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Ama Governor: Made for the Bar Despite two Years of Denial and Suffering

Two years of suffering but the bar was always set for her.

One thing to be sure about the legal profession in Ghana is its disdain for “unconventional character,” but that is exactly what Elorm Ababio, a law student popular for her YouTube vlogging had embodied.

In 2022, despite having passed with distinction for all law school qualifying exams, she was denied enrollment into the Roll of Lawyers due to a petition by one “Hajia Siridu” (not their real name) and the General Legal Council (GLC), the body that regulates the legal profession in Ghana began an investigation.

The petitioner had simply said Ama Governor had demonstrated character “unbecoming of a lawyer” and so asked authorities to keep her away from the lawyering profession. He or she also attached a pen drive they said contained videos to support the petition.

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In an interview with Ama Governor in 2022, when the matter was still fresh, she said when she appeared before the GLC committee for the probe, the supposed pen drive the petitioner had submitted only contained videos from her swimming lessons.

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Ama, as it happened, was a swimming instructor while in law school, and occasionally vlogs about it. But, she also vlogged about many other things that could quite have upset the very conventional minds of many in the legal profession or general Ghanaians.

She has made YouTube videos where she openly spoke about her sexuality and many others including some where she detailed the struggles of law students, and another about the life of a law school intern – telling her audience how she had to take off her multiple nose and ear piercings because it was not allowed at work.

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Her supporters, some with legal knowledge and others without had said that was no valid reason to deny her a Call to the Bar and so when news about the issue broke, thousands (about 16,000) signed online petitions asking the GLC to withdraw its “unjust” directive. The directive was however not withdrawn.

Last October, she had another slim chance of being Called to the Bar again. But that dream was diminished after she received a letter from the GLC which said they had declined her application after monitoring her public conduct.

Even though the letter did not specify the alleged public conduct, many said it was linked to comments she made in an interview when she joined the Occupy Julobi House demonstration – a three-day protest about the country’s economic crisis.

Her comments were about the rising cost of living, but parts of it had waged into her career and the petition keeping her from getting her lawyer’s practicing licence.

“I have been working for seven years, give me a break. I should have something to my name that shows that I have been working in this country. Instead what happens? The one that I have worked the hardest for, my law career, gets blocked by an anonymous petition,” she said.

However, this time around, at a Mini-Call to the Bar today, May 31, she gets to finally become the lawyer she had worked hard to be.

Her celebrators have said her story is inspirational as she’s had to fight a system.

On X, one person wrote: “People like Ama Governor are those who make change. It comes at a personal cost and it’s not for everybody.”

Another X user also said: “Ama Governor is that kind of person who believes that everyone has a basic human right to be who they are. You just know you can trust that kind of person to fight for you. Those are the kind of lawyers this country needs but don’t deserve.”

 

 

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