A Military Office RSLAF CPL 18177706 Conteh A.D attached 11th Infantry Battalion in Kambia allegedly shot and killed one Marie Bangura of Ansumana street Kambia- 2 after a short argument on the same address.
The victim Marie Bangura was a Land Lady residing at the same address with the Military man who was on rentage together with his wife Kadiatu.
This incident happened following a brief argument emanating from monetary transaction between the perpetrator and his wife in which the victim was trying to advise them not to further the argument. He became aggravated and started accusing the victim of interfering in his family matters and that he will shoot and kill her if she continued to advise him. With those words he went in and collected his weapon and discharged four (4) shots of which two (2) hit the victim on the head and eventually died.
That military officer was said to have been attached to a prominent Government Official and is currently on the run with the gun and 26 rounds of ammunition.
New AG and Solicitor-General Take Oath
The New Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley Esq. and the new Solicitor-General, Robert Baoma Kowa Esq. have subscribed to the oath of office before His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio during a short ceremony.
Section 57 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone provides for both public officers to make a public commitment to the duties, responsibilities and obligations associated with holding public office.
Speaking on behalf of his colleague, Lawyer Tarawalley said he was happy and inspired by the confidence bestowed upon him by President Bio to serve in such a distinguished position, adding that he had accepted the appointment as the thirteenth Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of Sierra Leone.
He assured that he was standing on a solid rock of determination and an unmatched optimism in the discharge of his duties, saying that he would do his upmost best to justify his appointment by holding the ideals of honour and integrity of the office.
“Together with senior colleagues and working staff at the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, we shall be committed to delivering justice across Sierra Leone, upholding the rule of law and protection of citizens’ human rights,” he concluded.
In a brief statement, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio congratulated the new Minister and Solicitor-General, noting that the task ahead was enormous and difficult but was also pivotal to government’s day-to-day running of the state.
“Good governance and supremacy of the law is important, and we want to operate within the confines of the law. I look up to you to advice government and myself as we run the affairs of the state. I Congratulate you both as I expect the best legal advice from you and your team. You can always rely on me, not for legal advice but political advice,” he concluded.
BLACKOUT CONTINUES TO BE A CHALLENGE IN LUNGI
By Kadijatu Hayles in Lungi.
The Ministry of Energy has ensured that Bo, Kenema, Freetown and Makeni and other Chiefdom Towns are enjoying reliable electricity. But the Residents of Lungi in the Kaffubullom Chiefdom, Port Loko districts are struggling to get sustainable electricity.
AIM Network in an interview with some residents in the Lungi township said since January 4, 2022 there is no electricity from Electricity Distribution Supply Authority (EDSA).
According to some business people this medium spoke to said that this frequent blackout is causing serious problem to them as they’re running generators and doing business at a lost. The people are therefore calling on government to pay attention to Lungi township to ensure residents in that part of the country enjoy electricity.
Kaffubullom is one of the fastest growing Chiefdoms in the district in Portloko and it is hosting the only international airport in the Sierra Leone.
New Minister II for MBSSE
By Newman Anthony Levey
The parliament of Sierra Leone on Thursday 20 January 2022 approved Md. Mamusu Massaquoi as Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education (MBSSE) II.
It will be recalled that Md. Mamusu Massaquoi was recently appointed by President Julius Maada Bio as Minister II in the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education during a cabinet reshuffle.
Announcing the appointees of President Bio, Acting Leader and Head of Government Business, Hon. Bashiru Sidikie said all the appointees were interviewed.
He said they all have very good experience and wish them well in their new role.
Leader for C4C in parliament, Hon. Emerson Lamina said the way Md. Mamusu Massaquoi answered questions during the interview was proof to the Appointment Committee that she was capable and fit to serve as Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary school Education.
Hon. Quinto, an Independent MP from Kailahun showered praises on Md. Massaquoi. He stated that with the rich academic qualifications that Md. Massaquoi has especially in Education and having served as Director in the School Feeding Programme in the Ministry of Education before she was appointed as minister, she will go and score more goals like Musa Tombo.
Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay from SLPP representing Moyamba District informed Parliament that she has known Mamasu Massaquoi for ages and has the conviction that she is a good person.
She encouraged her to set the bar high so that other women will have similar opportunity to serve Sierra Leone.
The new Deputy Minister 2 Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School holds double Masters in Nutrition and a Postgraduate in Education.
She was awarded the most outstanding teacher award in the UK between 2013 and 2014 academic year when she was head of curriculum at the Oasis Academic Shirley Park, London UK.
