“State of Emergency Used to Flout Procurement Rules”

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“State Of Emergency Used to Flout Procurement Rules

Says CHRDI

By Ezekiel Dumbuya & Mohamed Jalloh

In an exclusive interview Mr Abdul M. Fatoma the Chief Executive Director of Campaign For Human Rights and Development Initiative (CHRDI) said that the enactment of the State of Emergency (SOE) regulations to fight the Corona Virus was misdirected to flout procurement rules.

Mr Fatoma noted with displeasure on how the SOE Regulations gave the freedom to Ministries Department and Agencies(MDA`s) including the national emergency Corona response to collude with the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) to arbitrarily engage in sole sourcing in the procurement of goods and services.

The Director noted with profound mistrust of the NPPA in conspiring with MDA`s to exploit a health crisis in a way that 

normal practice and procedures of procurement rules are flouted.

Mr Fatoma said the emergency period was used to give a blank cheque to transparency and accountability in the procurement of goods by way of sole sourcing and restrictive bidding.

The Director used the Purchase of the SUV`s and the Motor bike for the Covid-19 Emergency response as a glaring examples were procurement rules were flouted while using the state of emergency as a valid excuse. 

 Mr Fatoma was able to recollect a statement made by the Chief Procurement Officer Ibrahim Brima Swarray during an interview with the Africa Young Voices Television (AYV) in 2018.

According to the CHRDI boss, the Procurement Chief openly boasted that as head of NPPA a local television interview that serving as head of procurement; the flouting of procurement rules would never make headlines in subsequent Auditor General`s report.

The Director said the NPPA Chief is not living up to his rhetoric at the AYV as the infringement of procurement rules dominated both the 2019 and 2020 Auditor General`s Reports.

Mr Fatoma said the inconsistencies in procurement procedures and practices since Ibrahim Swarray`s assumption as the NPPA chief, is a clear testament that he is unfit to handle such a crucial institution of the state that demands transparency and accountability.

The Director said it is very annoying to see the NPPA Chief defending MDA`s after the Auditor General Report has raised the non-compliance of procurement practices and procedures, as according to him such an act could be interpreted as a conspiracy to defraud the tax paying masses.   

Mr Fatoma continues that the issue of procurement that has been raised by the public is of great concern and as a civil society organisation one of their roles is to monitor the implementation of good procurement practices.

He furthered that the government with Brima Swarray at the helm has invested a huge amount of capital in strengthening the capacity of the institution.

According to the CHRDI Boss, this has taken the form of the   launching of procurement manual, launching of the price norms, training of procurement staff and quiet recently transforming all manual procurement to digital, as according to him these are programmes which are implemented with the people’s money.

Mr Abdulai continue that the Chief procurement officer did not only implement of such programmes but has also invest greatly by recruiting hundreds of Sierra Leoneans on procurement issues just to maintain the gaps and further asking that “with all of this implementations why are we still having procurement issues in Sierra Leone”?.

He maintained that some of these institutions created by the new direction government has deliberately flouted procurement laws because the country is under the public state of emergency whiles adding that they should not use the state of emergency to escape the due process.

The manager concluded that he still stands by the objection  that sierra Leone did not need 12 months under state of emergency, whiles adding that the country has been grappling with loop holes on reckless spending and the deliberate contravention of procurement laws by the government of sierra Leone.

 

Bollore- A Building Block for Human Capital in Sierra Leone

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Fabjanko Kokan, the Country Manager of Bollore Transport and Logistics in an exclusive interview with this medium has disclosed that Bollore is the only International Company operating in Sierra Leone that employs 99% of Sierra Leoneans.

Mr Kokan said that as a manager he believes in building relationship and that is why he has established good relations in Sierra Leone more especially with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) which he has been working closely with in some of their developmental programmes.

The manager said that quiet recently he was chosen by (SLAJ) to be the keynote speaker at SLAJ 50 years anniversary adding that he is very much happy with this medium for given him audience to explain how his company operates in the country.

 Mr Kokan also said that over 35 of the staff have been sent to Canada, Austria and France for training and the company has adequate equipment to do its operations as compared to the previous years, whiles adding that they will never allow any staff including visitors without wearing protective gears equipment .

“From the previous time we used to offload seven (7) containers in one hours but recently we are now offloading 35 to 40 for an hour and that has shown that we have improved greatly” he Said.

Mr Fabjanko also explain that his company is 100% comply and that is why the National social insurance Company awarded them in 2020 as the best comply company of the year adding that in 2020  the company  spent Le2.6 billion Leones on medical facilities for their staff.

He continues that his company has always provide National social security insurance trust NASSIT, National Revenue Authority NRA, covers insurances for staff and provides medical facilities he added  by asking that if the company didn’t provide NASSIT for it workers how are they going to take care of their old age.

