“…it warrants criminal investigations”

A correspondence dated 6th February, 2014 from a member of the Sierra Leone Bar Association and also serving as a Committee Member of the Law School investigating panel, which was set up to look into complaints made by some Law School Students has laid to rest the wide speculations that the whistle blowers were wrong It would be recalled that some Students of the Sierra Leone Law School had made allegations that bother on the credibility of the 2012 and 2013 examination results.

This group of Students further claimed that they had been deprived of justice. To them Justice is meant for all colours, race and category of people and not for a selected few. The matter of examination fraud and pilfering of grades and more were reported to the Anti Corruption Commission, which culminated into the Commission issuing out a strong warning letter to the Council of Legal Education. After protracted debates between and among officials of the Council of Legal Education and Law School a decision was reached to institute an investigation into allegations made by the Students.

It was the expectation of the Students, some members of the committee, parents and guardians that by now the findings of the Committee would have been made public. But it is evident that the findings which every category of interested parties had been waiting for, are still locked in a non ventilated cupboard. In a letter sent to the President of the Bar Association, Lawyer Elvis Kargbo who is a member of the panel of investigators, his co. member; Lawyer Chukwuemeka C.V.Taylor has presented him with a summary of the findings and those he feels should be culpable.

The President C/o The Sierra Leone Bar Association Secretariat Lamina Sankoh Street Freetown It reads: Dear Mr. Kargbo Re: The investigation into complaints levied against the Sierra Leone Law School’s Examination for the 2012 and 2013 academic year. You will recall that you and I had a conversation in Court on the 5th January 2014. During our conversation, it became clear that you have been unable to regularly attend meetings of “the Committee” (i.e. the Committee set up to investigate the complaints relating to the examination results of the 2012/2013 academic year of the Law School) because of other commitments to the Bar, notably amongst which are the funeral arrangements for the sudden death of two of our colleagues.

You now stand informed that we were in the process of compiling the final report to the Council. I did suggest that you contact the Secretary to the Committee for an update, but noting that you must be extremely tied up with the funeral arrangements, I feel obliged to inform you about four(4) of the initial findings of the Committee.

1. The Committee has found that only nine (9) students made a clear pass in June 2013 examination.

2. The Committee also found that only twenty three (23) students made a clear pass in September 2013 re-sit examination

3. The Committee found that some students who were to take various subjects in the re-sit examination having failed to attain the passing score of 50% in the June examination failed to do so.

4. The Committee found that some students who ought to have taken the entire re-sit examinations in September 2013 having failed more than two (2) subjects in June 2013 did not do so. I must reiterate that these are only four of the initial findings. The Committee has requested its members to send suggestions for possible recommendations to be made to the Council. As you and I are the only representatives of the Sierra Leone Bar Association on The Council of Legal Education, we must hang heads to ensure that we discharge our obligations to the Bar.

imagesI also hereby suggest that at the appropriate time you summon a meeting of the Bar to elicit from the members their respective views on the Committee’s findings. I believe that the appropriate time will be after the Committee submits its report to Council and in any event before a meeting of Council is summoned to discuss the report. As the investigations have revealed, the scores presented to The Council of Legal Education were grossly inaccurate. The possibility for these scores to be explained in terms of human errors exists but I am of the opinion that such an explanation is most improbable in the circumstances to excuse misconduct on the part of the administration and /or by the students. In fact, I am convinced that only gross negligence/recklessness or intent on the part of the Administration and in particular, the Registrar can reasonably explain this unfortunate predicament faced by the Law School and its alumni. I am also of the opinion that the circumstances warrant a criminal investigation by the Anti Corruption Commission and /or the Criminal Investigation Department. An investigation of this nature will determine the extent of criminal culpability of the students who have benefitted from the unlawful upgrade of their respective scores. The Committee does not have legal capacity to administer oath or to conduct an evidential hearing to determine criminal liability. I believe that the Anti Corruption Commission is poised to react. We must encourage them to do so. I also understand that the General Legal Council has already taken a position on this issue… Up to press time this medium learnt that the Registrar of the Law School has since been suspended from office