By Amin Kef Sesay
In a strong worded response to a letter cum notice dated 2nd October 2019 by the Chief Justice of the Sierra Leone Judiciary, Babatunde Edwards, which has gone viral on social media, the Council of Legal Education, Yada Williams Esq. in a letter dated 3rd October 2019 reacted by raised what it termed as salient issues.
On its part, the Council referred to the contents contained in the said letter of 2nd October as subterfuge maintaining that it is plainly unlawful and a flagrant attempt at undermining the authority of the Council of Legal Education. It pointed out that the Council of Legal Education Act 1989 makes Council the governing authority of the Law School.
The letter highlighted that notwithstanding the fact that the Chief Justice is Chairman of Council he is just one member of the Council who is entitled to one vote just like any other member.
Chief Justice Babatunde was further reminded not to subvert the authority of Council by giving directives which run contrary to the decisions of Council. The caution went further: “You are cognisant that Council at its meeting of the 24th September and 30th September unanimously and unequivocally resolved that clauses 14.8 & 14.9 of the published “Regulations for the Conduct of Examinations” be respected i. e. that students who have exhausted three chances shouldn’t be allowed to take the September exams.
Your directives of the 2nd are therefore a very brazen attempt at subverting that decision. It is only Council that can overturn its own previous decisions.”
The Council said what bothers them also is the very wrong impression conveyed in the letter that a decision of Council on the matter is pending adding that the admonition is that persons in positions of authority must be circumspect in what they do whilst in office.
It states: “Wrongful conduct today that are not held accountable could be looked at differently in the future. As Chairman of Council you ought to be the Chief respecter of its decisions and not the one who singlehandedly seeks to subvert its authority.”