Palo’s Lawyer ask for more time

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The matter has been adjourned to Saturday 17 October 2020.

In another development Produce Monitoring Board  (PMB) also on Saturday 10 October 2020 was dragged to Court by NASSIT.  A representative from PMB appear before Magistrate Mark Ngegba on Siaka Stevens Street Freetown for failing to pay contribution for it workers.

According to NASSIT lawyer Farankah Sesay, he  told the Court that PMB owe the Trust over one hundred million Leones as contribution for it workers.

The representative from PMB who is the Internal Auditor Mr. Marrah was put on two hundred million Leones bail, one surety in like sum and bail must be approved by the Deputy Master and Registrar matter adjourned to Saturday 24 October 2020.

Explaining further the witness said six out of the eighteen vedios were sent out and the remaining twelve  were discovered in her Novo computer.

The forensic expert also told the court that he screen shots the machine and used there forensic tool called open source intelligence to visit some of the websites of 1st accused including the Mano River Union. In that area, photo of former President Earnest Bai Koroma was discovered with an inscription defaming president Bio.

An audio message send by 1st accused to a WhatsApp group in which she told people that police has come to arrest her was also played in court to back up the Prosecution’ s case.

For the second accused Hussain Muckson Sesay, the witness show on the power point screen photo of the accused taken at the Criminal Investigation Department, at the office of the  operation officer  Mohamed Kugba Allieu at room twenty five.

Photos of the 1st accused when she was about to be interrogated at CID post in a WhatsApp group called ‘Free Dr. Sylvia Blyden created by someone in United Kingdom discovered in the Samgung S9  mobile phone of the second accused was also display.

On conclusion of his examination in chief, the witness in cross examination by defense counsel for the first accused, Charles Francis Margai confirmed exhibiting the vedios and photos in court in respect of the matter.

In another question put to him, he responded that constitutiinally,every citizen is entitled to his or her right of opinion.

There was no cross examination for the second accused because his counsel Melron Nicole Wilson was absent. Lawyer JMJengo seeks the Bench leave for another date in which he will be available in court.

Responding to lawyer JMJengo, Magistrate Bonnie said it is prudent for any lawyer to write and explain to the court why he or she will be absent  which is respect.

She however adjourned the matter to the 14th of October 2020 for the second counsel to come and cross examin the witness.

By Feima Sesay

Defence lawyer Warrah Serry Kamal representing the convicted former Minister of Defence and Internal Affairs Alfred Paolo Conteh has asked for more time to file a motion to the Court of Appeal.

The move by the defence lawyer is geared towards asking for an extension of time to file and serve the appellant’s synopsis of argument in respect of his appeal before the court.

Addressing the Court of Appeal Judges, lawyer Wara Serry Kamal said that the necessary work on the synopsis had been completed.

But, maintained that the synopsis couldn’t be filed as the lead defence counsel for the appellant, Dr. Abdulai O.  Conteh was out of the country on medical leave and therefore couldn’t vet the synopsis prior to service.

She added that the application was supported by an affidavit sworn to and dated 11th September 2020, which she relied on entirely.       

Lawyer Kamal further told the court that no injustice would arise from granting the said application, adding that if there was anybody to be hurt by the request, it would be their client (Palo) who she said was well aware and understood the decision.

She added that the application was made pursuant to the court’s inherent jurisdiction to regulate its own rules and determine its own processes.

The application followed an earlier decision reached at by the Court of Appeal which dismissed Palos bail pending application in respect of an ongoing appeal against his conviction.

Paolo Conteh is serving a twenty-four month jail term for illegal possession of fire arms.

Director of public prosecutions Esmond Ngaqui raised no object to the application.

The Presiding judge, Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay granted the said application for an extension of time within which they should file and serve the synopsis of their argument forthwith and added that the respondent must reply to the application and serve both the court and the appellant within 14 days after receipt of the same.

The matter was adjourned to 3rd November 2020.

Orange Money Launches Le3 Bn & 5 Cars Promo

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By Feima Sesay

Sierra Leone`s biggest mobile operator, Orange-SL has on Tuesday October 13th, 2020 officially launched its December promotion for its valued customers at its BO office with host of dignitaries in attendance.

In her statements while launching the promotion, Orange Money Shorki Love (which means surprise), Aminata Kane Ndiaye Chief Executive Officer Orange Sierra Leone said that Bo is a special place and it is in everyone’s heart. She  went on to  congratulate its Field Service Agent (FSA) for their tremendous work in helping orange to grow to 2.5 million subscribers and by December they have committed to have three million subscribers. She added that COVID-19 has been hard for most of us and we should pray for those who have lost their lives during this hard time for their soul rest in peace.

“We are the number one telecommunications company in the country and we are almost at the end of the year and with less than three months to the end of the year and we want to achieve our target of reaching 3 million subscribers at the end of the year 2020.” She said.

Madam Kane stated further that Orange is here to change the lives of its customers by giving them financial security.

Chief Executive Officer Orange Money-SL David S. Mansaray said the launch is a good day for orange money and that they are very happy to launch the promotion for its customers.

