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Liberia: Members of the National Bar Association of Liberia denounce government interference in their upcoming elections

Monrovia – The Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) is preparing to elect a new corps of officers who would run the affairs of the bar for the next three years, however, some members of the law fear the election will be swayed and inferred by some influential government figures.

The lawyers, some of whom work for the government but preferred not to be named, said the government is interested in who becomes president of the national bar and has therefore adopted a well-planned and calculated strategy to support the candidacy of a choice prefer. .

“We have seen so many signs that the government is defending its own interests in this election. And they are doing it because they want to take over the judiciary. Do you know what will happen when the government controls the majority of lawyers in this country? People like you will not get justice and they will get away with many wrongs. There will be no legal voice and that’s why we have to stop it,” said the one of the lawyers.

According to the lawyers, the government’s strategy is entrusted to a group of lawyers called the CDC Lawyers League, led by the Minister of Labor, Cllr. Charles Gibson, who was responsible for ensuring that Cllr. Sylvester Rennie becomes the next president of the LNBA.

The sources said the government initially showed support for Cllr. Jallah Barbu, to whom they gave an undisclosed sum of money, in addition to having openly called on lawyers in government offices to support him. However, over the weekend, the sources said the narrative changed when the government realized that despite their support, Cllr. Barbu was not among the top two candidates for the LNBA presidency. It is also understood that government support for Cllr. Rennie was sealed when a relative of minister Nathaniel McGill, who is also in the running for the position of national general secretary of the LNBA, Cllr. Bornah Varmah, along with Mr. Rennie, met with Minister McGill and other senior government officials at which time they (Cllr. Varmah and Rennie) convinced the government officials to trust as they did not want to be so vocal than the Gongloe administration.

FrontPageAfrica has garnered that since the weekend meeting, government support for Cllr. Rennie stepped up with the Department of Labor, (through Minister Charles Gibson and Deputy Minister Welma B. Sampson) being the nerve center of campaign strategy and disbursement of funds to attorneys, while some members of the CDC Lawyers League continue to do so. foot work.

Our sources have confirmed that continued support for Cllr. Rennie has a budget of up to $200,000.00 as the government is determined that Cllr. Rennie wins the election at all costs. Meanwhile, sources close to LNBA headquarters have confirmed to FPA that the two preferred government candidates are indeed paying the lawyers’ arrears, including their convention fees.

Contacted, another senior government official said the government’s interest in the LNBA elections should come as no surprise given the looming 2023 elections, as no government would want constant criticism from the LNBA, which has in recent times emerged as a political party, especially under the outgoing administration of Gongloe.