Like the VP Samuel Sam Sumana saga that evidently split the Sierra Leone Bar Association, the advent of the Commissions of Inquiry has further deepened the break up, following the emergence of a minority splinter group known as “Concerned Members”.
After dissociating themselves from a statement earlier published by the President of the Bar Association Executive, Mrs. Bastia Michael, recently, the minority group has again distanced themselves from the Supreme Court action filed by the Association relating to constitutionality of the Commissions of Inquiry.
The Concerned Members, in a press release said, the case was filed without expressed approval of its members, therefore, the action was not ratified by the Association. And that, the Executive does not have the authority to sue on behalf of the association without approval of the Members
They said the decision to sue in the name of the association was taken without due regards to the financial cost/obligation to/on the Association, since there was no such professional advice at the time, thereby demonstrating that the Executive acted and still acting detrimentally to the interest of the Association.
Additionally, under cost and financial detriment, they said, the Executive in filing the action failed to give due consideration to the financial detriments whether by cost of the solicitor, cost of the application, foreseeable cost to be awarded by the court to the defendants, and further breached procurement rules, all without the approval of the Members and in furtherance of their self-interested quest to file the said Supreme Court application without approval off the Members
Thus, the splinter group has issued the Executive 48 hours ultimatum to withdraw the legal action filed on behalf of the Association, or face litigation for the continuing ultra vires actions and breach of duties owed to the Association, and for other claims on the basis of, inter alia, oppression of the minority
Meanwhile, the Association has expressed grave discontentment at the Attorney General for discussing the said matter that is currently pending before the Supreme Court. This, they said, is a sad and unfortunate departure from the ethics and code of conduct of the profession.
Hence, the Executive urged the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to desist from litigating in the court of public opinion, as they consider it as ill-advised and unwarranted.