He said that the concept behind the promotion is to share love with their valued customers in the range of three billion Leones cash prizes which will be used in the weekly and daily draws for it agents and subscribers.

Mr Mansaray said the five brand new cars stands as the main prize, with quite a huge promotion which has never happened in the history of any mobile company in Sierra Leone.

The three Billion Leones cash promo is inclusive of the five cars and others prizes that would be given during the promotion.

He noted that today we have launched it in Bo and it will cut across the country as they would visit Kenema and other places in the coming days,

Mr Mansaray continued that the purpose of taking the promo to other areas is for every Sierra Leonean that is eligible with an Orange money account stand a chance to win.

According to Mr Mansaray the whole idea is to share love with our customers as we are still in the Coronavirus pandemic and they are aware of the challenges people go through. we know people are going through lots of challenges.

Explaining about the promotion, Abibatu Baxter Orange Money head of strategies marketing and partnership said that the promotion is one of its kind as it is called Orange Money Shorki Love (which means surprise) for its valued customers. Mrs Baxter said that winners would have the opportunity to win three billion Leones worth of prices for the next three months starting from today when doing orange money transaction of payment of EDSA bills, DSTV etc.

She further stated that with the COVID-19 in the country, everyone is masked up in other to prevent contracting the virus. She continued that when Coronavirus would have left us everyone will be smiling and Orange is ready to put that smile in the faces of its value customer’s. She said that customers will win five brand new cars as the grand prizes for the next 90 days. She concluded that the draws will be weekly and will move over to January with a short code #144# 8.

First Lady Boosts Kono With Borehole & School Materials

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The first lady of the republic of Sierra Leone madam Fatima Maada Bio has opened a Modern Solar Powered Borehole facility and Donates school Text-Books, Note Books and Computers at her Alma Mater, the Ansarul Islamic Secondary School for Girls in Kono District.

Delivering a keynote Address to the pupils of Ansarul, Her Excellency the First Lady Madam Fatima Maada Bio expressed her excitement to be at the school during the International Day of the Girl Child, which is no coincidence.

Reminiscing on her school days, Madam Fatima Maada Bio gave a synopsis of the benefits of standing out in class, as she her school fees were paid through scholarships throughout her studies, owing to the fact that she was a member of the Volley Ball Society, an enviable debater at the language and debating society, all of which had scholarships as benefits for the Star pupils.

She went on to thank the Ansarul mission and founders of the school, for giving her the opportunity to be educated and escape child marriage, which was their common faith, as pupils got sad many times when their colleagues were taken out of school to be married off to older men.

First Lady encouraged girls of Her Alma Mater to take advantage of this opportunity to educate themselves, using David Sengeh as an example of the bright minds that Sierra Leone can boast of, while challenging them to produce more First Ladies and Presidents.

She warned them to refrain from spying or any form of examination malpractice, as it will deter their effort to breaking the glass ceiling.

In her conclusion, the First Lady announced that each girl in Ansarul Islamic school will benefit from the distribution of the Hands Off Our Girls sanitary pads and it will cover them for a whole year.

Making a statement on behalf of the management of the school, the principal, Mrs Jalloh, appreciated the effort of the First Lady with the Hands Off Our Girls and the items she had provided for the school.

She called on the First Lady to be making regular donations, as they are challenged with lots of things such as, the lack of a computer lab, dilapidated school structures that need urgent renovation, and so on.

From the Ministry of Higher Education, the Minster, Professor Aiah Kpakima called on the pupils of Ansarul to work hard and use the books donated judiciously, as the only direct gateway to exit poverty is through education, stating that the construction of the University of Kono will be of benefit to the district, if the pupils work hard to gain admission into the university.

First Lady also officially opened the Modern Solar powered borehole for the community around the Ansarul Islamic Secondary School for girls in Koidu City.

Unlike other manual boreholes in the community that dry up during the dry season, the new built borehole will supply safe drinking water all year round.

Guma Board Visits Aberdeen DMA

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On Tuesday 13th October, 2020, the Board of Directors and a cross section of Management staff of Guma Valley Water Company made a working visit to the District Metering Area (DMA) and Water Kiosk Demonstration Pilot Project site at Aberdeen.

The mission of the Board and Management was to get an update on the project construction activities with respect to the construction of the Water Kiosks, pipe works and metering of customers’ premises in the Aberdeen DMA.

Addressing the Guma delegation at the ASPAC/NIMO Laydown Area, the Adam Smith International (ASI) Resident Engineer Fernando George Silva, said they had been tasked with construction of 5 Water Kiosks in Aberdeen and 6 in Kingtom.

Mr. Silva added that they will be undertaking pipe laying works in Aberdeen and Kingtom including construction of bulk meter chambers, removing spaghetti pipe at Crab Town (Aberdeen), connecting customers to a new manifold system and supplying leaks repair kits to Guma.

The ASI Resident Engineer, however highlighted a few challenges they are faced with; especially custom clearance delays, availability of space for kiosks, soil condition at Crab Town and coordination with utility companies.

