Ganta — Lawyers in the country under their umbrella organization, the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) have geared up for another convention that will be marked by an election that will changed its three-year leadership.
The current president Tiawan Gongloe ahead of the election slated for Saturday, November 27,2021 in Ganta, Nimba County had called on the four Presidential candidates if elected to exercise the doctrine of self-reliance that he has initiated.
The Bar election committee has so far released the names of four Presidential candidates who have met all requirements and are now on the field campaigning vigorously to replace Cllr, Taiwan Gongloe who have been hailed by many legal luminaries as one who have brought the LNBA to prominence.
Those cleared to contest include Jallah Barbiu, Abraham Sillah, Sylvester Rennie and Swahili Sesay. That have all said in their respective platforms of being the best candidate to replace Gongloe; stressing to advocate for the independence of the Judiciary.
Following his return from Gambia, Banjul over the weekend upon the invitation of the Gambia Bar, Association, Cllr. Gongloe told this paper that his trip in that country was successful but was happy to be back home at the time when the LNBA is going to election.
He indicated that he could not be the best judge to critique his own administration but when his leadership took over in late 2018, the Bar became more visible because every Liberian knew that the legal profession exists.
"When we took over the leadership of the LNBA, we made a promise that the Bar will be the legal counsel for the civil society, government and the business community and not a day passed without assuming that responsibility, but any leader who lower that will not stay there" said Gongloe.
The LNBA President bragged and emphasized the need for self-reliance in the Bar; stating that, "Previous leadership of the Bar used to beg for fund from NGOs to hold convention, but this is not happening now because one who controls the belly controls the mind."
He stated that now the LNBA under his watch is raising funds on its own through license and other fees; something he said is helping the LNBA to maintain its independence. He noted that any lawyer practicing law in the country must have a license as requirement, or else the lawyer will be barred and case dismissed in any court in the country when it is known that a lawyer in question is practicing illegally.
According to Cllr Gongloe, license for lawyer will be the foremost requirement for any lawyer to vote in the Saturday's election.
On the issue of his trip to Gambia Gongloe stated that the trip was intended to review the draft law crafted by Gambia lawyers intended to set up a court to prosecute those responsible for allegedly committing atrocities during the reign of former Gambia President Yaya Jameh.
He lauded Liberian lawyers, adding that the Gambia draft in establishing that war crime court was similar to the one Liberian lawyers prepared and submitted to the 54th Legislature which calls for the establishment of a war crime court in Liberia.