After her approval in parliament, Md. Massaquoi thanked President Julius Maada Bio for thinking about her for appointing her as Deputy Minister to serve Sierra Leone and vowed to do her very best to ensure that president Bio’s flagship programme of Free Quality Education works.
She assured with Dr. David Moinina Sengeh and her Deputy 1 Md. Gogra, the sky will be their limit.
She was accompanied to parliament by family members, friends and Old Girls of Queen of the Holy Rosary School ( QUROSA) Bo.
Some of the presidential appointees who were approved were, Hon. Alhaji Alpha Kanu Resident Minister North-West with Cabinet rank, His Excellency Sadiq Sillah Ambassador to Egypt, Mr. Andrew Fatorma, Chairman Road Maintenance Fund Adminstration ( RMFA) Mr. Avayama Caulker Head of ONS, among others
LAWYERS HAIL PRESIDENT BIO
LEGAL LINK welcomes the move by His Excellency, Dr Julius Maada Bio, especially after its constructive advocacy on 98.1 Radio in the early hours of 17th January 2022, regarding the exercise of his prerogative of mercy particularly on LAC who had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death by the High Court of Sierra Leone over the murder of DJ Clef.
We, like the victim’s family and the majority of aggrieved persons within the Sierra Leone society are happy and enthused about this revocation of pardon notwithstanding it being made 16 days after it was first granted.
As an organization that defends the rights of vulnerable groups, advocate for fair trial rights, justice and rule of law in Sierra Leone, we were of the opinion that the granting of Pardon to LAC was not in the best interest of society nor the interest of the family of the victim.
As a matter of fact also, such pardon does not only defeat the ends of justice but further provides an incentive for the commissioning of heneous crimes in society by perpetrators.
While critics have maintained doubts regarding the president’s move to revoke a pardon, we at LEGAL LINK holds the view that the president has express and inherent powers to revoke a pardon especially so when it turns out that the ends of justice and society’s interests have not been served by the granting of such a pardon.
Subject to the interpretation that may be granted by the Supreme court regarding the constitutional provision below, by Section 171 (11) (a) which falls under Chapter XV MISCELLANEOUS provision of the 1991 constitution, it may appear that the president has the competence to not only exercise pardon powers but also revoke them particularly if they were made pursuant to an ORDER or DIRECTIVE; and such pardon turns out to have defeated the end of justice and society’s interests.
For the avoidance of doubt, Section 171(11)(a) of the 1991 Constitution is quoted verbatim:
Section 171(11):”Where any powera. is conferred by this Constitution to make any order, regulation, rule or pass any resolution or give any direction or make any declaration or designation, it shall be deemed to include the power, exerciseable in
like manner and subject to the like conditions, if any, to amend or revoke any such order, regulation, rule,
constitutional or statutory instrument, resolution, direction, declaration or designation as the case may be; Provided that nothing in this subsection shall apply to the power to issue a certificate conferred by paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of section 50 of this Constitution.”
A critical construction of the above provision may reveal that (subject to the Supreme Court’s interpretation), the president can revoke a pardon earlier granted especially so if it was made pursuant to an ORDER or DIRECTIVE.
Furthermore, there are also many case laws in many Commonwealth jurisdictions to substantiate the argument that a president or future presidents can revoke a pardon earlier granted in the interest of justice and society’s expectations.
As a consequence of the above therefore, we at LEGAL LINK welcome the pardon revocation and thank His Excellency for showing leadership in the given circumstance.
We hope and pray that LAC will be re-arrested and sent back to prison to complete his jail term which has already been commuted to life imprisonment.
With respect to the investigations which have been opened by His Excellency regarding the process leading to the granting of Pardon to LAC on 1st January 2022, our position is mixed.
While we commend the move to unearth the truth behind this unwise decision, we also note with concern that it is the president’s office that has instituted this investigation and not an independent body. Given the fact that it is the Vice President who serves as Chairman of the Pardon Committee by virtue of Section 63(1) of the 1991 constitution, it is unavoidable that the president will certainly be investigating his vice president over this matter.
How such a move may gel with the nation’s body politic and that of the smooth administration of governance as well as the relationship between the two offices is anyone’s guess to make.
But given the implications (potential or real) that this investigation might have on the governance system of the country, it may perhaps be wise for his Excellency to direct that an independent body investigates the Pardon Committee over its unwise decision to recommend LAC for pardon without reference to certain international benchmarks and best practices such as,the interest of society, the effect on the victim’s family, the jail term served by the convict, the remorseful nature of the convict and the interest of justice.