Basita Michael Bows Out Gracefully

President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, Basita Michael, would not seek a second term re-election for President of the Association in the forthcoming elections for the Bar scheduled for the 4th and 5th July, 2019 respectively.
Basita Michael broke the news through a statement in the social media in which she started by thanking all for giving her the opportunity to serve as President of the Bar for the past years.
The Bar Association President continued that, it has most certainly not been a dull moment but with the support of the Executive and all members of the SLBA they have together been able to raise the bar and propel the Bar Association to become the guardians of the protection of the rule of law and human rights of Sierra Leoneans as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
‘’Once again, the Bar Association has won the hearts of and minds of the public as a bold, valiant and independent organization ready, willing and able to raise its voice on all major issues of national importance,’’ Basita stated.
The Bar Association prexy prayed that, this continues with the new Executive which will be voted on the 5th July, 2019.
Michael indicated that, she has informed her executive, campaign team, family and close friends that she would not be seeking re-election for a second term as President of the SLBA.
“I am sure there will be speculation regarding the reason for this. Please be assured that the reason is purely personal. A few years back, I promised myself that I would commence my PHD before turning 40 and as I will be turning 39 in August of this year, I want to ensure I fulfill my promise,’’ Basita Michael disclosed.
The Bar Association President promised that, she will continue to fully support a progressive Bar Association. She further stated that as members of this noble profession and of the SLBA they will always do their best to ensure that no future body criticizes the Bar in the same way the TRC did when it stated that “lack of courage on the part of lawyers and judges over the years paved the way for the desecration of the constitution, the perpetuation of injustice and the pillaging of the country’s wealth,’’.
The iron lady sadly concluded by sincerely thanking the entire Executive for their support and hard work and to all and sundry for their immense support while also wishing the Bar successful deliberations on the 4th and 5th July, 2019.
Basita Michael as President of the Sierra Bar Association was very thorny in the flesh of the Bio Government by continuously taking a very hard line towards most decisions taken by the Bio Government.
The Bar Association under Basita Michael has criticized the Government for failing to constitute the Rules of Court Committee in establishing the rules for the Commissions of Enquiry. The Bar Association took the matter to the Supreme Court for an interpretation and up to date the court is yet to hear the case.
The Association has also challenged the illegal order given by the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone to judges of the judiciary with regards the implementation of the life imprisonment as proclaimed in the National State of Emergency on rape. In a press release the Bar Association has criticized the CJ for not following the required procedures for doing such.
The Minister of Lands and the Environment, Dr. Denis Sandy, was also not left out by the condemnation of the Bar as they openly wrote a letter criticizing the Lands Minister over what they referred to as the illegal repossession of state lands.
The latest and most contentious was her famous speech at the recently concluded Bintumani 111 Conference in which Basita bashed the Government for undertaking huge sackings and constitutional breaches and still calling for peace. Her speech on behalf of Association at the three days dialogue conference went viral and feelings were mixed both within and outside Sierra Leone.
Many have supported the stance of the Bar while others have casted aspersions over the inability of the Bar over the years to take on the APC for committing similar violations. The iron lady was equal to the task and responded by stating that such actions in the past were not under her leadership at the Bar.
Her decision not to seek for reelection as provided for in the Bar Association constitution would also be very topical in the next coming days. Basita conscious of what would be the speculations around her latest decision not to seek for reelection has already stated that her decisions are personal and that she would be working towards her PHD Degree.
Many are speculating that her decisions might have something to do with pressure from the Government which has been continuously embarrassed by the actions of Michael who was very alert to point out the excesses of the Bio Government when many both in the media and the civil society have been compromised.
Basita had called on the incoming executive to keep the flame burning and do not allow the Association to be branded as failing to safeguard the constitution as it was accused by the TRC report.

Basita Michael Speech
Dear Colleagues,
Let me start by thanking you all for giving me the opportunity to serve as your President for the past year.It has been my honour and privilege.
It has most certainly not been a dull moment but with the support of the Executive and all members of the SLBA we have been able to raise the bar and propel the Bar Association to become the guardians of the protection of the rule of law and the human rights of Sierra Leoneans as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Once again, the Bar Association has won the hearts of and minds of the public as a bold, valiant and independent organization ready willing and able to raise its voice on all major issues of national importance.
I pray that this continues with the new Executive we will vote in on the 5th July, 2019.
Awhile back,I had indicated to the Executive ,my campaign team and my family and close friends that I would not be seeking re-election for a second term and I hereby confirm that I shall not be seeking a second term as President of the SLBA.
I am sure there will be speculation regarding the reason for this.Please be assured that the reason is purely personal.A few years back,I promised myself that I would commence my PHD before turning 40 and as I will be turning 39 in August of this year , I want to ensure I fulfill my promise.
I promise you that I shall continue to fully support a progressive Bar Association.As members of this noble profession and of the SLBA we must always do our best to ensure that no future body criticizes the Bar in the same way the TRC did when it stated that ‘lack of courage on the part of lawyers and judges over the years paved the way for the desecration of the constitution, the perpetuation of injustice and the pillaging of the country’s wealth.
My sincere thanks to the entire Executive for their support and hard work and to you all for your immense support.
I wish you successful deliberations on the 4th and 5th July, 2019.
May God bless you all and may God bless the SLBA and may God bless Sierra Leone.
Basita Michael
9th June, 2019

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