The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE), together with Office of the President Infrastructural Initiative (OPII), has signed documents with Realini Bader Associates and Techsult & Co Ltd to commence the designs and feasibility study of the proposed University of Science and Technology in Kono.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie, started off by registering his commendation to President Bio for giving the Ministry an authority to start two technical universities, vis-à-vis Eastern Polytechnic and Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, in addition to the three public universities already in place, noting that the Kono University of Science and Technology marks the sixth.
He mentioned that having a university has always been the dream for the people of Kono, expressing his satisfaction over the working progress leading to the project being a reality.
He further registered his appreciation to Vice President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Madam Finda Koroma, for pioneering access to the resources for not only the University of Science and Technology in Kono but also for the Cardiovascular Centre, which would be built under the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education.
According to Prof. Wurie, the proposition is for the University to start access courses for Science and Technology in the first 12 months before going into certificate or diploma courses.
The Vice President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Madam Finda Koroma, expressed her delight seeing that the project is coming into fruition.
She urged Kono people to take it seriously so as to become prominent people who can give back to society. Madam Koroma acknowledged Paramount Chief Sahr Kaimachendeh’s support to the project with 414 hectres of land pro-bono.
She expressed her happiness to have worked with the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education throughout the process of operationalising the project.
The Chairman of the Office of the President Infrastructural Initiative (OPII), Dr. John Tambi, mentioned his firm commitment to ensuring the implementation of the project, anticipating that much progress would have been made by the end of 2021, given their role as the implementing agency.
The Chairman of Teaching Service Commission (TEC), Prof. Aliyageen Alghali, noted that government’s agreement to establish the University of Kono is something that TEC embraces wholeheartedly, registering his readiness to work hand in glove with other key stakeholders in ensuring that the proposed university is established within the limits of best international standards. He assured members of his willingness to provide accreditation for the University’s operationalisation through guidance of the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education.
The signing ceremony attracted a host of dignitaries, notably Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to United Arab Emirates (UAE), Amb Rashid Sesay; Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Tamba Lamina; Members of Parliament and other very prominent figures.
The UN Human Rights Council Assesses S/ Leone Status
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has followed the review of the country’s human rights records at the 3rd Universal Periodic Review by the Human Rights Council (the Council) at the ongoing 38th review of States by the Council.
HRCSL congratulates Sierra Leone as a State for the overwhelming commendations from other Member States of the Council for the tremendous progress Sierra Leone has made in implementing recommendations from the last review of 2016 and for the effective handling of emerging human rights issues like the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant state of emergency regulations/restrictions.
HRCSL notes in particular commendations relating to the repeal of the criminal libel law hitherto contained in Part V of the Public Order Act of 1965, the introduction of the Free Quality School Education, the lifting of the ban allowing pregnant girls in school, the Hands-off Our Girls Campaign, the establishment of a Model Sexual Offences Court, amongst others.
HRCSL notes that several recommendations have again been made by Member States including the need to increase budgetary support to the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone to enable it effectively perform its mandate, the need to make laws that fully protect women and girls, to criminalise FGM, to pass laws that protect human rights defenders, and to take steps to curtail the excesses of the Police, etc.
While we await the full report/recommendations from today’s review, HRCSL stands ready to popularize the recommendations, monitor its implementation throughout, and engage in constructive advocacy for those recommendations to be fully integrated and implemented albeit progressively.
The draft report/recommendations will be presented and adopted by the Human Rights Council.
HRCSL commends the entire Sierra Leone team – from Geneva to Freetown for proper coordination and professional delivery of the material
Samura Kamara Worships with Kambia Muslims on Eid -Al Fitr
Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara joined Muslims at Gbomkomaria and Magbayma Chiefdoms, Kambia District to observe Eid – al Fitr prayers.
Though a Christian, the leading APC flagbearer aspirant is well known for showing solidarity for his Muslim compatriots – something which has earned him the enviable reputation of a religious tolerance champion.