Claurinda Morgan, the Human Resource Manager said that one of his key mandates is to also support and improve the lives of the less privilege in most of the deprived communities across Sierra Leone.

 She maintains that they have been supporting vulnerable children by supporting them domestic materials and providing them with some of the facilities they were need.

She added that the company has invested a lot of capital on some of its staff by providing them with skills training in and out of the country.

Madam Morgan also maintained that Bollore is always ready to  render support in  improving the lives of the people in Sierra Leone and that is why providing cooperate social responsibility in the communities that they operate forms part of their work.

She concluded that the company has been supporting the Government of Sierra Leone even at the time of the Pandemic where they have been providing COVID-19 items in different communities including its surroundings.    

Revealed…

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SLRSA Board Says:

 ‘’ADVERTISING AND ENGAGING IN THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS WITH AN UNKNOWN COMPANY FOR THE PRINTING OF DRIVERS LICENSE WITHOUT FOLLOWING DUE PROCESS AND ALSO WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE BOARD’’

The Public Review newspaper continues to scrutinise the actions of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) boss since his assumption at the helm of affairs of the institution.

His flouting of procurement rules for potential kickbacks and the unilateral decisions taken in running the institution without consulting the SLRSA Board led to his suspension in early December 2020.Below is an excerpt from a press release issued by the Board of Directors proffering reasons for the suspension of Mr Ibrahim Sannoh:

Customers Applaud Orange SL For Service Delivery

Barely 5 years ago, Orange (S.L) started an ambitious project to transform and modernize its network infrastructure and enhance service delivery to its valued customers.

The desire to increase customer satisfaction with the fastest internet speed on the widest coverage was central to this dream.

Currently the company can testify that Orange SL is the leaders in terms of network quality for voice, internet speed and coverage.

 Today, the company has far more sites than any other telecom service provider in Sierra Leone with more than 445 sites carrying voice and date with the best customer experience nationwide.

The extension of some of this site has shown that Orange SL has finally improved on its coverage and network connectivity for customers. 

Orange SL has always be mindful to the fact that providing reliable services to the nation for their customers is one of their key mandate

Even in the mist of COVID-19 pandemic the company work earnestly by making sure that the company provides efficient and reliable services to its viable customers.

 This is the season of generosity and abundance.

The season of more!!

As the Injunction on APC Party Still Continues…

Legal Counsel Asks For Le10Bn Security Cost

By Feima Sesay

The Lead Counsel representing the first defendant, the (Chairman of the All People Congress party, Ernest Bai Koroma) in a matter between him and one  Alfred Peter Conteh, the plaintiff,  and two others, has asked the Court for Le 10 billion as security cost on behalf of his client.

Lawyer Ibrahim Mansaray made this application  in Court yesterday  before Justice Adrian Fisher with a host of other lawyers moved such an application courtesy of an Originating  Notice of Motion dated 5 March 2021 on behalf of the first defendant Ernest Bai Koroma.

He maintained that the said application is supported by an affidavit sworn to by Adewale Showers with some exhibits in it.

Lawyer Mansaray furthered that the need to grant or refuse such application, rests on the discretion of the Court, that has the sole mandate to do such.

According to Mr Mansaray that the Plaintiff Applicant Alfred Peter Conteh is presently out of reach of the jurisdiction of the Court, and it is but prudent on their side to ask for such an amount to be set aside by the plaintiff considering the amount of monies his client is spending on legal firms to represent him in Court.

He added that, there is no evidence in Court that the Plaintiff Applicant has fix asset within the reach of the Court. He concluded that the said money cannot be put on the hands of his client but to court, that best determine what amount should go to the defendant, when the needs arises.

Responding to the said application, the lawyer representing  the plaintiff Jesse Jengo also filed an affidavit in opposition dated 9th March 2021 sworn to by one Rashid Santigie Sesay at the Law Court Building.

He told the Court that the affidavit was filed in by the first defendant didn’t proffer reason, as to why a security cost of Le 10 billion needs to be set aside by the plaintiff.

He said even if the Court rules against him, such money is too exorbitant, asked for by the defendant Counsels, adding that his client is only in court to seek redress and to also see that Justice is meted out to him as an aggrieved party.

After listening to both Counsels submissions, Justice Fisher later adjourned the mater to 17 March 2021 for ruling, while the injunction on the party still continues.

Alfred Peter Conteh took the APC Chairman, Ernest Bai Koroma, the Party Secretary General, Osman Foday Yansanneh, as the second defendant and the All People Congress party, as the third defendant to Court , due to an alleged illegitimacy of their leadership.

Lands Minister Unveils & Addresses Complaints Committee

The Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, Dr. Turad Senesie has officially unveiled and met with members of the lands complaints committee.