In her own statement, the Environmental and Health and Safety Officer (ASI) Madam Josephine Turay said they are upholding all Health and Safety protocols including employees and visitors induction, daily tools and equipment inspections, implementation of Covid-19 mitigation plan, awareness on HIV/AIDs and sexually transmitted diseases, stakeholder engagement and grievance mechanism, etc.

Madam Turay said local employment and procurement is a priority and that 75% of the employees resides in the communities they are working in.

Speaking on behalf of the Board members, the Chairman Hon. Bintu Myers said they were satisfied with the construction works so far carried out.

The Guma Board Chairman added that they hope at the end of the day, the objectives of the project which is to improve on commercial practices; operational independence, planning capacity and customer services of Guma through community, consumer and customer engagements will be met.

The Aberdeen and Kingtom District Metering Area and Pilot Kiosks Demonstration activity is one of the interventions under the MCC/MCCU threshold program which aims to reduce non-revenue water and improve water supply services in Freetown.

In a related development, the Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Sean Cairn cross will pay a two-day visit to Sierra Leone on the 15th and 16th of October 2020.

The CEO is scheduled to visit MCC programs in the region and will use the opportunity to touch down in Sierra Leone to discuss progress on the implementation of the 5- years $ 44.4 million Threshold Program.

While in Freetown, the MCC CEO will meet with high-level Government officials.

Mr. Cairncross and the Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh will on Friday 15th October, 2020 commission the water kiosk project at Aberdeen.

Njala University on Active Ruminant Disease Surveillance

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The Njala University of Sierra Leone through the Animal Science Department at the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences has on Wednesday 14th October 2020 commenced active disease surveillance on ruminants in nine (9) Districts across the country.

The surveillance is courtesy of a 58,000 Euro German Funded Project through the Fredrick Loejjler institute of Animal Health Project.

 The rationale of the project is to collect and analyze blood samples and ticks from ruminants in Kenema, Kono, Kailahun, Karena, and Freetown in the next three-year life span of the project.

The survey is expected to collect and analyze 1,000 serums and 4,000 ticks from various ruminants in the nine identified districts to investigate their body disease.

Dr.Roland Suluku, Head of Department and Principal-Lead Investigator for the One Health Serology and Molecular at Njala University lab said the project is geared towards increasingly supporting farmers in Sierra Leone to rear healthy and disease-free animals which he continued would improve on the protein needs of the country’s population.

The samples collected from the survey, he went on would be analyzed and later sequenced at the One Health Serology and Molecular laboratory at Njala University.

 The findings are expected to largely inform the Government of Sierra Leone and the world at large about the various types of disease conditions affecting ruminants in Sierra Leone.

The Survey, he concluded is also providing immediate treatment for sick animals in the respective communities the survey is taking place.

Njala University can boast of a USD 700,000 United States dollar Serology and Molecular laboratory with highly equipped machines to conduct advanced test and analysis on animals.

ACC vs Ex-President Koroma

CSOs Warn

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 JOINT STATEMENT BY LEGAL LINK AND CITIZENS ADVOCACY NETWORK REGARDING THE OBSTRUCTION OF CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION BY THE ACC AGAINST THE FORMER PRESIDENT IN MAKENI CITY, NORTHERN SIERRA LEONE

BACKGROUND FACTS

Following the conclusion of the Commissions of Inquiry Report and the subsequent adoption of the findings of the Report in the Government White Paper, we note the move by the Anti-Corruption Commission to seize jurisdiction of certain matters referred to it by the COI report.

Against this backdrop, several persons of interest, notably the former President of Sierra Leone have been summoned by the ACC for investigative hearings. After a lot of wrangling over the appropriate venue to conduct the interviews, it was finally agreed that the interview was to be held on the 8th of October at the residence of the former president in Makeni City, Northern, Sierra Leone.

Unfortunately, however, on the fateful day of the said interview, residents in Makeni came out in their thousands in solidarity with the Ex-President (a son of the soil) and barricaded the roads leading to the residence of the former president thereby giving cause for the cancellation of the scheduled interview by the ACC.

Whilst many critiques have viewed this incident as unfortunate, LEGAL LINK and Citizens Advocacy Network, have jointly decided to issue out this Press Statement condemning not only the act of the protesters on that fateful day, but also sending out an advisory opinion to both the former president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma as well as the substantive Commissioner of the ACC, Mr Francis Ben Kaifalah.

This opinion piece is done out of good faith and with a deep sense of cosmic responsibility and love for country and people. As leading Civil Society organizations advocating on human rights, rule of law and accountability in Sierra Leone, it puts us in a vantage position with the moral high ground to join the burning conversation regarding ACC’s quest to investigating the former president over allegations of corruption during his tenure in office and the current bottlenecks that have eclipsed such investigations.

But before delving into the heart of the matter, let us hasten to put up a disclaimer by emphasizing that we hold no brief for either the former  president nor the current ACC Commissioner.

Our opinion therefore on this subject is principally motivated by personal conviction as well as the wealth of knowledge and experiences we have gained serving as Civil Society Advocates promoting rule of law, human rights and accountability in Sierra Leone.

It is also important to emphasize that we are doing this with genuine hearts and we mean well for both offices- the office of the former president and the institution of the Anti- Corruption Commission.