Dr. Samura Kamara who is no stranger to Kambia District was well received by the Muslim community as well as APC supporters from the two chiefdoms who invariably endorsed his candidacy to lead the APC to the polls in 2023.
In each of the two chiefdoms, traditional as well as religious leaders extolled the virtues of Dr Samura Kamara and recounted his numerous contributions to Sierra Leone through the positions he has held in the public service.
In Mambolo Chiefdom, a local authority encouraged Dr Samura to remain steadfast in the pursuit of his dream to become President of Sierra Leone.
Dr Samura Kamara also took time to engage the APC party faithful in Kambia during which he reaffirmed his commitment for a unified APC which will be ready for State House in 2023.
LAPO SL Blazes the Trail for Micro Finance Business in S/Leone
By Abdul Hassan Fackie
n 2008, the Lift Above Poverty Organisation, (LAPO) Nigeria launched the company in Sierra Leone, known as LAPO SL. True to its mission the micro finance bank essentially provides micro-loans to women in disadvantaged areas.
About 95% of the borrowers are women, and 48% live in rural areas, with average disbursed loans of about one hundred and five billion Leones per year.
The company supports more than hundreds of thousands of clients across thirty branches all over the country.
It has branches in Freetown, Lumley, Goderich, Kissy, Wellington, Mayemi, Waterloo, Allen town, Lungi, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, Tikonkoh, Kono, Kabala, Lunsar, Kambia, Magburaka, Mile 91, Tongor Fields, Pujehun, Segbwema, Port Loko, Kailahun and Rotifunk. It is currently working out details to expand in places like Kabala, Kamakwe, Koindu and Shenge.
LAPO SL is one of the most leading micro finance banks in the country with a coverage of 80% of the national territory. Most of their outstanding activities are concentrated in the services and trade activity sectors.
The flagship product of LAPO SL is the group loan to women in disadvantaged communities. This represents about 95% of their customers and 41% of the total outstanding customer base.
In addition to the normal banking services that they offer to their numerous customers, their main products include, Individual business loan, Small and medium enterprises loan, Consumer loan, Group special loan, Regular loan, Asset loan, Special loan, Emergency loan, and Education loan. Their interest rates are very low and can be paid without the customer feeling any discomfort.
LAPO SL currently has about three hundred and twenty five workers majority of whom are Sierra Leoneans with only five Nigerians.
In a conversion with a cross section of the workers, they revealed that they are well paid and they also receive various kinds of allowances and commissions.
The procedures of LAPO SL are characterised by a powerful and motivating system of supervision and withdrawal. The LAPO SL methodology allows a very good control of credit risk and customer relationship.
The organisation also has a team in charge of non-profit activities, whose mission is to lead mandatory awareness training on health, education, and gender issues for all client groups at least once a year. It also organises campaigns to raise awareness of the fight against malaria and the Corona virus disease.
Over the years, LAPO SL has bagged many prestigious awards and recognitions in the corporate sector.
Leadership of S/Leone’s Parliament Presents Certificate of Maturity on Census Order 2021
The leadership of the Sierra Leone Parliament today presented the certificate of maturity on the Census Order 2021 to His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, a day after it effectively became law by effluxion of time.
The Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Paran Umar Tarawallie, recalled that on 19 April 2021 the country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice laid on the table of the well a document entitled “The Census Order 2021, The Census Act No.14 of 2002, Statutory Instrument No.4 of 2021.”
He said the document had now gone through the maturity stage of 21 days and on 10 May it matured into law, disclosing that the certificate was a testament of the Census Order of 2021 that had now matured into law.
Presenting the certificate to President Bio, Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Bundu, said he was honoured, on behalf of parliament, to present the statutory instrument of the census order 2021, adding that by presenting the document they would have answered questions and other speculations regarding the legality or otherwise of the census.
In his statement, the President thanked the Speaker and other Members of Parliament, on behalf of his government, for following the process and requirement of the statutory instruments, adding that as a law-abiding nation they were obliged to follow the rules of the land.
