Liberia: 34 Lawyers Disqualified from LNBA's Elections

Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe.

--As outgoing LNBA's President Gongloe outlines achievements and regrets

Outgoing Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA)President Counselor Tiawan Gongloe on Thursday, November 25, disclosed that 511 of  the 545   registered voters have been qualified to vote during the upcoming elections, meaning that 34 lawyers will not have the opportunity to cast their ballots.

Giving further clarity on the matter, Gongloe said, the lawyers were disqualified because they have refused to comply with some of the requirements to practice law in the country, namely paying of license fees, headquarters project fees among other contractions.

"Lawyers need to be responsible and so we have to disqualify them because the decision was unanimously agreed during our many conventions. This decision will serve as a deterrence to other lawyers. And, the new leadership must not desist from it," Gongloe said.

Cllr Gongloe disclosure was contained during a press briefing with journalists assigned to the Supreme Court, where he also, outlined his proudest accomplishments and biggest regrets from his three years in office.

Gongloe, again,chronicled the challenges he faced  when he was inaugurated in 2019.

"We used to solicit external fundings from our partners whenever we are hosting activities of the Bar, but that has changed drastically with members of the bar contributing to our activities," Gongloe said. " We were able to increase attendance of lawyers to the bar conventions by introducing the Continue  Legal  Education  ( CLE)  that monitor the performance of lawyers appearance to the LNBA's function, as a condition to license a lawyer to practice in the country."

“This year's convention is the highest number of attendees we have had at a single bar convention. I am happy that our lawyers now understand the importance of attending the bar activities, because if you don't not show up, we will mark it against your performance which casue the disqualification of more lawyers from obtaining their licenses."

Gongloe also highlighted gains in the reduction in dependency on external support to fund activities of the Bar, and the construction of the bar new headquarters, which, according to Gongloe, the building's first floor is at the verge of completion.

A Liberian engineer is constructing the project, and it is very solid. We only use crushed rock and cement without sand,” Gongloe said.  “The publication of a newsletter.”

Gongloe, however, cited a few regrets, including a failure to publish the lawyers journal.

According to Gongloe, the lawyers Journal is a distinctive, widely read legal newspaper covering happenings in the legal community. The publication also features stories on substantive legal topics and scholarly articles of interest to all attorneys, and that of the Supreme Court opinions, and the finalization of the  insurance programs specifically designed to serve the needs of licensed lawyers of the Bar, stressing"I hope the incoming leadership continues with the plan." 

 The convention runs from Thursday, November 25 to Sunday, November 28, 2021, in Ganta, Nimba County.

During the convention there will be several activities like continuing legal education (CLE) sessions which will afford lawyers the opportunity to acquire their ten credit hours for their 2022 license.

And, with the election of a new core of officers to replace Gongloe,whose tenure of service will come to an end on Saturday, November 27.

Contesting for the LNBA’s presidency is Sylvester Dorbor Rennie, who is the current Veep of Gongloe’s regime while Swaliho A. Sesay, Jallah A Barbu and Abraham B. Sillah.

Counsellors Bobby F. W. Livingstone, current General Secretary and Jamal C. Dehtho for the vice presidency.

 and Golda Elliott while those wanting to be General secretary are Jura A. Lynch, Bornor M. Varmah, Luther Vaifee and Larmii Kpargoi are vying for the secretary general, and for treasurer are B. Rachel Yabah Doubah, Evelyn Lah-Gongloe and Mameita Jabateh-Sirleaf.