According to the Chairman of Legal Education and the Registrar, out of the 108 candidates, 25 passed, 46 got reference and 37 failed. It is an undying fact that a reference is synonymous to failure. One only rewrites the same module/subject because he/she has been given a concession by the university or college. This in no way means the person will pass.
The Law School was established in February 1990, with the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Fourah Bay College University of Sierra Leone, Prof. F.C. Tuboku-Metzger as Director. He handed over a failed administration to his predecessor, Hon. Prof. Justice Dr. H.M. Joko Smart. Being birds of the same feathers, the situation deteriorated with no end in sight. The argument brought forward by them is that “the law profession is very enviable and respectable which only accommodates few persons.”
In Nigeria last year over 300 students enrolled at the Ilorin University of Law alone. Out of those students that took the Bar Final Examinations, 117 got First Class Honours in Law. This University was rated in 2014 as the as the best in Nigeria.
“The Council of Legal Education has rated the University of Ilorin, the best in the country based on the cumulative performance of its students in the 2014 Bar Final Examination of the Nigerian Law School. According to the Committee report, University of Ilorin beat others among the top five.” These were, in order of merit: university of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Adekunle Ajasin University.
Speaking to The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans on condition of anonymity, one of the senior lecturers at the Sierra Leone Law School said the college is expected to “impartially provide professional legal training and conducts final examinations for those persons seeking to become members of the legal profession in Sierra Leone.” He added that “they have outlasted this sacred mandate to please their political god fathers at the expense of quality education.”
The Lecturer said, “This is the only institution where external interference dictates the fate of students and the outcome of the final results.”
Last year, after releasing the Bar final examination results, no student got neither a Distinction nor a Division one. This year is more frustration and messy as no student got Division one.
Worsening as the situation was in 2016, 70 students sat to the all-important Bar Exams and only 20 students passed.
Efforts to get responses from the Chairman – Council of Legal Education and the Acting Director of Law School-Pamela O. Davies proved futile.