means well. I have a lot of respect for those lawyers & judges who contribute tremendously to the development of this country. The Bar doesn’t deserve to be dragged to the mud so members of the Bar should pay keen attention to the Friday June 12th 2015 front page of NEWS WATCH newspaper which is published by one of their own in person of Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai.

In his publication that carried a huge photo of the Head of State, Lawyer Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai is claiming that the Bar Association of which he is a member, is micro-managed by His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Koroma from State House to extent the President wickedly threatened to sack his Ambassador in Senegal, Madam Kadie Bassir if the ambassador’s child, Lawyer Ady Macauley, did not withdraw from contesting for an executive position at the Bar. That disgusting article published by a lawyer like Saffa Abdulai who is a member of the Bar Association, had some very unconscionable allegations that are grossly seditious.

I have spoken with His Excellency the President about that published allegation by a member of the Bar Association and I can categorically state that it is a shameful untruth against the President who has better things to do than involve himself so pettily in any aspect of Bar Association elections.

This is why it should be of deep concern to the Bar that the June 12th publication by one of their own, has dragged the reputation of the Bar to the deepest depths of the filthiest mud. Until the Bar cleans itself of such a serious allegation that it is malleable in the hands of politicians, I think it should please leave this newspaper to carry out our sacred obligations under the Constitution and the Law.

Section 11 of Sierra Leone Constitution is subtitled as: Obligations of the mass media and it says: “The press, radio and television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Constitution and highlight the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.”

Basically the Constitution places an OBLIGATION on all media, including this newspaper, to bring to light, allegations of roguery in government as well as highlight concerns of citizens over any such deficit in any arm of government. In other words, we are OBLIGED under the law to do so.

Furthermore, Act No. 4 of Year 2000 and the subsequent Report of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) go further to instruct the media to be regularly highlighting what caused the war so as to ensure we all take steps to ensure war never breaks out again. TRC says Rogues at the Judiciary created the conditions of bitterness that caused the terrible civil war. This is a fact and going by the comments now being made during the constitutional review process, it is still a very sore point of concern for many citizens of Sierra Leone.

In our next edition, we will cover how ACC can help the Bar.

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