Nine former presidents of the Sierra Leone Bar Association have come out strongly against the violence and disenfranchisement that marred the association’s recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Kenema on May 17-18, 2024.

In a resolution issued on May 20, the past presidents called the violence “antithetical to the values and principles of our noble profession.” They also condemned attempts to disenfranchise members and demanded the nullification of the election results.

The resolution, signed by Charles Francis Margai, Francis Gabbidon, Emmanuel Shears-Moses, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, Abdul Tejan-Cole, Elvis Kargbo, Ibrahim Sorie, Rhoda Sufian-Kargbo, and Basita Michael called for the immediate organization of “proper and transparent elections” to restore faith in the association’s leadership.

The past presidents urged the current leadership, headed by Ms. Eddinia Swallow, to take decisive action to address the irregularities and uphold the association’s commitment to the rule of law and democratic governance.

The resolution comes amid allegations of violence and intimidation during the AGM, which some members claim prevented them from exercising their right to vote. This has cast a shadow over the legitimacy of the elected officials.