At an orientation ceremony in the Conference Room of the Ministry on Tuesday March 9 2021, the committee members were congratulated and appreciated for taking up the responsibility to look into land disputes that occurred between April 2018 to January 2021 as mandated by the Ministry.

“The New Direction Government is grateful to you all for accepting to serve the nation in this capacity,” the Minister noted, while reminding the committee members that the entire nation is looking forward to the outcome of the process aimed at enhancing peace and justice in the land sector.

Minister Senesie urged the committee to do an independent, impartial and professional job in the interest of the country and its citizens.

He made emphasis on his confidence for the integrity of each and every committee member, while urging them to speedily look into the complaints and submit findings and recommendations to the government for appropraiate action.

Committee Chairman Alhaji Murtada Sesay assured the minister that they will live up to the trust and responsibility bestowed on them.

The complaints committee has already started receiving complaints from the general public at its Bank Complex Secretariat in Kingtom and via Email.

 

Four Persons Sent To 70 Years Jail For Robbery

By Feima Sesay

On Wednesday 10 March 2021, Justice Ivan Ansumana Sesay has convicted and sentence four accused person to Seventy Years(70) Imprisonment each for Robbery with Aggravation and other related offences to be run concurrently.

The accused persons were Ibrahim Turay, Abudulai Turay,  Abdul Turay and Francis Kargbo.

Whiles Foday, Suma Amara Bangura and Arrow John Bockarie who convicted on receiving were sentence   to 10 years Imprisonment each or pay a fine of 3 million Leones to the state and 7 million Leones to the complainant as compensation.

Prior to the Judgement, justice Sesay while addressing the court on the evidence of all the prosecution witness including PW 1 Justice  Cosmotina Jarret said  Identification parade was done at CID and she was able to identification first accused with the same Mark she saw on him on the day of the incident.

“In my view an early identification of first accused Ibrahim Turay by PW1 at her house and that at CID was corroborated”.

“I am also satisfied that the evidence against 1,3,4&5 accused is sufficient and in fact they committed the offence whiles  the 7,9& 10 accused persons made a confessional statement to the police, i am satisfied in my mind that the prosecution has led sufficient evidence against 1,3,4,5,7,9 &10  and are found guilty as charged”‘ he said.

In their plea mitigation ,3,4,5,7,9&10 pleaded with the judge to temper Justice with mercy whiles the first accused said he has nothing to say.

Lawyer JM Jengo on behalf of the 10 accused who was standing trial on receiving pleaded with the bench to temper Justice with mercy noting that this is the first time first accused has been in conflict with the law.

He also begs the bench not to give a custodian sentence to his client but an alternative.

The state prosecutor Andrew F.  Kamara in reply said though there is no evidence of any previous conviction known for all the convicted accused persons but the complainant is a vulnerable person and she needs protection and therefore asked for maximum penalty.

Justice Sesay in his ruling sentenced first accused Ibrahim Turay, Abudul Koroma, Abdulai Turay and Francis Kargbo on count 1 to 5 years, count2 to 9 years, 3count70, counts 4 to 9 years, counts 5 to 50 years each to be run concurrently.

Whiles for receiving he convicted and sentenced 7th accused Foday Suma, 9th accused  Amara Bangura and 10 accused Arrow John Bockarie to 10 years Imprisonment or pay a fine of le3million each  to the  state and le7 million each to complainant as compensation.

 He also stated that if they are not satisfied with his judgement they should appeal within 21 days. 1st accused person

Ibrahim Turay 2nd accused Alisa Balotele, 3rd accused Abdul Koroma 4 accused Abudulai Turay 5th accused Francis Kargbo, Foday Suma, Amara Bangura and Arrow John Bockarie were standing trial before Justice Ivan Ansumana Sesay for the offences of conspiracy to commit a felony, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, rubbery with aggravation, receiving stolen property and other related offences.

The evidence was that he attempted to kill and rub Justice Cosmotina Jarrett some times in November 2019 at her resident.

Chinese Premier Highlights Government Work

On The Celebration of IWD…

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Thrills Njala Students

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Njala Campus and Pro-Vice Chancellor Njala University Professor Mohamed Bashiru Koroma

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Njala Campus and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Njala University has on Monday  8th March thrilled students of Njala University as they joined their counterparts the world over to celebrate the International Women’s Day (IWD) on the theme ‘’ Leadership Without Sex Barriers’’.

The august gathering was organized by the Ministry of Gender Affairs of the Njala University Students’ Union under the Grand Chief patronage of Madam Mariama Gbekpah Latif the Deputy Women’s Leader hopeful in the forthcoming Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party Delegate Elections.

Professor Koroma who chaired the ceremony thrilled the students with exceptional traditional pleasantries to the admiration of many. He exhibited a high sense of humor to inspire the women folks that it was their day and was worth celebrating.

