In a joint statement issued on the aftermath of the Sierra Leone Bar Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Kenema on May 18, 2024, Presidential Aspirants Augustine S. Marrah and Wara Serry-Kamal denounced the events as a severe blow to democratic values.

The statement highlighted a series of grievances, emphasizing the erosion of democratic principles, transparency, and integrity within the Association. The actions and inactions of the Board of Directors were branded as not only illegal but deeply concerning, casting doubts on the legitimacy of the purported executive elected during the AGM.

Prior to the AGM, efforts were made to ensure transparency and accountability in the electoral process. Court applications aimed at enhancing member participation were filed, but unfortunately denied. Security concerns raised by Serry-Kamal were also disregarded, as requests for a meeting with the Sierra Leone Police went unanswered.

The statement further detailed manipulations during the AGM, including the compromise of the voter list, unlawful changes to the agenda, and the imposition of a controversial Returning Officer, Francis Kaifala. The purported elections were marred by irregularities, with only a select few allowed to vote under questionable circumstances.

In response to these grievances, Marrah and Serry-Kamal declared the executive selected at the AGM as illegitimate, pledging to pursue legal avenues for a fair election. They also vowed to hold accountable all those involved in the flawed electoral process.

The joint statement concluded with a call to action, urging all members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association to unite in seeking justice and upholding democratic standards.

The fallout from the AGM underscores the urgent need for transparency and accountability within the legal fraternity, as members rally together to reclaim the integrity of their Bar Association.