Members of the Alliance of All Aspirants (AAA) of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) on Monday 6th June, 2016 at the Harry Yanseneh Hall, Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) headquarters at Campbell Street, Freetown have reiterated their commitment to constitutionality within the party which includes eschewing violence and having a level playing field that will augur well for democracy and peace and harmony within the party.
The press statement which was read by Ing. Andrew Keili states that they understand that all alleged perpetrators have been arrested by the Police, who are further investigating possible instigations including financial sponsors of such people. If this is the case we wholeheartedly welcome such a wide ranging investigation.
The press release further states that members of the Alliance are however concerned that in general the swift handling of cases by law enforcement agencies involving party members and the public does not apply to incidences involving only members within the party who may represent various factions. ‘In cases involving the latter we have made it known to the Sierra Leone Police and the PPRC that national law enforcement agencies have not responded expeditiously and impartially, compelling us to have made accusations of complicity.
Written by M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 11:35
In its continuous drive to seek for investment opportunities into the country and funding for the ongoing road infrastructure projects of the Government of His Excellency, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Mission in the State of Kuwait led by Ambassador Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara, after a series of engagements with senior Management of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, has succeeded in getting the Board to approve a Loan for the completion of the Hill Side Bye Pass Road Project in Freetown.
The signing of the said loan agreement was done on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone (GoSL) by the Honourable Dr. Patrick Saidu Conteh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The signing ceremony took place on the side lines of the just concluded African Development Bank (ADB) Meeting, held in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday 24th May 2016.
In addition to the Hillside Bye Pass Road, the Embassy is also working vigorously with the Kuwait Fund to conclude the signing of the loan for the completion of the Tokeh/Lumley road project which has already been appraised by the Fund.
Written by Department of Public Relations Parliament of Sierra Leone OAU Drive, Tower Hill Freetown Tel: 076840285/077669726/078495023/078426851
Thursday, 26 May 2016 15:12
24th May, 2016: The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 24th May 2016, after a protracted debate, unanimously approved two agreements for the expansion and strengthening of the agricultural sector through commercialization.
The following agreements were ratified by Parliament:
I. Financing agreement (smallholder commercialization and agri-business development project) between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the International Development Association, dated 14th March, 2016, credit number 5767-SL and
II. Project agreement (smallholder commercialization and agri-business development project) between the International Development Association and Apex Bank Limited, dated 14th March, 2016, credit number 5767-SL
In a bid to strengthen the international membership and further expand the All Peoples Congress (APC) chapter in all parts of Australia, the National Executive over the weekend described Ansumana Usman Koroma aka AUK as the "god father" of APC branch in Australia.
This was in recognition of AUK's untiring role to reactivate the party and also unify all Sierra Leoneans devoid of party loyalty and religious affiliations.
The ceremony was primarily organised in Melbourne, (Australia) to launch another enviable chapter that will help propagate the dreams and aspirations of the current leadership provided by President Ernest Bai Koroma.
The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 17th May 2016 passed into law, with a slight amendment, the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2016, to allow for use of the existing voters’ register for the conduct of bye-elections in Constituencies 001 and 050 respectively.
In piloting the Bill in Parliament, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph F. Kamara said among other things that the Bill seeks to provide for the use of the existing voters’ register, which should have been reviewed and revised at least once in every three years. “The amendment will warrant NEC to conduct the bye-elections in those Constituencies as established by law,” he said. In responding to MPs’ comments, he also said that “the amendment will necessitate the filling of the gaps, and affirmed that both the Legislature and the Executive do have a moral responsibility to the people of Sierra Leone”.
During the course of the debate, Hon. Daniel Koroma described “the Bill as clear and non-controversial with the view of serving a nationalistic purpose”. He also said that “laws are made with the view that they can be amended when necessary, noting that it is good for our legislative process”. He said also that “the Bill will allow for the conduct of the respective bye-elections created by death or those in search of greener pastures”. “Those people” he added, are “Sierra Leoneans who deserve representation in Parliament to articulate their views and aspirations in the governance of the State”.
2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul
The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th IPRA conference in Turkey, at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th IPRA conference in Istanbul to serve a second term of two years.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April 20, 2017/ -- Four illegal fishing cases have been found during a joint surveillance mission conducted by Greenpeace (www.Greenpeace.org/Africa/en) and Sierra Leone fishery authorities. Two Chinese vessels and one Korean vessel have been arrested for infringements of Sierra Leone fishing legislation, including possessing or using illegal fishing nets on board, no visible marking and a lack of required paperwork, including log books and authorisation for unloading catch. Fishing authorities ordered the vessels to return to Freetown port for further investigation. A fourth vessel, owned by an Italian company, was found with four kilograms of shark fins on board. Though not illegal under Sierra Leonean laws, this is a clear violation of European Union (EU) fishing rules. This boat’s case will be taken further with relevant EU authorities.
In addition, more than 70 bags of shark carcasses were found on one of the Chinese vessels.
Press freedom has come under severe attack in West Africa as security agencies, particularly the police, appear to be on rampage against journalists and media workers. In a space of 38 days (January 5-February 12, 2017), 30 media workers have been arrested, detained and/or assaulted by security forces, prompting fears that the gains that have been made in recent years on press freedom and freedom of expression could be eroded.
The 30 victims, made up of 15 journalists and 15 media technicians, were arrested, detained and/or assaulted in 10 separate incidents in four countries namely Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo. Nigeria recorded six incidents, Cote d’Ivoire recorded two incidents while Guinea and Togo recorded an incident each.