Professor Koroma used his long-standing traditional experience in steering the program to a logical conclusion while also using the platform to inform the Guest Speaker and her entourage that Njala University was undergoing a sharp transformation from the old ways of doing things.

He concluded by calling on the Guest Speaker to join the Private Partnership journey for the revitalization of Njala University.

Mohamed Alex Koroma, President Njala University Students’ Union noted that the hosting of the International Women’s Day at Njala University by his Ministry of Gender Affairs is a testimony to his manifesto campaign to empower the women folks.

He further committed his Government’s vision to work with the Keynote Speaker and other private sector players to engage his women in Agricultural gardening to support food self-sufficiency on campus and the host communities.

The program took the form of statements from Gender experts, activists, and feminists who stressed that International Women’s Day should be a day of reflection on the critical challenges facing the growth and development of women across the world.

The speakers included Mrs.Fatmata Deveh Khellah a renowned Family Investment Specialist based in Maryland in the United States of America.

 She encouraged the women not to allow intimidation within their ranks and to also nurture the zeal and confidence to move on and support their women folks who vie for leadership positions.

The speeches were highly motivational and addressed the various gender equity and equality issues facing women in the workplace and the need for women to pay attention to these issues and work towards surmounting them.

The Keynote Speaker, Madam Mariama Gbeakpah Latif also employed a lot of tact and experience to admonish the women to resist the cultural and sex barriers that confront them as they grow up with their male folks in the society.

She cited the growing concerns around the world for women to be included in the developmental strides of institutions, corporations, and Government due to their numbers and resilience.

Madam Latif disclosed that Sierra Leone has domesticated international treaties and conventions relating to the empowerment of women and that a number of them have been domesticated locally to support the growth and advancement of women in Sierra Leone.

She encouraged the women to support the national campaign by His Excellency the President, Dr.Julius Maada Bio, and the First Lady to curb Sierra Leone of rape and Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

She assured the Students’ Union Government that as an entrepreneur she is ready and willing to work with the Students’ Union and the University to support women’s empowerment.

The climax of the auspicious occasion was the touring of the Njala Campus by the Guest of honor and her entourage.

 

Student In Jail For Killing 4 Year Old Child.

By Feima Sesay

A 23 Year old student Bernadette Yeama Solomon was on Tuesday 9 March 2021 arraigned before magistrate Mark Ngegba of the Pademba road court No 1 for physically assaulting Princess Kallon a 4 years old child that led to her death.

The accused made his first appearance in court and was arraigned on one count of murder contrary to law.

According to the charge sheet, the police alleged that the accused Bernadette Yeama Solomon on Friday 25 December 2020 at No 40 Main Road Campbell Town, Waterloo physically assaulted Princess Kallon which led to her death.

No plea was taken when the charge was read to her and no legal representation was made on her behalf.

ASP Ibrahim Mansaray prosecuted the matter on behalf of the Inspector General of Police.

The deceased Princess Kallon was 4 years old and that the accused was her care giver.

The matter was adjourned to the 16th March 2021 for further hearing.

Magistrate To Rule On Prison Officer`s Drug Trafficking Case

By Feima Sesay

Magistrate Mark Ngegba of Pademba Road court No 1 will on 15 March 2021 sentence Saidu Momoh Conteh  a prison officer that was caught trafficking kush to prisoners at the prison cells.

 The accused Saidu Momoh Conteh  was drag to court last week on one count of unlawful possession contrary to section 33(1) f cap 37 as amended by section 5 of Act No 6 of 1981.

According to the indictment, the police alleged that the accused on Saturday 30 January 2021 at the male correctional center was found in possession of one packet substance ( kush) suspected to have been unlawfully possessed.

When the charge was read to him by the clerk, he pleaded guilty to the offence.

In the circumstance magistrate Ngegba adjourned the matter to the 15th March 2021 for judgement whiles the accused was remanded in prison.

Police Constable 15152 Turay H.B was prosecuting the matter.

Due to his action, he was however dismisses from the Sierra Leone Correctional Services as prisoner officer.

 Gender & Children’s Affairs Minister Speaks on International Women’s Day   

  

Fellow Sierra Leoneans today is International Women’s Day. Every year on the 8th March women from around the world observe the progress, opportunities and challenges women face in the political, social, economic and cultural spheres of life.

So although the 8th of March in Sierra Leone is a public holiday, it’s a day that we ask our brothers and our men folk to join us women to reflect on the gains made and the challenges women continue to face and how we can collectively address these challenges.

This year’s global theme for International Women’s Day is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World”.  The theme is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational Campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Adopted in 1995, at the Fourth World Conference on women in Beijing, China, the Beijing Platform for Action is recognized as the most progressive road map for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.

