Less than a week after the Ministry of Justice announced that it would indict the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) for admitting the late Atty. Michael Allison into the bar, the president of the association has warned the Ministry not to take that decision.
Atty. Allison was the whistleblower who exposed the alleged oil consultation bribery at the National Legislature and was subsequently found dead on February 12 on the beach on 15th Street in Sinkor, Monrovia.
Speaking to journalists last Friday at the Temple of Justice, Cllr. Theophilus Gould clarified that the late Allison was a genuine member of the LNBA, which signified that he was a Liberian citizen.
“If they want to know who is a man or a boy, let them try the Bar. We challenge them to do so. All I can say is that he was admitted into the LNBA and nobody can challenge that,” Cllr. Gould declared.
Justice Minister and Attorney General Cllr. Benedict Sannoh last week said at the regular Ministry of Information press briefing that “Michael Allison’s case is an indictment against the LNBA by admitting him into the bar.”
Minister Sannoh further stated, “We need more scrutiny with respect to the manner in which our institutions discharge their statutory duties and responsibilities in the issuance of identity documents.
“The Michael Allison case is an indictment against the Passport Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bureau Vital Statistic of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) …”
Surprisingly several other senior lawyers, including former Labor Minister Tiawon Gongloe, could not confirm or deny that the late Atty. Allison was a member of the bar.
“I can’t really say he was not a member of the bar, because if the president said so who am I to say no. But what I know is that I have never seen him practicing in our courts. Maybe he was serving as a consultant, because most lawyers chose not to go into the courtroom. Instead they usually serve as consultants,” Cllr. Gongloe told the Daily Observer last Friday.
Other lawyers interviewed also told the Daily Observer that only a Liberian citizen is allowed to be admitted into the LNBA.
Defending his assertion, Cllr. Sannoh said “Based on our investigations, the body that was found on the beach is that of Mr. Maurice Denzel Bryce, Jr, born in Bahamas on December 8, 1967.
“On November 16, 2005, Mr. Bryce was issued a United States Passport in which he is named as Mr. Nkrumah Moziah Nadir Mulmi. His US Passport issued on 16 November 2005 indicates that he was born on 18 December 1967 in the Bahamas.”
Cllr. Sannoh further explained: “We also have copy of a Passport issued to him in Bahamas dated September 13, 2005 which carried him as Nkrumah Moziah Nadir Mulmi, said to be born on December 8, 1967 in Grand Bahama, Bahamas.”