In Nigeria, seven journalists were arrested and detained during the period. In Cote d’Ivoire, six journalists were arrested and detained in a single incident while one journalist each was affected in Guinea and Togo, bringing the total number of journalists affected to 15. In respect of the other media workers, nine staff of a newspaper printing firm were arrested in single incident. In Cote d’Ivoire, six technicians working with the state-owned television station were also arrested in a single incident.
A NEW DAWN FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SIERRA LEONE, PARLIAMENT APPROVES MELRON NICOL-WILSON AS NEW OMBUDSMAN
The Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone has overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Mr Melron Nicol-Wilson as new Ombudsman, on Tuesday April 11, 2017. This follows him being named by H.E President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as the replacement to Justice Edmond Cowan - a long-standing legal icon, who now chairs the Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Committee.
A man whose action speaks louder than words, Mr Nicol-Wilson has been appointed as new Ombudsman for Sierra Leone, a position reserved for high-profile people, who are well-respected and with unblemished character. Mr Nicol-Wilson has the typical pedigree of an Ombudsman, best known both in Sierra Leone and internationally as a champion for justice and human rights.
The Parliament’s decision to approve Mr Nicol-Wilson was anticipated, as the high-profile human rights lawyer emerged unscathed from an exchange of views with Members of Parliament.
(The thoughts expressed in this article are purely and entirely the thoughts of the author)
Election in any democratic setting, include the enjoyment of those rights that will elicit the full participation of individuals in determining the political life of his/her country. An election is a decision making process through which eligible citizens(those who have reached the age of majority, 18 years and above and with sound mind) freely choose their leaders through the ballot box to hold public offices for a specified term.
Generally, people vote with the expectation that the office holders would represent their communitiesand or countries best interest. Elections are viewed as a central feature of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. Essentially, election is a testimony to peoples’ sovereignty and that ought to be respected and the process must be credible, otherwise there will be challenge with regards the acceptance of the result.
The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Thursday 20th April 2017 unanimously voted for the deferment of debate on the Bill entitled “The Finance Act 2017”, pending a pre-legislative briefing and that it should be piloted by the substantive Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo.
Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House who moved the motion explained the importance of the Finance Bill that it provides for the sources of revenue for Government in respect of taxation. She furthered that the pre-legislative hearing will clearly explain the reductions, additions, and significant changes that have been included in the Finance Act of 2017 to Members of Parliament, who will better articulate issues connected thereto during the course of the debate.
The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, SBB Dumbuya said that “judging from the significance of the Bill, it should be preceded by a pre-legislative briefing” as per the dictates of parliamentary practices and procedures.
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles and other staff of the Freetown Office have paid an on the spot visit to the Legal Aid Board Office in Waterloo where they interacted with clients. There were twenty-two clients with women accounting for the majority.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles spoke to some of the clients about their complaints majority of which were maintenance cases. She also touched on the quality of service provided by the staff. She assured that they will received the same quality of service asclients in the Freetown Office and other parts of the country where the scheme has got an office. ‘You have to be patient with us because we do have enough staff to service you all at the same time but we will continue to do our best with the resources at our disposal,’ she assured them.
The Defence Counsel, Lawyer Tholley and Paralegals Arnold Dixon and GibrilJallohbriefed the Ms. Carlton-Hanciles and team on the volume of cases received per day. Ms. Carlton-Hanciles assured that steps are being taken to improve the office with furniture, computers, fan and air conditioners. ‘There is need to improve the working environment for you and our clients as the numbers accessing the scheme continue to increase,’ she said.
PRESS RELEASE: Rural Renewable Energy Project Conducts Installation Training
FREETOWN, 19 April 2017: UNOPS Sierra Leone is hosting a training for selected installation companies, in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, the President’s Recovery Priorities (PRP) programme and United Kingdom Government’s Department for International Development (DFID – also known as ‘UK Aid’).
The theoretical aspect of the training runs from 18th to 20thApril at the Golden Tulip Hotel, followed by 14 days of on-the-job sessionsin Petifu and Conakry Dee communities, in Port Loko District.ASACO, the supplier of the solar equipment, is providing the training facilitators and installation tools.
Participants are mainly Sierra Leonean engineers from Barefoot Women Solar Engineers Association (BWSEA),Frontier Business Solutions (FBS) and APTECH Africa Limited. Training contents include, photovoltaic (PV) system basics, types of solar systems, arrays and connections, project safety and guidance on using the installation checklists.
Former elected Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana left Freetown International Airport, Lungi late afternoon Wednesday April 19, 2017 onboard Kenya Airways on an "Emergency Travel Certificate", en route to Abuja, Nigeria on or about April 23/24, 2017 for the hearing of his petition filed on October 24, 2016 in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, "seeking an enforcement of his fundamental Human Rights arising from his unconstitutional removal from office, and for further orders contained in the application."
"This matter has been set down for hearing by the Court for April 26, 2017."
According to a spokesman for the Sam Sumana family Matthias Bendu who was with Sam Sumana at the airport until the aircraft was airborne because of advanced information reaching the family that there would be some problem awaiting Sam Sumana at the airport, Matthias Bendu told this Writer on the cellphone from the airport that Sam Sumana "was detained by Immigration Officers at the airport for more than thirty minutes after the aircraft landed, and it was due to the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Francis Munu who told the immigration Officers that Sam Sumana had not committed any crime and must be allowed to travel".