For us here in Sierra Leone, we started celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) in 1985. In 2013, the Government of Sierra Leone officially declared March 8 as a public holiday.

IWD Celebrations in Sierra Leone have been marked by nation-wide media sensitization and national public advocacy events held rotationally in districts and provincial headquarter towns. 

This year, our own National Theme is: ‘wit boku uman na power wi go dreb corona en build back betteh Salone’

Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.

The crisis among many things has highlighted both the centrality of the contributions of women and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.

To uphold women’s rights during this pandemic and fully leverage the potential of women’s leadership in the pandemic preparedness and response, the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs assigned a Gender Advisor to NACOVERC to ensure women and girl’s concerns are mainstreamed at all stages of the pandemic response and recovery.

As a result, Gender is mainstreamed in the entire COVID-19 response and the Ministry and its partners developed key messages on addressing GBV, Teenage Pregnancy and Child Abuse.

Sierra Leonean women continue to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and networks to effectively contribute to the recovery efforts in COVID-19 response.

As a government, we value the contribution of women in society and our gender lens has given us the drive for more acceptance than ever before that women bring different experiences, perspectives and skills to the table, and make irreplaceable contributions to decisions, policies and laws that work better for all.

Lessons learnt from global efforts suggests that countries that have been more successful in stemming the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to its health and broader socio-economic impacts, have included women in the response leadership.

However, in addition to persistent pre-existing social and systemic barriers to women’s participation and leadership, new barriers have emerged with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the midst of COVID-19 response, women and girls continue to face sexual gender-based violence like never before and other serious deprivations like increased domestic violence.

However, government has taken robust measures that include the introduction of the Male Involvement Strategy. This is an approach that uses men and boys as allies and gender advocates while also recognizing that they two can be victims. The approach is being implemented across the country by our partners such as FINE Salone, Youth Council Leaders etc.

Also we have ensured the integration of comprehensive sexuality education into the formal basic education school curriculum at all levels. The National Curriculum Framework & Guidelines for Basic Education now contains the key concepts of comprehensive sexuality education, including the mainstreaming of gender and rights across various age groups and subjects

We have also set up the 116 Rape Hotline. This is a 24 hours hotline which is now a life line for any person requiring support after a sexual assault. The hotline is free from any mobile network and available 24 hours a day.

We have also established One Stop Centres. We have One Stop Centres established across six districts (and another two currently in developed in Karene and Bonthe). The centres provide comprehensive survivor centred services for victims of sexual violence. Services are free and range from – medical assessment and report, legal services, safe homes etc.

And of course the Sexual Offences Model Court which was established by the Judiciary as instructed by the Sexual Offences Act (amended) 2019, to address this menace.

With the support of DSTI, we are re-developing a National SGBV Information Management System that will enable national coordination across all partners.

Given all these accomplishments, Sierra Leone was invited to the Board of UN Women’s Generation Equality Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action at the end of last year.

Sierra Leone continues to make steady progress in the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The government of His Excellency the President Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio continue to empower women in the political front by the appointment of women to key decision making positions in governance. So whereas there is  a shortfall  in Parliamentary representation (12.3%), female cabinet ministers and heads of parastatals represent 18.5% (and this exceeds the 2020 18% target as per the mid-term national development plan). 

Women and girls are central to the human capital development agenda, the strengthening of the health system with particular focus on sexual reproductive health to reduce maternal and child deaths and the economic empowerment of women among other things.

Government finalized and HE the President of Sierra Leone- rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio, officially launched the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy last year. To effectively implement this Policy, Cabinet has authorized the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs to also lead the enactment of the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Bill to include Affirmative Action.

So for this year’s IWD, The Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs will make a huge shift from the traditional method of observing International Women’s Day to an action oriented programme.

In keeping with the spirit of decentralization and in observance of our COVID-19 and Ebola precautionary measures there will be no national gathering; however Regional and District activities have been organized.

This year’s high level Public advocacy forum will be decentralized at Regional and District levels. This means each District and or Region will host radio discussions on the implementation of the GEWE policy.

In addition and more importantly, The Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs in collaboration with Women’s Forum and The 50/50 Group will be organizing the First Ever Annual National Women’s Conference in March. The conference will contribute to the development of an implementation plan for the full implementation of the GEWE Policy.

The National Women’s Conference will be a two day workshop with the theme: Implement the GEWE Policy to Promote Women in Leadership. Making the keynote address will be Justice Miatta Samba. The workshop is expected to bring together women representatives from all 16 administrative districts in the country to discuss the broad framework for the implementation of the GEWE Policy.

Let me therefore conclude by reaffirming the political commitment to the empowerment of women at the highest level.

My Ministry will be working with all relevant stakeholders to develop an Affirmative Action to include the minimum 30 percent quota for women in governance at all levels.