The Bai Bureh Festival to Stimulate Economic Activites & Social Cohesion
Nothing brings people closer and together like Festivals do. They play a pivotal role in the Socio-Economic Transformation by bringing people from every Religious, Political, Tribal and Social background together. The Bai Bureh Festival is an express way to Celebrating the Glorious Heritage and Culture of Sierra Leone. Annually, it gives a meaning that efforts of Great Men and Women should be mentioned far beyond words, and it further serves as a huge Source of hope that no matter how long, society will one day recongnize you for whatever little Contribution you have offered to it’s Development. In the last week of every December, the Bai Bureh Festival play an important role to add structure to our social lives and Connect us with our families and backgrounds including Well-wishers. The Bai Bureh Festival gives us a distraction from our day to day exhausting routine of life and gives us some inspiration to remember the important things and moments in life. The willingness of our indigenous people to share their culture makes the event a truly amazing experience of a lifetime. Currently, the event is considered as a tool for the selling out of Port Loko City as the newest City.
On this Publication, we want to use the opportunity to inform the General Public especially Media followers and Well-wishers of the Bai Bureh Heritage Foundation that, the Organization has commenced it’s internal preparations and External Coordination for the *3rd Edition of the Bai Bureh Festival 2021.* In line with the adage which says: he who fail to plan meaning you plan to fail. Therefore, the membership of the Bai Bureh Heritage Foundation are currently on a wide range of engagements and consultations to enhance the technical and grassroot input of individuals to have a more acceptable event calendar for this year’s celebration. On that note, the Organization and the technical team have unanimously aggreed to maintain the annual *Bai Bureh Awards, the Marathon and the Latern Parade.* Some members of the Public have suggested for an *Agric-Business Exhibition* in this year’s celebration, but the technical team is still looking in to it and further consultations are still ongoing among Community People because the Bai Bureh Festival is widely describe as the People’s Celebration. For the readers of this Publication, your concern, suggestion and recommendation will be highly appreciated for this year’s Celebration and subsequent one’s to achieve it’s desired goals through Culture and Tourism
The Bai Bureh Festival idea was born out of the belief that great men’s Contribution to societies form part of the formation and history of Communities. For the past two years, the Celebration has recorded a lot of successful stories ranging from Positive Social Interaction and peace building, boosting of socio economic activities during the activities and creating the platform for talent exhibition. The event was first implemented in December 2019 from the 27th- 31st with Nine (9) different activites hosting thousands of people at Community, National and International level. The 2020 Bai Bureh Festival was interrupted by the outbreak of Covid-19. Nevertheless, the Bai Bureh Awards was hosted Successfully on the 28th of December 2020 at the Port Loko District Council Conference Hall. Going Further, the Bai Bureh Heritage Foundation is craving the indulgence of individuals and Institutions to support and embrace the idea of the Bai Bureh Festival as a tool that stimulate economic activities and contribute immensely to the feelings of Social cohesion.
ALFRED PETER CONTEH In Court FOR INSULTING APC LAWYERS
Lawyer representing Alfed Peter Conteh, Jengo Esq. brought to the attention of the court remarks made by his client, Alfred Peter Conteh against lawyers of the APC Party when he referred to the battery of legal practitioners on an AYV TV interview as “Mediocre Lawyers”.
In reaction to this the court was informed that the Lawyers of the Party did not take this insult lightly and demanded for an open apology from Peter Conteh before the presiding judge.
The lawyer for the plaintiff acknowledged as error, remarks by his plaintiff against his colleague seniors at the Bar.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Adrian Fisher in his remarks condemned in no on certain terms such inaction by a plaintiff Peter Conteh and strictly warned him never again to make such insulting remarks against respected learned friends most of whom he said had taken years or decades educating themselves and perfected their arts.
Peter Conteh as advised by his lawyer openly and shamefacedly apologized for his unfortunate statement and vowed never to repeat similar acts anymore.