ADVISORY OPINION TO HIS EXCELLENCY, DR ERNEST BAI KOROMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE

We shall premise our advice to you over the current invitation by the ACC to investigate you on allegations of corruption on two fundamental cases that were brought against Nelson Mandela of South Africa while he was president.

Please see if you can learn something from the way he handled the two case situations.

The first case came even before the new constitution had been drafted in South Africa. The premier of the Western Cape, Hernus Kriel, took a matter to the Constitutional Court challenging President Mandela’s decision to issue two proclamations dealing with the elections at the Western Cape.

The court found in favor of the Western Cape provincial government and gave Parliament a month to rectify the Act. Within an hour of the court delivering its adverse judgment, President Mandela publicly accepted the ruling and welcomed the fact that it showed that everyone was equal before the law.

 Later, he wrote:

“During my presidency, Parliament authorized me to issue two proclamations dealing with the elections in the Western Cape province. That provincial government took me to the Constitutional Court, which overruled me in a unanimous judgment. As soon as I was informed of the judgment, I called a press conference and appealed to the general public to respect the decision of the highest court in the land on constitutional matters.”

In a public statement, he went further, announcing that Parliament would be reconvened to deal with the matter and stressing that, “the judgment of the Constitutional Court confirms that our new democracy is taking firm root and that nobody is above the law.”

The other case concerns Mandela’s decision to set up a Commission of Inquiry to look into allegations of racism in the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU).

Facts of the case:

After two years of the iconic victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, President Mandela, prompted by reports of maladministration, resistance to change and racism in the sport’s governing body, and after consultation with Minister of Sport and Recreation Steve Tshwete, Mandela appointed a Commission of inquiry, led by Justice Jules Browde, to look into the affairs of the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU).

This decision prompted the president of SARFU, Louis Luyt, to apply to the Pretoria High Court to quash the appointment of a commission of inquiry into the administration of rugby. Judge William de Villiers summoned Mandela to appear before the court as a witness. Mandela, despite several calls for him to boycott the subpoena did however comply in the interests of justice.

He writes about the episode:

“Judge William de Villiers of the Gauteng High Court subpoenaed me to appear before him to justify my decision to appoint a commission of enquiry into the affairs of the South African Rugby Football Union. Some of my Cabinet colleagues advised me to challenge the subpoena, pointing out that the judge in question was, to say the least, extremely conservative, and that his real aim was to humiliate a black president”.

“My legal adviser as well, Professor Fink Haysom, was equally opposed to my appearance in court. He argued with skill and persuasion that we had sound legal grounds to challenge the subpoena.”

“While I did not necessarily challenge any of these views, I felt that at that stage in the transformation of our country, the President had certain obligations to fulfil. I argued that the trial judge was not a final Court of Appeal, and that his decision could be challenged in the Constitutional Court. In a nutshell, I wanted the whole dispute to be resolved solely by the judiciary. This, in my opinion, was another way of promoting respect for law and order and, once again, for the courts of the country.”

“As was expected, the judge had serious reservations about my evidence, and gave judgment in favour of Louis Luyt, the president of the South African Rugby Football Union. But the Constitutional Court later set aside the decision of the lower court. The Constitutional Court was not wrong. In that situation, I obeyed the subpoena out of strength and not weakness.”

Interestingly however, by the time the Constitutional Court set aside the Pretoria High Court ruling, reaction to Louis Luyt’s behaviour – among the public and within the rugby community – had forced his resignation and led to a decision by the SARFU executive to send a delegation to apologise to Mandela.

Your Excellency, we have deliberately cited these two case scenarios so you can learn something from them. And we hope you will. Please do all you can to exceed expectations regarding this ACC investigations. Go beyond yourself and that of your supporters and leave an indelible footprint in the sands of time. Don’t lower the bar and cause a situation where ex-presidents after you may reference your actions as a cover to immunize themselves from accountability after public life.

We admonish you, and where it is practicable, please walk to the office of the ACC in Makeni with your lawyers and respect the institution’s invitation and take the interview. Do not settle for the interview to be done in your house. That’s a convenient option which might serve as a dangerous precedent in the years to come.

It was a certainly a difficult thing for President Mandela, a sitting president to honor the Subpoena of the judge, but against all odds, he eventually did. And what was meant to humiliate him eventually ended up in his favor and lifting.

Remember, you were the very president that gave the ACC prosecutorial powers under the ACC Act of 2008 making it stand out as one of the most robust corruption institutions in the world. You cannot afford to undermine it now. The costs may be far and wide reaching.

As the only surviving democratically elected ex-president in Sierra Leone, your actions and inactions will set a precedent for future ex-presidents. Raise the bar high and let history judge you as right after you may have left the shores of planet earth.

ADVISORY OPINION TO THE ACC COMMISSIONER – FRANCIS BEN KAIFALA

Let us salute you Mr. Commissioner for the good work you are doing at the ACC. From the international, regional and domestic ratings released every year, it is clear that positive things are indeed happening at the ACC. Congratulations to you and the entire staff of the Commission. While your entrance to the throne may have been eclipsed with controversies, no doubt, by your performance, you have certainly earned legitimacy to the office. Kudoos!

