“Tribe Exclusion Is Injustice” -Cllr. Gongloe Asserts, Becomes Pro Bono Lawyer For Sapo


A gowning ceremony in honor of Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at the Gongloe Law Firm on Ashmun Street did not pass unnoticed of the astute human rights lawyer asserting that tribe exclusion is injustice. The ceremony was organized by prominent citizens of the Sapo people under the banner: Campaigners for the Sapo Community of Liberia.

The citizens noted that their move to honor Cllr. Gongloe stemmed from his determination to present the Sapo people on a pro bono basis in a case involving the Central Bank of Liberia and them. The case in question arises from the exclusion of Sapo’s recognition on the printed Liberian legal bank note under the custodian of CBL. When they realized this exclusion, the citizens reportedly wrote the CBL to right the wrong, but their communication has not been addressed in the form and manner anticipated. Mr. George T. Garteh who made welcome remarks, said the Sapo people are happy for someone to volunteer as a pro bono lawyer to have their right place in Liberia. “Not money we bring, not gold we bring, but the Sapo people say thank you for what you’ve been doing. As time goes back, we will call you to come to us. Our relationship will go a long way…,” Mr.  Garteh noted. Giving reasons why they intend to honor Cllr. Gongloe, Lead Campaigner Kpayoun P. Wakocco said: “ For renowned human rights lawyer Gongloe to agree and represent our interest is a happy  day  for the Sapo people.” He said Sapo people came long before the settlers came, and that  the Sapo have resources and they pay  taxes to government  but they are left out when it comes to naming the tribes of Liberia in history making. “The injustice against Sapo  people must end…,”  Mr. Wakocco indicated. He disclosed that they wrote the CBL about their concern when it comes to the total number of tribes mentioned on the printed bank note, but claimed that authorities at the CBL have refused to talk to them. This reported refusal of the CBL has prompted the Sapo Campaigners to go to court for redress. “We are with you as you are with us,” Mr. Wakocco assured Cllr. Gongloe. Accepting the honor bestowed upon him, Cllr. Gongloe thanked the citizens for not choosing war because their right has been denied for too long in the country of their own nativity. According to him, keeping the Sapo to lie in a shadow is wrong, emphasizing that the Liberian Constitution provides equal  rights of the citizenry. “ I hope the government will not allow the case to reach the Supreme Court. We came to rescue. I hope by tomorrow, the President will say what am I hearing …,” Cllr. Gongloe noted. He wondered how a tribe with huge park, the Sapo National Park in  Sinoe County can be excluded when it comes to  recognizable identity. “We will stay and make sure the Sapo are recognized,” he said.  Cllr. Gongloe  said how a tribe that Oscar Quiah and other prominent  political figures derived from be denied recognition as such. He challenged Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Sylvester Grigsby, to consider the citizens’ concern as his mission for the tribe to be recognized. “ I will be with you politically and legally to see this case to the end. This I do; I don’t do it for anything….,” he assured. According to him, no tribe in Liberia was ever recognized based on any statute; as such Sapo is no exception. Meanwhile, the citizens in attendance were Kpayoun P. Wakocco, Lead Campaigner; Siah C. Chen, Co-campaigner; Theresa Wylie, Sapo Governor; George T. Garteh; Moses S. Pyne; Samuel B. Kannah; Elder; Harry  Kamah; Elder; and Hamilton Slojue; Elder. Others were Norie Wylie; Christopher N. Gbah, Sapo Youth and Emerson Saychi.

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