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Law School Exams Fraud as New Lawyers Dislocated, Registrar In Disarray

There were signs already in the Atmosphere that the future of some of the recently called to Bar Law Graduates will be upset with shocks and embarrassment. But only few individuals treated the signs with seriousness. Instead, the whistle blowers who challenged the authenticity of the 2012/2013 Law School Results were called all sort of names and blasted by some of their colleagues who were in the same class and attempted the same examination. Little did anyone come to the fullest realization that when the reality comes to the public domain, it would be disastrous for them, members of their families, friends and supporters.

It would be recalled that the call-to the Bar Ceremony in November 2013 almost came to a stalled, if not for the swift intervention of the Chief Justice to put everything under control and examine the concerns and petitions of the whistle blowers after the ceremony.

Their initial move was to contact the Anti Corruption Commission claiming that the results of the 2012/2013 of the Law School were characterized by fraudulent grades assigned to some of their colleagues who did not take the final exams or failed most of the subjects.

The response of the Anti Corruption Commission was contained in a letter sent in November 2013 to the Council of Legal Education, warning the authorities to treat the issues alleged by the whistle blowers with utmost seriousness as the Commission will commence a close monitoring of the situation.

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Another initiative implemented for attention to be given to their concerns was the number of correspondences addressed to the Chief Justice and some key political players and Governors of the State of Sierra Leone. The consistency and determination of the whistle blowers to prove their allegations were underestimated.

On 15th November, 2013 a Lecturer of the Law School wrote a letter to the Chief Justice where he catalogued a number of allegations that had to do with the conduct and outcome of the exams. He suggested for an investigation to be conducted to verify the legitimacy of the allegations as contained in his letter, citing several instances which should necessitate an action. Not too long, he tendered his letter of resignation as one of the tutors of the School.

It appeared, after taking a close examination of the efforts of the whistle blowers that the authorities at the Sierra Leone thought that they would not be able to sustain their campaign and after a while they would give- up.

In January 2014 a Committee was set up after some serious pressures mounted by the whistleblowers, knocking on all doors that are very crucial state players to get the Council of Legal Education institute an investigation into their claims and come out with the relevant findings and recommendations.

Sittings commenced in January with promises made that by 15th of the same month it would conclude its investigations and come out with its findings. January 15th came and went away with nothing heard from the committee.  February came again and went and no clue was giving as to the conclusion and the publication of the findings by the committee. The month of March came and went again and the whistle blowers became impatient and dissatisfied with what they described as the slow process of the sittings. They started all over again demanding responses from the authorities of the Council of Legal Education and Law School.

Few days back, one of the leaders of the dissatisfied group of whistleblowers took the airwaves of several local radio stations in the country asking questions relating to their fate and the outcome of the investigations conducted.

Last Friday, it all started like a wild wind in the Harmattan Season blowing; that the Council of Legal Education has published a report, which has to do with the investigations of the complaints levied against the Law School by the whistle blowers. Not only did it stop there, the news went further to state that a press release has been issued out by the school, stating names of those students that clearly passed the 2012/13 Final Law School Examination.

About 80 Students sat to the final exams. Among the 80 Students only 15 of them genuinely and successfully made it, who should have been called to the Bar.

The Public Notice from the Council of Legal Education Sierra Leone Law School signed by the Chairman stated as follows “The Council of Legal Education wishes to inform the General Public that Council in December 2013 did set up a Committee to investigate complaints levied against the Sierra Leone Law School, challenging the authenticity of the 2012/2013 Bar Final Exams, and after deliberations on the findings and recommendations, Council now publishes the revised list for the Bar Final Examination for the 2012/2013 School Year. The list of students who passed the Examination and were correctly called to the Bar are as follows”:

Class11-Division 2(In order of merit)   

1.Sadia Bakarr

2. Mohammed Timbo

3. Samuel Sahr Borbor-Sawyer

4. Mohamed Gassim Conteh

5. Ladonette O.V. Macauley

6. Daniel Godfrey Fofanah

7. Precious Victoria Fewry

8. Joel Tejan Deen Tarawally

9. James Gedemeh

Class 111(In Alphabetical Order)

10. Augustine Thomas Ansumana

11. Abu bakarr Iscandri Conteh

12. Patricia Nana Davies

13. Dennis Bola Godwin

14. Gibrilla Kamara

15.Bakisa Kenyeh Pemagbi

The Chairman went further to state as follows “All Certificates issued at the call to the Bar ceremony held in November 2013 are invalidated, and Council hereby requests that these Certificates be returned to Interim Director of the Sierra Leone Law School not later than Monday 16th April 2014. Certificates will be issued to those who passed the Examinations and were correctly called to the Bar in November2013

The news when received by those Students that had already been called to the Bar did not only shatter them, but has continued to give them sleepless nights as they would not be seen in the coming months in Courtrooms defending or prosecuting in cases that their services have been hired by litigants.

It is also alleged that the Registrar of the Law School has been asked to take a quiet exit from the building.

It is not known whether the exit of the Registrar, Magistrate Davies Cole is as a result of the findings of the Committee in relation to allegations of Examination impropriety and fraud or reasons that are yet to be made public.

Magistrate Davies Cole has served as a Registrar of the Sierra Leone Law School for a very reasonable period of time and most of the Legal Practitioners and Magistrates seen in the Courtrooms passed through his administration.

A senior member of the Council of Legal Education has informed this medium that those who were called to the Bar only signed a Temporal Register and with this recent disclosure their names would be removed from it immediately. So whether they returned their Certificates or not means the same as they will not be allowed to practice in any Court of Law in this Country or outside until they are properly certified after they have fulfilled the right and correct criteria.

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