Notwithstanding, however, as leading Civil Society organizations with vast experience in human rights, rule of law and accountability issues in Sierra Leone, we do have a few concerns which we would like to openly share with you for your urgent consideration. These concerns are coming from hearts that mean well and we hope they will be judged from that perspective.

1.        Human Rights Based Approach

Our first call is for you to ensure that the ACC embraces a Human Rights based Approach in its work and operations.

Mr Commissioner, before 2005, it was acceptable for states across the world to fight corruption anyhow even if it means going against the fundamental human rights of suspects or accused persons. But when the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) entered into force in December 2005, a human rights-based approach automatically kicks in and states are no longer allowed to do business as usual in the name of fighting corruption. The rights of suspects to a fair investigative process, the rights of suspects to be presumed innocent, the rights of suspects to bail and the rights of suspects not to be persecuted before conviction must all be guaranteed and ensured by an Anti- graft institution like ours.

Remember, Sierra Leone is a signatory to both the UNCAC framework and the AU framework on Corruption. This therefore, puts an obligation on the ACC to ensure that the fight against corruption embraces a human rights-based approach.

There is evidence to show that the ACC has been challenged in this regard. For example, the parading of suspects before the Cotton Tree with derogatory placards hung on them was a case in point. Even the issue of granting of stiff bail has also been of immense concern by many suspects that come before you. Please do something about this.

2.        Selective Justice

The next issue is for you to ensure that the Commission avoids selective justice in the carrying out of its investigative process and use of prosecutorial discretion.

There’s abundant evidence to show that selective justice remains a big challenge in the operations of the ACC. The case involving the Chief Minister, Parliament, controversy surrounding the procurement of COVID -19 SUV’s, as well as the rice saga involving the former Minister of Basic Education, Mr Timbo and other government functionaries are good examples to cite.

The entire nation is still in a state of utter bewilderment as to why the ACC, after having charged to Court Mr Timbo based on the strength of the evidence, decided to unilaterally withdraw the public interest matter in court and refused to prefer fresh indictments even after a change of Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Also, why was the ACC so fast to vindicate the Corruption allegations surrounding the Chief Minister without any attempt to either take a statement from him or from the whistleblower or from the FIU or even subpoena the telephone records of the Chief Minister from his communication company at the very least? This certainly was also a missed opportunity and clearly presents a case of selective justice. We are even yet to hear conclusive reports from the ACC with respect to recent allegations of corruption indicting the Parliament of Sierra Leone.

Mr Commissioner, kindly understand that, at any time the ACC fails to show robustness and impartiality in its handling of corrupt allegations bordering on public servants particularly serving in the current government, it makes it extremely difficult to avoid negative suspicions of selective justice or even get full cooperation from the public and/or opposition party members regarding subsequent ACC investigations. Kindly watch this out too!

3.        The use of Bail as a punishment of suspects undergoing investigations at the ACC

Furthermore, you should also ensure that the ACC does not use bail as a punishment on suspects. While we acknowledge that the Commission does have powers on setting bail conditions, it is important to note that the ACC is not a judicial body. It is merely an investigative and prosecutorial agency. It must therefore not be seen to be persecuting suspects but rather to prosecuting them. Bail conditions, therefore, should not be set by the ACC in ways that keeps the suspect behind bars even before he/she is being charged to court. Let the discretion to grant or not grant bail be the business of the court. Speed of the ACC therefore, in charging suspects to court is desirable.

If suspects come to the Commission with an imminent fear that their bail will be seized or that bail conditions will be set in ways that will keep them behind bars, then something is fundamentally wrong with the Commission’s approach. It is possible that a human rights-based approach is lacking in its operations. Please watch it Mr Commissioner!

The purpose of bail is largely to secure the attendance of the suspect and his/her full cooperation to the investigative process or proceedings. Period! And there are many ways the ACC can ensure this without having to lock suspects behind bars.

4.        Matters referred to the ACC by the Commissions of Inquiry Report and the White Paper

Another fundamental issue that we would also want to touch on concerns the matters that have been referred to you by the Commission of Inquiry and the White Paper reports for further investigations.

While it is still baffling as to why the COI’s refused to conclusively investigate such matters that were within their competence and jurisdiction, it is however vital to pinpoint that adverse findings of the COI’s can be appealed against in the Court of Appeal as enshrined in section 149 of the 1991 constitution.

Remember also that even the decision to refer such cases to the ACC for further investigation could be a subject of appeal by persons of interests. Furthermore, there are persons of interests that are currently appealing against the very jurisdiction and legality of the COI’s.

It may therefore be prudent on the part of ACC to exercise a little patience and see perhaps what the outcome of these appeals might be in order to determine the next step(s).  It is possible that the appeals might go in favor of the person(s) of interest or otherwise. For the ACC not to be caught up in a limbo, it may be wise to maintain a pause and allow the appeals to be heard and concluded before taking fresh steps. After all, that is what is expected of an integrity institution like the ACC.

You must ensure that the Commission acts honorably at all times and avoid the trap of committing double jeopardy on suspects. As for fresh cases not part of the COI, it is ok for the Commission to proceed with investigations.