The judge later asked the plaintiff’s lawyer to consider what he thinks should constitute the fine for such misconduct by his client. But Lawyer Jengo remained disappointed and apologetic for the behaviour of his client.
This incident came about two days after the said Alfred Peter Conteh and Hon. Robin Falley led a group of known SLPP thugs including a notorious clique named, Taribo from Susan’s Bay to go and attack the Party office on a Sunday, a non-official day, on the pretext of conducting a press conference which the Secretariat of the Party had informed they had no knowledge about.
As COI Appeal Matter Continues…
Another Appeal Hearing for Ernest Koroma
By Feima Sesay
The appeal court has commenced another appeal matter on appeal number 9/2020 of former president Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma which came up on Monday 10 May 2020 at the appeal Court in Freetown.
The appeallant (Ernest) filed in his appeal before the court on the recommendations and outcomes of the white paper at the Commission of Inquiry by three judges, Justice Biobele George Will, Justice William Anann Atuguba and Justice Bankole Thompson.
The appeal judges include, Justice Fatmata Bintu Alhadi lead Judge, Justice Komba Kamanda and Justice Tonia Barnett.
The investigation which took place from November 2007 to April 2018 took over a year to come into their logical conclusion.
The commission of Inquiry was set and established by President Julius Maada Bio to check the excess expenditure of the previous administration of the All People’s Congress under the leadership of former president Ernest Bai Koroma.
Shortly after the matter was mentioned, counsel representing the Former President, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara and counsel representing the states T.J Freeman were present in court but were not heard.
Justice Alhadi as the lead judge told counsel representing the appellant Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara that he should file and served his synopsis to counsel representing the states on or before the 31 May 20201.
She also ordered the respondents T. J Freeman to also file his synopsis to the court on the 21 June 2021 for the commencement of the matter.
The matter comes up on the 30 June 2021.
In another development, appeal court hearing of Emmanuel Coker former Secretary to the president also came up before the same appeal court judges at the appeal court in Freetown.
After the matter was mentioned Justice Fatmata Bintu Alhadi also gave directives to counsel representing the appellant (Roland Wright) that he should also filed in their synopsis on the 31 May 2021 and also gave directives to counsel representing the respondents to also filed in their synopsis to the court on the 21 June 2021.
The matter was adjourned to the 28 June 2021
Law School gets New Registrar
The new Registrar at Law School: Daniel Jeremiah Lavally Esq.
BY Feima Sesay
Sierra Leone Law School which head office is now at the Special Court has certified Lawyer Daniel Jeremiah Lavally as the new registrar.
This came about due to the demise of the late Joseph G. Kobba Esq. After his demise, there was an advert for the position of a registrar at law school for which several lawyers applied but lawyer Lavally was more qualified for the position.
Lawyer Lavally has practiced for over 10 years in the law field and have verse experience in both criminal and civil law.
The new Registrar was with the Chamber of Betts and Berewa former Vice President and Attorney General Chamber Solomon Ekuma Berewa Esq.
He also practiced for over ten years doing criminal and private matters at High Court and magistrate court.
He was also the head of Legal Affairs at National Protected Area Authority (NPAA), where he was advising the Institution on legal issues until he was appointed for his new job due to his qualification.
Talking to news men on Friday 7 May 2021, at his office on Jomokenyatta road, Freetown, he said he took over as Registrar of the law school on the 1st March 2021 and since then he has started doing his work as Registrar by putting his office together.
He said, as Registrar he is responsible to see that work is done and looking at students works after lecturers submitting grades.
” I am going to do my best to see that the law school meet it standard internationally”, he said. According to him the past Registrars has done there`s but ensure to do more to improve the standard.
He assured journalists that he is not going to compromise his work for anything as he has integrity and name to protect.
He also said if students work well they will get good reward at the end.
But they should take their studies and work with all seriousness.
In conclusion said he will ensure that the Law School has a new face.
