For the second time in two years, Ghanaian social media influencer and vlogger, Elorm Ababio aka Ama Governor, has denied a call to the Bar as a lawyer by the country’s General Legal Council.(GLC)
The youtuber’s name was missing as thousands of law graduates were sworn into office in an enrolment ceremony on Friday, October 20, 2023
She was denied same in November 2022 when the council said it had received a complaint for “conduct unbecoming of an applicant to be called to the Bar,” an allegation she denies.
This was after she had completed all necessary requirements.
She described the decision by the GLC as unfair.
However, in September 2023, a report by the General Legal Council (GLC) at the 2022/2023 bar conference indicated that the complaint was being considered by a committee and that she had been permitted to begin applications to be called to the Bar for the October/November 2023 sessions.
Undeterred by the setback, Ama Governor decided to reapply, hoping that the second time would be the charm. However, the legal council of Ghana revealed that they had once again rejected her application, citing undisclosed reasons.
According to a letter dated October 18, 2023, and signed by Justice Cyra Pamela C. A. Koranteng (JA); the Judicial Secretary, the GLC said the decision was based on her conduct leading up to her application.
“At the meeting of the General Legal Council held on Tuesday, 17 October 2023, your application to be called to the Bar was declined on accounts of elements noted in your public conduct prior to the application.,” it said adding that she “may complete appropriate forms for application to be called to the Bar, any time there is a scheduled enrolment after the 20th October 2023 enrolment ceremony.”
The decision has sparked widespread debate and raised questions about the criteria and standards for admission to the legal profession in the country.
Ama Governor, known for her influential online presence and activism on various social issues, had previously applied for admission to the bar but was unsuccessful. Many of her followers and supporters expressed disappointment at the initial denial, as they believed she possessed the necessary qualifications and skills to be admitted as a lawyer.
The news sent shockwaves through social media, with many expressing their surprise and disapproval of the decision. Supporters of Ama Governor argued that her popularity and influence on various platforms demonstrated her ability to communicate effectively and engage with diverse audiences—an essential skill for a successful lawyer in today’s fast-paced digital world.
On the other hand, critics voiced concerns about the potential erosion of professional standards if admission to the legal profession was influenced solely by social media popularity. They stressed the importance of upholding the rigorous requirements and ethical values associated with being a lawyer.
The legal council has not provided specific details regarding the rationale behind their decision, fueling speculation and further controversy. Some have called for transparency in the admissions process to ensure fairness and eliminate any perceived biases.
Despite the denial, Ama Governor remains optimistic and has not ruled out further attempts to achieve her dream of becoming a lawyer. Her supporters continue to rally around her, expressing their confidence in her abilities and advocating for a reassessment of the criteria used to admit candidates into the legal profession.
The fallout from Ama Governor’s denied call to the bar prompts broader discussions about the evolving landscape of professions and the need for inclusive, transparent evaluation processes that account for new forms of expertise and engagement.