5.        The indiscreet use of Social Media by the ACC Commissioner

Last but not the least, Mr. Commissioner, we admonish you to be a little discreet with the use of social media. No doubt, social media has its positive sides but it also can be a source of distraction when used without discretion. Without prejudice to your tweets and facebook posts on your stance and actions against corrupt suspects, we urge you to show some restraints and allow the established media platforms and communication channels within the Commission to be doing the talking and public awareness raising.

In a polarized society like Sierra Leone, such frequent posts on social media by you may be misconstrued and come back to inadvertently undermine the work of the Commission. Please watch it. Be the last to talk.

In conclusion, Mr. Commissioner and former President, it is a fact that some of what we have stated in this opinion piece might appear offensive, but please take your time to ponder on them and do the needful. We mean well. Our love for the nation, the ACC and the Office of the former President has been the sole motivation. Our consciences are clear.

Tribute to A Fourah Bay College Icon, Mr. Ibrahim Okocha Kamara  

 By Alhaji U N’jai

Today we mourn the passing of an icon and a legend, Mr. Ibrahim Okocha Kamara, of the GREAT Fourah Bay College, the first higher education institution in Sub- Saharan Africa dubbed Athens of West Africa. Okocha as he is fondly known was neither an administrative staff nor lecturer or even blessed with western literacy. Yet, he succeeded in doing with excellence and integrity of purpose what many of us western educated failed miserably in doing. I met him as a student on campus, we became friends and he was proud to see me back on campus. His discipline, sense of integrity and commitment to his job of caretaker for lecture rooms was unrivaled. He catapulted to Stardom on campus as the revered examinations proctor or invigilator who exercised the highest level of integrity. In Mr. Okocha, present day Sierra Leone has a lot to learn about the corrupt legacies of the colonial architecture of western education and the current state of affairs in the nation. Here is a man consider illiterate, yet was able to perform his duties with dedication, integrity and pure innocence. A testament to the disruptive nature of colonialism and it corrupt architecture on the  souls of traditional African bodies. The innocence, simplicity, sense of ubuntu, communal codes of traditional Africa that Mr. Okocha undiluted by western education carried has been torn apart by a new sense of greed, individualism, and corruption. I hope the University administration, student and staff can bestow the highest honors on Mr. Okocha and his legacy can serve as a civic education model for students, faculty and society on what servant leadership along with dedicated service and integrity means.

Captain Umaru ‘Zaingaylay” & Others Test  Positive for Covid-19

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The Sierra Leone Football Association announces with regret that Leone Stars Captain Umaru ‘Zaingalay’ Bangura and two members of the Sierra Leone National Team Delegation have tested positive for Covid-19 in Niger.

Fitness coach Phillip Kor and Head of Communications for the National Sports Authority Eric Batilo Fomba are the two officials who have also tested positive.

The President of the Sierra Leone Football Association Madam Johansen is in constant touch with the President of Niger FA monitoring the situation with regards to the rest of the delegation whom it is believed have tested negative.

The President of the Niger FA is expected to communicate a final update and clearance for the rest of the delegation to depart for Freetown tomorrow.

In the meantime the three who have been tested positive have been moved to an isolation quarantine unit.

Stay tuned for more…

SLFA Media Department…

The Secretariat

SLFA Football Academy

21 Battery Street, Kingtom

Freetown, Sierra Leone.

P.O Box 672

www.slfa.sl

Bankers: Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, Siaka Stevens Street Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in Sierra Leone Reg. No. C.F. 632001

SLFA Executive Committee Dines with Under 20 Female National Team

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The  Executive Committee of the Sierra Leone Football Association(SLFA) has yesterday 13 October,2020, dined with the Under 20 Female National Team at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown.

The team is in preparation for the WAFU Female Tournament to be hosted in Cape Verde late this year.

The dinner was organised by the Secretariat and it’s essential to interface, interact and motivate the young girls to move for a result oriented game.

Chairing the event, Ibrahim Kamara, Head of Media, SLFA said the event was hosted because his executive was impressed with the steady growth of the young girls so far and that’s why they would have an informal interaction in a bid to inspire them more.

Musu Pele is the Team Manager of the Under 20 Female National Team. While thanking the executive membership of SLFA for their unflinching aid, she outlined recent challenges they are met with. She however committed herself to ensuring that better is achieved for the girls in the game.

“We pray that God will continue to help us do more for this nation. We will commit ourselves to the job we will fight not to let you down. We are grateful there is now discipline among the girls. And that’s a good way to go.”

The team coach disclosed that there’s been a fantastic development of the players in all areas.

Mr. Harold Nat-Johnson, Executive Officer and  SLFA Chairman of Women’s Football, was delighted over what he referred to as an astute transformation and  progress in the country’s female football  over the years. Noting the team’s outstanding performance recently in Senegal, he’s sure the gap that had existed is seemingly covered.

General Secretary of the SLFA, Mr. Chris Kamara thanked the team and its management for their strides in the development of their game. He promised them of the Secretariat’s support, especially in addressing their challenges. He intimated them that they would be playing friendly matches in both Liberia and Guinea ahead of their match against Cape Verde in December, and that should prompt them to quickly pick a 25 man squad before the coming Friday. He encouraged them to keep their spirit high in strengthening their game both for personal and for national.

