By Lansana Fofanah…………………………………
Members of Parliament yesterday slammed the administrators of the Sierra Leone Law School for turning what they referred to as ‘illegal to legal’ and ordered them to withdraw Statutory Instruments No. 12 of 2016 entitled: The Council of Legal Education Act, 1989 (Act No.1 1989 Admission of Students Regulation, which was laid on the table of the House on Thursday 30th March, 2017.
Speaking in the Well, the proposer of the motion for the removal of the said instrument Hon. Umar Paran Tarawally of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) said that the Legal Service Commission has violated the procedures of the law three years ago by implementing laws that are yet to be approved by Parliament thereby using their own discretion in running the Law School.
Hon. Tarawally said that the actions of the Legal Service Commission by making it a must for students to pass certain law modules before being enrolled at the Law School have denied 53 Sierra Leoneans enrollment at the Law School.
Hon. Tarawally said that the minimum requirement was third class which these candidates have, but because they failed certain modules, they were denied the opportunity to be enrolled three years ago at the Law School.
Hon. Tarawally said that the rules and procedures of the Legal Service Commission are not in conformity with the University Act of 2005 and that Parliament should discard the instrument as null and void.
“The administrators of the Law School went ahead and enforced an action that has not been approved by Parliament…. Many young and astute Sierra Leoneans have suffered injustice by something that is null and void… They have circumvented the law” he said.
The seconder of the motion, Hon. Bashiru Silikie said that onto last week, the website of the Legal Service Commission still holds the requirement which is deemed illegal, and that many students have suffered injustice for something that is not right.
Hon. Silikie asked the House to not only withdraw the instruments, but to also ask the Commission to admit the affected students with immediate effect.
Hon. Silikie said that he wondered why such behavior by people who are supposed to be legally minded could be allowed to fly.
Hon. Frederick Sourie of the ruling All Peoples Party (APC) said that the instrument should be withdrawn for failing legal procedures and the draconian action of the Law School has been going on for far too long with impunity.
Hon. Sourie said that a best student that got C in dissertation can end up getting third class result not because he or she was not serious but because of the grade he or she got in dissertation.
The Parliament voted unanimously for the withdrawal of the instrument.
Reacting to the decision of the House, Alpha Saeed Ann Kanu; a student who felt victimized said that they have gone through psychological torture in the hands of people who do things in their own way. “Most of our colleagues have died during this time of idle waiting… There was no re-sit exams at that time as we would have loved to take the exams back… That system was only introduced last year… We hope that the request of the House to admit us will be upheld”, he said.