Thank you and Blessed International Women’s Day

PR SPORT NEWS

SLFA Membership sympathizes with the Northern Region Football Association

The Sierra Leone Football Association membership forum has on Saturday, March 6th, 2021 visited the Northern Region Football Association to sympathize and show sportsmanship on the demise of six young footballers.

The delegation was headed Idrissa Margo Tarawallie, membership Chairman and General Secretary of Ports Authority.

Presenting the members of the football family to the Northern Region Chairman,  Idrissa Mago Tarawallie disclosed that the visit was not one of celebration but rather a sad one for the football family. “What has happened is the inevitable end of  man and no one has the power to stop what God had destined to occur” disclosed Mr Tarawallie.

He said the visit was a  family affair and they were  in Makeni to comfort and console the families who  lost their loved ones and those hospitalised.

” We were touched after we heard stories of the challenges those hospitalised are facing “  Mr. Margo disclosed

Margo revealed to the audience that the football members are in Makeni to sympathise with the bereaved family.

He said what has become clear in the aftermath of the tragedy is that football is a family game and making enemies shouldn’t be an option .

The Chairman of the membership forum Idrissa Mago Tarawallie on behalf of the members of the Sierra Leone Football Association presented the sum of Twenty Million Leones (Le20,000,000) to the Bombali District and Northern Region football Association Chairmen.

Welcoming the delegation in his district the Chairman of the Northern Region Football Association Brima Jalloh thanked the football membership for their kind gesture and assured them that they will use the money for its intended purpose.

He emphasized that what has happened to his region has shown them that football is a family game.

“Everyone has shown their support, we have seen several press releases from football clubs and regions who have displayed solidarity with them” revealed Jalloh.

Brima Jalloh informed the gathering that even the bereaved families have realised that their children were in the right family.

Giving an update about the gruesome accident Brima Jalloh said nine (9) people lost their lives from the road accident, and four are in critical condition. 

The current vice president two of the Sierra Leone Football Association Alie Commoner Kargbo called on the football family to continue to respect, ove each other and stay united regardless of their differences.

“Those who are bossing football groups it’s important you  start talking to each other, it’s not about life or death; when it is time to vote we will make the final decision but for now let us show love to each other” declared Mr Kargbo.

Alie Commner Kargbo with a smile informed the football members that he is not going to contest for any position in the upcoming SLFA elections. He assured the football family that Makeni will be safe for everyone during the Sierra Leone Football Association elections and maximum security will be provided for all.

” You all have the right to come to Makeni and campaign the floor is yours. I plead to all of you let there be no warfare. I am a very good umpire ” revealed Alie Commoner

He said the money the football members have supported with will be used for the intended purpose.

 The presidential candidate for the SLFA elections  Mr. Rodney Edmond Michael was part of the delegation, he extended his best wishes to those who are hospitalized and pray for the Lord’s mercy on those who have passed away.

Some members that were part of the delegations included; former referee Agnes Abu, John Dissa former football player, former Western Area Football Association(WAFA) Chairman Abdul Hamin Kanaserio, Augustine Kambo Treasure(WAFA) and Saddick Deen Nyakoh Chairman Southern Region Football Association.

  

 

Jonathan, Obasanjo, six other ex-Presidents inaugurate Elders Forum to promote democracy, good governance in West Africa

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ON MARCH 4, 202110:11 PMIN POLITICS

Former Presidents Dr.GoodluckEbele Jonathan, Chief OlusegunObasanjo and Six other former West African leaders on Thursday joined forces to establish a mechanism targeted at preventing and resolving election related conflicts and maintaining stability in the sub-region.

The leaders resolved to collectively exert their enormous goodwill towards ensuring peace in West African nations, by promoting credible elections and good governance, in order to prevent the nations from descending into crises.

They spoke at the formal inauguration of the West African Elders Forum, an initiative of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) with support from OSIWA, which seeks to limit electoral violence and promote democratic stability in West Africa. The Forum has former presidents in the sub-region as members.

Also read: APC, Oshiomhole hail Jonathan over Bayelsa poll

Other former Presidents who participated in the virtual event are Pedro PiresCabo Verde, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Liberia, Amos Sawyer Liberia, Ernest BaiKoroma Sierra Leone as well as former Head of State General AbdulsalamiAbubakar and Mrs.AminataTraore, former Senegalese Prime Minister .

Former President Jonathan who is the Chairman of GJF described the West African Elders Forum as an initiative aimed at leveraging the rich resources of eminent personalities in West Africa to promote peace and support processes that enhance sustainable democracy.

He stated that the vision “is to harness the experience and wisdom of our region’s eminent leaders to advance the course of political stability and the quest for economic progress and prosperity in our countries.”

The leaders thanked former President Jonathan for initiating the Forum and promised to lend their support to its engagements and programmes.