In his address, Mr. Brima Mazola Kamara, Vice President 1 of the SLFA advised the young girls not to relax and to also focus on their studies. He assured them of his association’s support.

The dinner was convivial.

In attendance were Vice President 1 Brima Mazola Kamara, Nothern Region Football Association Chairman Kofi Deen-Nyarkoh, Northern Region Football Association Chairman Brima Jalloh, Eastern Region Football Association Association Acting Chairman Prince Sa’Quee, Executive Officer Harold Nat-Johnson, SLFA General Secretary Christopher Kamara and Sierra Leone Premier League Board Chairman Allieu Vandi-Koroma Esq.

Punjab Distilleries Refutes Allegations Raised By CSO

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By Mustapha Ezekiel Dumbuya

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Punjab Distilling  Company Limited in Kenema Madam Victoria Vanday Bernard has vividly refuted some allegations made by the Chief Executive Officer of the Citizens Right Network.

The PRO said as a company they have fully complied with the company’s laws that has to govern the day to day running of the affairs of the company.

She explained that as a company they are quiet aware that they owe obligation to the people of Kenema, more especially the community where the company conducts its operations.

She said that the company has employed thousands of youths in the Kenema Township and its environs, whiles adding that they have also provided teaching and learning materials to different schools within and outside the community it operates.  Madam Bernard revealed that the company has dug bore holes to provide safe drinking water for the people of Kenema as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR).

She advised members of the Civil Society movement that they should always try to investigate some issues properly relating to the company before going to press.

Musa kabba the Environmental Consultant for the Punjab Company said they are always working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make sure that safety is part of their obligation to protect the people and the environment around the community.

He explained that the company has been conducting yearly safety training for all the staff adding that as a company they are very much careful of their workers safety.

He ended that the company will continue to conduct more safety tanning for its staff in the near future.   

SiLNoRF’s National Coordinator Speaks on the Principle of Equity                                    

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The National Coordinator, Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food (SiLNoRF), Mohammed S. Conteh speaking on the principles of equity in relation to leadership on Thursday, October 8, 2020 said, leaders should treat equals, equally and unequal’s, unequally.                               

M. S. Conteh, who doubles as the Executive Director for Mankind’s Actions for Development Accreditation Movement (MADAM) was addressing the heads of the 16 network member organizations that made up SiLNoRF during the opening ceremony of a two-day training workshop on Leadership, Governance and Management at MADAM Conference Hall in Makeni.

The training organized by the Capacity Building Project (CBP) Team led by John Y. Tarawallie as Manager was geared towards strengthening the abilities of heads of the various organizations in a bid to enable them accelerate their work and take their respective outfits to the next level.

The Guru in development initiatives, popularly known as M. S. Conteh, expounding on the principles of equity, also spoke on the roles of individuals in management. “Management involves a high level of planning, it makes up of a lot of things that one cannot take for granted,” he said.

The SiLNoRF’s NC in his short but very impressive speech, reiterated the importance of equity and roles in management.                                Speaking further on roles, Mr. Conteh encouraged all the Directors/Coordinators to inculcate the practice of allowing people to do their jobs or creating the space for others to step up in performing their duties. “Allowing people to play their own roles is all part of management and governance,” he maintained. A reason, he advanced as to why most times people don’t see him in many activities because he believed there are people in the organization that are supposed to do those jobs.

He said the training is a follow-up project to a previous one which entails a lot of things; therefore, he encouraged the project team not to use what he referred to as the blanket approach in the implementation of the project.

There has been an assessment that was conducted by way back to assess the development of each and every organization within the network which they should use.

He hope participants will apply knowledge acquired in the training will contribute to transform their respective organisations, he concluded.                          The two-day training was facilitated by Lecturer, Unisa Patrick Kamara (UPK), Head of Development Studies Department, and University of Makeni (UNIMAC).          

Meteorological Agency Opens Training For Sea safety

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The Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency (SLMet Agency), has over the weekend commenced one of series of ‘customized Marine Forecast’ training for fishermen, sea transport owners, harbor masters and the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration resident officers in Shenge and Turtle Island Communities. The training, supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is part of the organization’s coastal adaptation project geared towards ensuring safety of lives and enhancing adaptation to climate change for coastal settlements.

Since the launch of the program, the SLMet Agency component of the project has ensured the installation of five marine weather stations for gathering of Marine Meteorological data which are in turn analyzed by the agency’s technicians for onward dissemination to the end-users especially sea travelers and coastal dwellers.

In early October 2020, the agency is rolling out its second aspect of the project’s component which entails training of stakeholders in Shenge, Turtle Island, Lakka, Conakry Dee, Hamilton and Bonthe respectively on the use, understanding and interpretation of the marine forecast.

This will ensure that they effectively understand the content of the ‘first ever’ SLMet Agency marine forecasting products for coastal communities and sea farers.

