On May 10, 2023, former Unity Party Secretary General Mo Ali took to social media to accuse the dean of the Law School of taking a $350 bribe to admit students who had failed the school’s entrance exam five times.
This post by Ali generated 235 likes, 101 comments, and 1 share from social media users.
When TSM contacted Ali to verify his claim, he vowed not to disclose the source of his information.
Ali claimed that Jallah Barbu, the dean of the law school, had granted admission to Patrick Sudue, the inspector general of the Liberia National Police.
Ali was unable to confirm whether the police inspector general had previously failed the law school entrance exam five times before being granted the current dispensation.
“I say you should quote me that the Dean of the Law School says ordinary people who failed the school entrance five times should pay the sum of $350 to get enrollment into the law school,” Ali said.
The school was established in 1951, and it is named after the former chief justice of the Supreme Court; Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
The former chief justice Grimes served as the 10th chief justice of the honourable supreme bench from 1883 to 1948 and is considered one of the most important jurists in the history of Liberia.
The school is the only institution offering degrees in Law in the country.
Liberians and other nationals who have passed through those academic walls have praised the institution for being the lone school that is “free from taking kickbacks” for enrollment, unlike other schools.
Contrary to the “good standing” deals of the law school, Ali says it is not what people think it is.
He said that Dean Barbu has said that magistrates who want to get enrollment into the law school but have failed five times should also pay the same amount for enrollment.
The law school has had several deans; among them is Cllr. Nagbalee Warner, who served from 2016–2022.
The Associate Dean of Law at the school, Cllr. Kpalleh Sumo distances himself from claims made by Ali against the Dean of the law school
He termed the allegation as incorrect. Sumo went on to say that, contrary to Ali’s claims, the law school does not grant exemptions to applicants who fail the entrance exam five times.
He discloses that enrollment at the school is a process and not an event, as enrollment at the law school and any university is based on the discretion of the Dean.
“The enrollment process is going on; there is a documentary review, an examination, an interview, and a lot of other processes that one must follow before enrolling at the law school,” Sumo added.
Also speaking on the claim, Dean Barbu vowed not to give credence to Ali’s claim.
He said since the claim was made by Ali, he has the greater responsibility to show proof of his claim.
Dean Barbu, appearing on OKFM (2:05:50) Thursday, June 29, 2023, said there was never a dispensation for anybody enrolling at the law school.
‘The law school is a professional school; we do two levels of tests at that school; the entrance exam is the entrance exam, and it is not our choice; it is written, and it is the university policy’. He added.
According to Barbu, those who believed that people were enrolled on dispensation never believed that was the case, and it has never happened at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
He maintained that such concerns have been investigated, and a report was presented by the committee sitting at the University of Liberia.
TSM went further and interviewed Forgbe Emma Kloh, a recently admitted student of the Louis Arthur Grime School of Law, who said that as part of the requirement to enroll at the school, one has to write the entrance exam and later sit for a week-long orientation and will have to make a pass at the end of the orientations.
She said after the one-week orientation process, an individual can begin their enrollment process after receiving an admission letter from the institution.
The recently admitted law student of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law informed the Stage Media that she paid the sum of $USD200 as part of the enrollment process.
“Well, I heard about the dispensation process on campus, but I do not know much about it because I am not one of the dispensational students, so I cannot give you details concerning that development,” she added.
According to her, since writing the law school entrance, the entire process has been transparent and on course with the school’s standards
TSM research revealed that 322 individuals sat the law school’s 2022 first entrance and aptitude exam.
Several people failed, while others passed, and a few people did not take the test, which was given by the University of Liberia Center for Testing and Evaluation.
|Grand Cape Mount
In November 2022, the University of Liberia again administered its second entrance exam.
The Center for Testing and Evaluation head, Moses Hinneh, informed the country at that time that a total of 154 candidates registered for the Law School Aptitude Test, and three were absent.
He informs the country that of the 151 candidates who wrote the Law School Aptitude Test, the results show that 44 (29.14%) were successful and 107 (70.86%) were unsuccessful.
Since both Ali and Barbu are claiming the veracity of their information, it is still unclear who is telling the truth.