Tony Morgan Analyzes Bar Association’s Press Release on Arrest & Detention of LAJ

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By Mary Kabay

In a Press Release, dated 19th June 2022 issued by Tony Morgan terming in which he analyzed a previous Press Release by the Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA), bordering on the arrest and detention of Alhaji Amadu Bah alias LAJ, he categorically stated that the SLBA went beyond its purview in its standpoint on the said issue.

According to Tony Morgan the SLBA Press Release was clearly designed to incite the public for which he called on the Sierra Leone Police to sue the Association for defamation.

He continued that the Sierra Leone Bar Association was created to protect and regulate its members within the confines of the law and it is important for the SLBA to note that it can only regulate its members.

The author underscored how it is not a legal requirement for every lawyer to be part of the Association but it is usually preferred.

He furthered that SLBA stated in their Press Release that, “The violator of the laws and values that we hold dear to our hearts and minds should certainly not be the SLP that vowed to enforce the laws “.

Tony Morgan argued that the statement clearly implies the Police is guilty without any proof adding how every “fact” in the Press Release was embarrassingly based on heresy and absolutely no discussion with the Police was done.

He said that against such a backdrop, he is calling on the Ministry of Labour to look into the conditions under which the Association was established to determine if it is within their right to issue such a statement.

Tony said it is to be determined if the Press Release was in line with what the Association has done previously and also called for all members of the Association to sign a document stating they were in agreement with the press statement issued and that if the members were not aware before it was released then the Executive of the Association should be disbanded immediately.

He again reiterated that the Sierra Leone Police should look into litigation saying the Association clearly defamed the SLP.

Also, contained in his Press Release is that the SLBA is not the law making body or the moral guarantor of the constitution of Sierra Leone calling on them to release another statement stating clearly that they are just an Association.

He concluded by stating that the SLBA should state clearly if the Association is acting on behalf of Alhaji Amadu Bah.

See press release:

ANALYSIS OF THE PRESS RELEASE BY THE
SIERRA LEONE BAR ASSOCIATION

Dated 19th June 2022 with the headline “The Arrest and detention of Alhaji Amadu Bah (Alias LAJ)”.

The SLBA went beyond their purview, in the above mentioned press release. The release was clearly designed to incite the public. The Sierra Leone Police should sue the association for defamation of the Force. The Press release was signed by Alfred Paul Juwah, Esq. the General secretary- SLBA.

The Sierra Leone Bar Association was created to protect and regulate it’s members within the confines of the law. It is important to note, the association can regulate it’s members only. It is not a legal requirement for every lawyer to be part of the association but it is usually preferred.

SLBA stated in the press release “The violator of the laws and values that we hold dear to our hearts and minds should certainly not be the SLP that vowed to enforce the laws”. The statement clearly implies the police is guilty without any proof. Every “fact” in the press release was embarrassingly based on heresy and absolutely no discussion with the police.

Accordingly, I hereby call for:

  1. Ministry of Labour to look into the conditions under which the Association was established to determine if it is within their right to issue such a statement.
  2. Determine if the press release was in line with what the association has done previously.
  3. All members of the Association to sign a document stating they were in agreement with the press statement issued. If the members were not aware before it’s release, the Executive of the Association should be disbanded immediately.
  4. The Sierra Leone Police should look into litigation. The Association clearly defamed the SLP.
  5. SLBA is not the law making body or the moral guarantor of the constitution of Sierra Leone. They should release another statement stating clearly they are just an association.
  6. SLBA should state clearly if the association is acting on behalf of Alhaji Amadu Bah.
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