Speaking at the training in Shenge, the Deputy Director-General and Head of Operations at the SLMet Agency, Mr. Gabriel Kpaka said that with the institution having increased responsibilities since the passing of the SLMet Agency law in 2017, marine meteorological efforts have become an integral aspect of the Agency’s functions for which the customized marine forecast training is being rolled out to coastal Communities.

He said, the agency with support from UNDP is putting together a standard framework in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) to ensure safety at sea.

He further added that traditional methods which mostly encompass the usage of life jacket, cane stick, a five gallon rubber container (bata), compass, etc for safety measures are no longer enough to ensuring safety at sea mainly due to the marine dynamics, adding that marine forecasting information which covers wave height, wave direction, wave period, sea current, sea level, wind speed/direction, water temperature and visibility is critical to guaranteeing sea safety.

In his brief but encouraging statement at the Fisheries Compound in Shenge, the town Chief, Pa. Alex Kamara welcomed the SLMet Agency team and commended the training, adding that before the intervention of the agency, very many sad news of sea accidents were common place, but with the intervention of SLMet.

Agency with support from UNDP, there is a sharp drop on sea disaster in the Shenge and Turtle Island Communities.

He said this is not far from the Agency’s intervention in the marine sector in the coastal settlements especially with the marine forecasting information they provide.

 He concluded by imploring his subjects to use the information judiciously for the benefit of their respective communities.

As part of a complementing package, the training also covers the distribution of six mobile phones to focal persons in Shenge, Turtle Island and Bonthe Communities to enable them download and disseminate marine information that will be used to determine sea worthiness.

In the coming weeks and months, the training will be escalated to Bonthe, Conakry Dee, Lungi, Lakka and Hamilton communities in the Western Area.

Prosecution Closes case On Paolo’s Fiance`s Alleged Possession of Fire Arms

By Feima Sesay

The state prosecutor Yusif Isaac Sesay has   on Wednesday 14 October 2020 closed it case on the ongoing trial of Paolo’s Fiancé  Isata Saccoh. The woman was dragged to court before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of court No1 Pademba Road early this year for unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunition that was found at their resident at No11 Berewa drive after the arrest of Paolo Conteh.

“My Lord due to the evidence lead so far against the accused person this is the case for the prosecution”, lawyer Sesay said.

The defense counsel for the accused Isata Saccoh Wars Serry Kamal also intimated the court that she intend to make a written  No Case Submission on the next adjourned date.

Magistrate Bonnie however granted her application and adjourned the matter to the 30 October 2020 for her to submit her written no case submission whiles her bail still continue.

 It could be recalled that the accused Isata Saccoh is standing trial on three counts charges ranging from conspiracy, unlawful possession of arms and ammunitions and perverting the course of Justice all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

According to the charge sheet, the police alleged  that the accused on 29 April 2020 at No 11 Belewa drive hill station  Freetown was found in possession of small arms and ammunition without license.

 their case.

Forensic Expert Shown Pictorial Evidence Against Dr. Sylvia Blyfen

By Feima Sesay

In continuation of his examination in chief, the fourth Prosecution witness, who happens to be one of the forensic expert, Alpha Sesay has presented before the court in a vedio form pictorial evidence with inscriptions  found in the computers and moblie phone of Dr. Olayinka Sylvia Blyden and Hussain Muckson Sesay.

Led by state counsel YI Sesay before the presiding Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of Pademba Road court number one, the witness recalled testifying in court on the 14th of September 2020 and made mentioned of a 4G memory card which according to him contained eighteen WhatsApp vedios.

Upon reaching that point, state counsel YI Sesay applied for his witness to be given the opportunity to narrates what was in the vedios on a power point screen produced by the Information Technology department of the judiciary.

The forensic witness identified a goat wearing  a green T. Shirt with the inscription the newly appointed State chief protocol speaking to president Bio, he also show a vedio showing picture of president Bio with his entourage, with inscription sport jacket en  bed room slippers ‘aaa president Bio u nor try, an other show the ACC boss, the minister of finance Jacob Just Saffa with inscription the opposition. SLPP government want to divided Sierra Leone ‘ Le 144 million to accounted for at the Ministry of Finanace, listening to Mr ignorant, a photo of the first lady Fatima Bio with inscription ‘ not everything that shines is gold, a photo of Vice president Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh with inscription ‘ one party state’,  among others were shown in court.

Corporarte Affairs in 57 million Leones debts

BY Feima Sesay

National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) has on Saturday 10 October 2020, dragged Corporate Affairs Commission to Court for failing to pay contribution for it staff which is over fifty seven million Leones.

Corporarte Affairs Commission is a government institution like NASSIT.

The Commission appear before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie on Siaka Stevens Street Freetown on a count of failing to pay social contribution contrary to Section 32 (1) (c) of the Social Security and Insurance Trust Act No.5 of 2001.

According to the Particulars of Offence, it was alleged  that you Corporate Affairs Commission and Ayodele Mason being an establishment and employer respectively under the NASSIT Act on diverse dates between January 2016 to December 2019, at No.15 Syke Street Freetown did failed to pay contribution for it workers amounting to fifty seven million seven hundred and sixty two thousand, eight hundred and eighty four Leones sixty eight million Leones.

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