Speaking in support of the initiative former President Obasanjo noted that the leaders need to work individually and collectively “to deal with post-pandemic development like governance to build an inclusive society within our respective societies in West Africa.”

Similarly former President Sirleaf said: “Many of us have been involved in mediations and interventions either as individuals or sometimes as part of institutional arrangements to achieve the objective of good governance, peace and security. But we have lacked a collective African effort and this is what this group will bring.”

In his own intervention, former Head of State AbdulsalamiAbubakar observed a pattern of rising insecurity not only in our sub- region but the world over. “We have seen the efforts of ECOWAS in establishing democracy in the subregion. I am happy that President Goodluck Jonathan has deemed it fit to establish this forum of eminent personalities to alleviate the problems we encounter in establishing democracy and also in fighting insecurity.”

Also speaking, former Sierra Leonean President Ernest BaiKoroma said: “The more progress we have made, the more challenges we are experiencing, even in the areas of governance. That is why I believe an initiative like this is very timely because of the trend that we are experiencing in elections and post-elections.”

Speaking further, former President Jonathan said: “It is evident that as former heads of State, we have not relented in our individual efforts in maintaining stability in Africa and expanding the democratic space. We have worked towards fostering free and fair elections as well as peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another.

“But with this Forum, we can collectively work as a team to reduce political violence and electoral conflicts in West Africa. This is consistent with the goal of the Goodluck Jonathan foundation to support democratic transitions and manage political emergencies within the continent.

The former President noted that over the last few decades, the West African region has demonstrated leadership and political will by setting the pace in transforming a regional group of states into a ‘secured community’ on the continent.

“Regrettably, the peace and stability of the region is being eroded because of many reasons including political contestation for power, spread of terrorism and the negative effects of the Covid 19 pandemic.

“We recognize the efforts of the United Nations Office for West Africa, the African Union, ECOWAS, the various states and other development partners aimed at promoting peace and stability in this region.

“With this Forum we are to collectively exert our goodwill towards preserving the peace in our nations, some of them fragile, and prevent them from descending into anarchy. It is my hope that through the Forum, we will be able to leverage on your collective knowledge, years of experiences, passion and deep understanding of the issues to contribute to ongoing efforts towards limiting violence and instability and protecting the integrity of democratic processes within the region.

“As Elders, we will encourage current leaders to embrace the concept of democracy. That leaving behind a lasting legacy of people-oriented leadership that positively impacts the lives of ordinary citizens is crucial.

“We have played and are currently playing key roles in promoting peace and stability within the region. We are all united by our common passion and commitment to see the region progress.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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VANDAM IS HERE TO STAY

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Sokia and Sons Enterprise situated at Sani Abacha street in Freetown is one of the sole importer of energy drinks product especially vandam product that the people of Sierra Leone consume fervently.

Mr A Bundu, the General Manager in exclusive interview with this medium reveals that over 45% of the population in Sierra Leone go in for vandam products.

He continues that as their enterprise is one of the sole importer of such product, they will make sure that they improve and increase the volume of importations to meet the need of the people.

Mr Bundu also said that they have employed several youth by helping them to survive through their lives and help their families at home.

Manager Bundu said that they set target to transform the enterprise to a company as they have already secured a piece land and construction is on-going currently.

He noted that even though they have faced several challenges with some of the foreign Beverage companies in Freetown as they always frown at them for bring such product which they think will disturbed their business.

He also alleged that one of the foreign Beverage company Chief Executive Director (CEO) sermon them in a closed door meeting and decided to given them the sum of three thousand dollars (3000$) as bribed for them to stop importation of vandam product in the country. 

Mr Bundu said that people should be very happy because their Enterprise is purely owned by Sierra Leoneans and they will make sure that they will start produce vandam product in Sierra Leone.

He explain that they have very much determined in making sure that they provide adequate quantity of product to satisfy its customers more especially in festive seasons where customers requested excess amount of product.

He concluded that after the construction of the company they will make sure that they employed almost 100% of young people as they quiet aware that securing job in the country is a grate problem for the youth.   

Newly Elected MP Takes Oath Of Office

By Feima Sesay

Hon. Zainab Kama Brima    who was on the 27 February 2021 elected as Member of Parliament for constituency 010 Kailahun District has on Thursday 4 March subscribed to the oath of office by the Clerk of Parliament Hon. ParamUmarrTarawally.

She subscribed to the oath in the well of Parliament in the presence of all the Leaders across the political divide.

After she took the oath, the clerk of Parliament handed over to her the constitution of Sierra Leone, the standing Order that she will use as a tool to guide her during parliamentary proceedings.

She was however wished well by the deputy speaker of Parliament Hon. Sengepoh Solomon Thomas who presided over the seating as speaker and later directed by the director of legislative to her allocated seat.

