In fulfilment of its religious and educational mandate, LEGAL LINK has successfully conducted a Legal and Compliance training for 150 church leaders and their administrators in the west end of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The training which took place at the Wilberforce Baptist church Wilberforce, was organised against the backdrop of the plethora of cases that are currently being handled by LEGAL LINK bothering on the non - registration of churches, illegal acquisition of land, properties and real estates as well as the non - payment of Nassit contributions and end of service benefits to employees.
In a bid to reduce on the debilitating statistics of court cases against the church and to further broaden the knowledge and horizon of church leaders on the various laws and procedures regarding acquisition of land, properties and real estates as well as the handling of staff employment matters, the Executive Director of LEGAL LINK, Rashid Dumbuya Esq, with the help of a few other lawyers, interns and some pastors at the West end of Freetown organized the legal and compliance training.
The training took place at the Wilberforce Baptist church on Friday 25th October 2019 starting at 9:30 am.
"With the completion of the training for churches at the west end of Freetown, we have now successfully met our 2019 target of training 1000 pastors and church administrators on legal compliance issues in Freetown" remarked Lawyer Rashid Dumbuya, Executive Director and founder of LEGAL LINK.
Six important modules were taught during the training session.
The first module was about understanding the processes involved in the setting up and registration of churches in Sierra Leone; the second module was about Church acquisition of properties; the place of conveyance, lease agreements, tenancy agreements, deed of gifts, Wills and Letters of Administration.
The third module was about Church ethics; the fourth was about Church handling of labour and staff employment matters: understanding the Minimum wage law, Nassit Act and the Income tax Act.
The fifth module concerns Church versus politics and governance while the sixth module was about Church versus court proceedings.
Rashid Dumbuya Esq, a prolific lecturer, international human rights lawyer and Executive Director of LEGAL LINK delivered modules 1,2,4, & 6 while Pastor Paul Ken Bockarie, board member of LEGAL LINK lectured modules 3 and 5 respectively.
Various legal interns and volunteers working at LEGAL LINK also participated in the training.
The training was done through power point presentations and participants took notes on the various topics that were being discussed.
Testimonies about the legal challenges being encountered in court by various churches regarding land acquisition, non registration and wrong handling of employment matters captivated the audience and made the training of immense significance.
Several participants that took part in the programme commended LEGAL LINK for coming up with such a timely legal and Compliance training for the Body of Christ in Sierra Leone and particularly for pastors in the west end of Freetown where land conflicts have become a great challenge for the church.
They encouraged and called on LEGAL LINK to roll out similar trainings in the provinces so that pastors in the provinces can benefit from this all important Legal and Compliance training.
The training ended at 5pm with prayers for the members of LEGAL LINK as well as the distribution of certificates to all participants of the programme.
The Executive Director further thanked the senior pastor and members of the Wilberforce Baptist church for hosting the programme as well as the organizing committee for their sacrifice in putting modalities together for a successful outcome of the conference.
He further promised that such trainings will be rolled over to the other regions in Sierra Leone come next year.
Full media coverage of the programme was provided by AYV TV and SLBC TV.
In any case, for those who were unable to attend the training, plans are currently being put in place by members of LEGAL LINK to have the audio recordings of all the teachings aired on BBN radio, Radio I AM, Radio Maria and Radio Redeemers Network in a bid to help those who were unable to attend benefit from the nuggets of the training.
Apparently, you can get a copy of the training materials and recordings at our office at No.89 Fort Street, Freetown by circular road.