Public review sport
Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai Withdraws from SLFA Presidency
Barrister, Emmanuel Saffa Abduil, one of the strongest hope of football Stakeholders finally withdrew as aspirants for the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), presidency in the upcoming Elective Congress June 2021 in Makeni City, Northern Sierra Leone according to the Electoral Committee. He wrote this on his Facebook page few hours ago.
“Today, I decided to withdraw from SLFA Presidency race. I want to thank all of you for believing in me and my leadership, it is the most difficult decision I have to make, but rest assured that it is for the best of Sierra Leone football.” He said.
Even though, many are asking why now? Saffa Abdulai is highly qualified during the process after going through serious verifications by the Ethic Committee of SLFA.
The activist and Lawyer, had made great achievements during his era as Sierra Leone’s Premier League Board Chairman 218-2019 season, who also double as Chairman of Old Edwardians Football Club, one of the top fight club in the ongoing PLB league at moment.
But critics are saying, maybe the incumbent President of SLFA, Madam Isha Johansen is too heavy base on her international connections in World football and her recent developmental polices in SL football.
Since August 13th, 2013-date, when she assumed office as SLFA President, some aggrieved football stakeholders were unhappy with the leadership of Madam Johansen over the years. However, 55% football lovers are dismay with the leadership structure of the incumbent president at the moment because the sweet game was playing on radio, TV and social media.
I believe, Isha Johansen led regime, faced huge setbacks, especially the Ebola Epidemic in 2014 and the ACC High Court Matter for one year. Fortunately, they won the matter base on the outstanding ability of their legal team by then.
In another development, the Sierra Leonean legend, Mohamed Kallon is very close to becoming the next Vice President (1), of SLFA in the long awaited Elective Congress.
What is the way forward for Sierra Leone Football in the next 5 years because Isha Johansen is becoming uncontested in the forthcoming elective Congress in Makeni City.
“Isha Johansen is the pride of African football and a global ambassador”
– Dr. Motsepe & Infantino
President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, Giovanni Vincenzo Infantino, and the Confédération Africaine de Football, CAF President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, collectively recently described the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association, SLFA, Madam Isha Johansen, as the pride of African football on the global stage.
This was said when, both at the Sierra Leone’s President Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio’s Lodge in the presence of Vice President Juldeh Jalloh, First Lady Madam Fatima Bio and other key government stakeholders and was also said at the Rodisson Blu Hotel in speeches Motsepe and Infantino had made to football stakeholders who had gone to appreciate their 6hours landmark visitation to Sierra Leone.
President of Sierra Leone Football Association, SLFA, Madam Isha Johansen, welcomed the visitors and said they were timely and historic.
The FIFA Council member recognized their choice of Sierra Leone and said their visit was germane to football development in the country.
Speaking to President Bio and other key government and football stakeholders during the courtesy call at State Lodge, Infantino was obvious to all that it was an honour and a pleasure to be in the country, and that they were very committed to helping and supporting not only Sierra Leone, but also Africa to shine on the global stage.
“We know how important football is in Africa. Football is talent, football is passion in Africa. In Sierra Leone, in particular, football is not just a game, football is life. I think the time has come where we have to move forward and look into the future,” he had said, assuring: “FIFA and CAF stand for due process, for integrity, for democracy and to make sure that we can once again put aside all negativities that have tarnished the image of football in the country in the last few years. Let us move to promote a positive and united approach because we need unity in this country.” Infantino Urged.
Infantino appealed to President Bio and football stakeholders to guard Isha Johansen with the utmost care as Sierra Leone now has “a brilliant ambassador in the world stage in the person of Isha”. She is part of our team to make African football, world football, schools football shine in the world stage”. He added.
He promised to be supportive to Madam Isha Johansen and help improve on the country’s football infrastructure to be able to host the African Cup of Nations.
CAF’s President Motsepe thanked Madam Johansen and called on all to work together in the best interest of football and the country.
He pledged their commitment to supporting the country with the required infrastructure to host the African Cup of Nations in the not-too-distant future.