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Welcome to the Expotimes News
Lessons !! SLPP’s ‘success’ in the Constituency 066 Tonkolili bye election
Written by THE OSWALD HANCILES COLUMN   
Monday, 27 February 2017 11:27

The APC won the bye elections last week at Constituency 066 in the Tonkolili District – in the area where the biggest iron ore mining company, Shandong Minerals, is located; and where the largest hydro-electric facility in the country, Bumbuna Dam, is also located: 7,393 votes for the APC’s Rosemary Bangura (61%); and 4,678 votes (39%) for the SLPP’s Musa Bendegu. But, the SLPP are jubilant. They lost; but, they, paradoxically, felt they ‘won’. How so?

In the 2012 presidential election, the APC polled 145,479 votes in Tonkolili District – 92.6% of votes cast. In the abovementioned Constituency 066, the APC candidate, Hon. Taworo Tara-Koroma, won 88.21 % of the votes cast – juxtapose that with Rosemary Bangura’s 61%, and you can see why the SLPP are rejoicing: the APC candidate scored 27% LESS votes in 2017 than in 2012. The SLPP is apparently hoping that this could be a trend in the APC strongholds in the Northern Province.

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Sierra Leone Gets US$4 Million Grant
Written by Expotimes   
Monday, 27 February 2017 11:24

FREETOWN, February 24, 2017 - Sierra Leone will receive US$4 million from the World Bank Group's Global Environment Facility (GEF) for strengthening the national legal and regulatory framework, institutional development, strengthening fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance to reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.

A large part of the funding will be used for supporting coastal communities to have better fishing practices, handling, processing and storing of fisheries products and data collection. Funding will also be provided for livelihoods transfer grants to individuals in fishing communities to better improve livelihoods.

Funding for the fisheries sector in West Africa has been provided through the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARFP) which is a program covering Cape Verde, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Funding for the Sierra Leone component had been halted in 2014. This grant signals re-engagement of World Bank in the fisheries sector.

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Challenging Sylvia Blyden On The Presidential Election Date: Nfa Alie Has A Case To Answer (Part One)
Written by Expotimes   
Monday, 27 February 2017 11:20
If you ask me a hundred times if I want President Ernest Bai Koroma’s tenure to be extended (legally), I would on all occasions answer in the affirmative. And I’m not alone in being desirous for this great transformative President (about to leave office at an age when his predecessor was just entering politics) to continue to deliver on his developmental initiatives in the country – even as I can bet my last cent that he is still the most popular politician in Sierra Leone today. President Koroma’s leadership acumen has raised the bar very high – perhaps too high. But that’s another topic for another day.
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LAB call for reintegration to avoid election violence
Written by Joseph Dumbuya   
Thursday, 23 February 2017 21:19

‘In the absence of a thorough reintegration, our former clients in and those returning into mainstream society will become ready prey for selfish politicians in this election year,’ the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has warned.

The warning came in the wake of an interview with the President of the Sierra Leone Motor Drivers and General Transport Workers Union, Alpha Amadu Bah granted to the Concord Times Newspaper in which he is quoted as saying that ‘over 700 drivers released from prisons through the intervention of the Legal Aid Board were still hanging around the union’s offices searching for jobs.’

‘Our mandate is to provide legal services, legal education and accredit legal aid providers,’ Ms. Carlton-Hanciles noted. ‘The reintegration of former clients of the Board who had served time in prison is not part of our mandate. This notwithstanding, we introduced a reintegration progamme in September 2016 and have been able to find jobs in agriculture for thirty (30) former clients through the Sierra Leone Farmers Federation.

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LAB hails WAEC for releasingresults of 253 pupils
Written by Expotimes   
Thursday, 23 February 2017 21:16

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has praised WAEC for releasing the results of 253 pupils of the Trinity International Secondary School in Allen Town, less than twenty-four hours after an appeal to the effect.

The Board had in a letter dated 22 February 2017 to WAEC appealed for the release of the results while pressure is being brought to bear on the school authorities to pay money owed the Council.

The Head of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Sierra Leone, Arnold Kamara in a telephone call on Thursday, February 23 confirmed to the Legal Aid Board the release of the results.

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Editorial

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.

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Business News

Four illegal fishing cases found in Sierra Leone in four days

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.

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Media News

Press Freedom under Siege in West Africa: 30 Media Workers Arrested in 38 Days

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.

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Commentary

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.

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View Point

ELECTION IS A TESTIMONY TO PEOPLE’S SOVEREIGNTY

(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.

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News - Press Release

PARLIAMENT DEFERS DEBATE ON THE FINANCE ACT 2017
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.
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Society -Local News

RTD. CAPTAIN ALIMAMY MAROUF SESAY - a civilian wrongfully tried by a military court-martial and summarily executed

On Sunday 26 March 2017, three very close family members were 'laid to rest' at a Thanksgiving and Memorial service held at the King Memorial United Methodist Church in Freetown. That service celebrated memories of the following family members: Mrs Lydia Sesay nee Yormah (my elder sister), her son Rtd. Captain Alimamy Sesay, and Madame Gbonu Yormah nee Gbloh. 

Although these departed loved ones had died and were interred several years ago in my absence that thanksgiving service enabled me to truly emotionally connect with their demise. For one of the deceased the circumstances of his death did not permit us to give him a fitting funeral so to me that service served as his fitting, albeit belated, funeral service. That event has now freed me from the encumbrances that had prevented me for almost 19 years to put my thoughts about his demise on paper. This piece therefore serves as a tribute to his memory.

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Development

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.

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Politics

SAM SUMANA TRAVELS TO GHANA ON "EMERGENCY TRAVEL CERTIFICATE"
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".
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