In another development, hon Hassan A. Sesay after the subscription of oath of the newly elected M P moved a motion that the health situation of colleagues MPs should be treated with utmost seriousness.

He urged colleague MPs to take their health condition as a very serious one, adding that presently one of their young colleague MP is seriously sick and hospitalized without resources to help the situation.

” It is really pathetic and unfortunate, why is it that Members 9f parliament should be exposed to this kind of situation were as people who are in other position as ministers are enjoying these facilities” , he explained.

Hon. Hassan Sesay reitirated that how long does MPs have to bear before something is done, naming the Hon. A O Kamara, Hon. Panda and Hon. Eskimo of blessed memory that died due to poor health condition.

He described them all as very good people and the circumstance move a motion for something to be done urgently about the health condition of MPs because the facilities they as MPs are supposed to get they are not getting it.

Hon Sesay emphasize that budget allocation are made to other government workers but they do not have it but give it to them.

Deputy speaker of Parliament in reply supported the motion move by Hon. Hassan Sesay in respect to the health conditions and welfare of MPs.

Adding that matters related to health of members of Parliament are serious matters.

Due to the urgency of the motion, the speaker urged MPs to go to committee room 1 in order to discussed matters related to their health noting the issue is very serious and that they are not going to wait for another day.

The leader of the Opposition APC party Hon Chernor Bah requested the speaker to use the power for members to rise and observed a minute of silence for those footballers that lost their lives in a gruesome accident few days ago on their way to Makeni.

A minute of silence was however observed for them by the entire house.

The deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and Internal Cooperation Solomon Jamiru lay in the well the Ecowas Convention A/P.1/7/92 on mutual assistance in criminal matters.

INSIDE COURT

Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to pay over Le239 million

Justice Lonard Taylor of the Fast Track Commercial Court at Government Wharf has ordered the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to pay over Le239 million (Le 239,376,901) from the Integrated Health Project account to Security Support Group International Limited (SSGIL).

The Judge gave the order after the defendant (MOHS) had failed to fulfil an undertaking to honour dues to the plaintiff (SSGIL), and invited the garnishees to furnish the ministry’s financial status.

Justice Taylor directed that the ministry’s account at Standard Character Bank, in the name of MOHS with account No.00100102004600, must be paid out to the solicitor for and on behalf of the plaintiff.

He also pointed out that all accounts held by the garnishee herein and at all other banks be closed until MOHS comply with the order against the account, adding that banks in Sierra Leone should not operate any account for the first and second defendants unless ordered by the aforesaid Court.

Prior to yesterday orders by the Court, in a Notice of Motion dated 12th January 2021, together with the affidavits in support of the said Motion and the exhibits attached by Counsel for the Plaintiff lawyer Osman Jalloh, the Judge then ordered that the Garnishees do freeze all activities in all accounts held by them on behalf of the defendants.

The first defendant in the matter is the Central Medical Store and Integrated Health Project Administration Unit is the second defendant.

And also for the Garnishees to appear in Court yesterday to show cause why funds in their custody held for and on behalf of the defendants should not be used to satisfy the judgment debt.

Officials from the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, the Union Trust Bank and Standard Chartered bank did show up in Court yesterday in order to give a clear picture about monies owned by the defendants in their institutions. The defendants have two accounts at the first Garnishees (Sierra Leone Commercial Bank) in total of Le 30,485.31, nothing from Union Trust Bank and over Le260 million from the Standard Chartered Bank.

The Court also ordered for Le30m compensation being paid to the plaintiff counsel from the above account.

Farmer kills Soldier

BY Feima Sesay

Muniru Lebbie a farmer by profession has been brought to Court for allegedly killing a serving memberof the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) 18170594 L/Cpls Jonathan Saidu.

On Thursday 4 March 2021, the accused made his first appearance before Magistrate Mark Ngegba of Court No. 1 on Pademba road, on three counts of being found in possession of small arms, cancellation of short guns and murder all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

According to the charge sheet on count 1, the accused MuniruLebbie on Wednesday 23 December 2020, at Massabendu junction Nimiyama chiefdom Kono district, was found in possession of two short guns without lawful authority.

Count 2 state that the accused MuniruLebbie on same date at Mokombo bush Masabendu junction Nimiyama chiefdom Kono district unlawfully cancelled two shot gun.

Police further alleged on count 3 that the accused MuniruLebbie on Sunday 20 December 2020, at Kono killed Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) 18170594 L/Cpls Jonathan Saidu.

When the charge was read to the accused no plea was taken and no legal representation was made on his behalf.

Magistrate Ngegba however remanded the accused in custody until the 11 March 2021.

ASP Ibrahim Sheik Mansaray is prosecuting the matter.

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