The much beleaguered Auditor General, Madam Lara Taylor Pearce would finally appear before a tribunal with the mandate to probe allegations of professional misconduct.
She is supposed to be docked alongside her deputy Mr Tamba Momoh for alleged administrative transgressions during their tenure as Auditor General and Deputy Auditor General respectively.
To that end the government of Sierra Leone has issued a public notice to inform the media and the general public.
The notice reads below: The General Public is hereby informed that the Tribunal set-up by His Excellency the President with the mandate to inquire into a case for stated misconduct against the Auditor-General, Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce and Mr. Tamba Momoh commences Public Hearings on Thursday 17th March, 2022 at 12:00noon at the Main Law Courts Building, Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown.
It could be recalled that His Excellency the President appointed the Hon. Justice (Rtd) Mrs. Nyawo Matturi-Jones, JSC, as Chairperson, Hon. Justice lvan Sesay, JA, and Lahai Momoh Farmah Esq as Members of the Tribunal.
By this Notice the Auditor-General, Mrs. Lara Taylor- Pearce and Mr. Tamba Momoh are hereby required to attend.
General Elections: 24TH June 2023
The Electoral commission Of Sierra Leone (ECSL) has finally declared 24TH June 2023 as the official date for the general Elections in Sierra Leone.
This press statement was made by Mohamed Konneh, the Chief Electoral commissioner and Chairman National Returning officer, on the 14 March 2022.
“As of the powers conferred on it by Section 43 of the Public Elections Acts, 2OL2 (Act No.4 of 2Ot2), the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), after consultation with His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, hereby makes the following proclamation: – That the 24th day of June, 20123., is hereby proclaimed as the time for the election to the Office of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.” The press release noted.
3 Jailed For Murder
By Feima Sesay.
Unisa Samura a civil serbant, Richard Maggao and Saidu Kasseh were in Monday again refused bail and sent to prison by magistrate Sahr Kekura of Pademba Road court No 1 for alleged murder of Sinneh Koroma.
The accused persons Unisa Samura, Richard Maggao and Saidu Kasseh were drag court on one count charge of murder contrary to law. According to the police, the accused persons on Wednesday 27 October 2021 at Uppee George Brook Dwarzack farm in the western area Freetown murder Sinneh Koroma.
Fatmata Sei Kamara a police investigator led in further evidence by ASP Christiana Davis Cole said after complainant have informed them about the alleged incident, thereafter medical form was issued to him but said the said medical was unendorsed because the complainant was admitted at the hospital and therefore could not do so and later died. The said medical form was tender.
On the same date, myself, complainant and Sergeant 10400 Turay K left the station for Connaught were the remains was convey for postmortem examination.
She added that the remains were identity to then by complainant, adding that after the examination they return to the station and obtained statement from complainant.
The witness said they were also accompany by the complaint to George Brook where the alleged incident occured and that at the scene statements were obtained from different witnesses and later return to the New England Ville police station .
She said the first accused reported himself and Akon police station whiles the third accused who reported himself at the New England Ville police station and that second accused was arrested by community people and brought to the station.
She added that on the 6th November 202, herself and D Sergeant 10400 Turay K. Obtained voluntary caution statement from all the accused persons separately.
The said statements of the accused persons were tender in court as exhibit respectively. During cross examination by lawyer S.M Conteh, the witness said first accused went to the station on that day for the alleged murder.
When counsel confronted the witness further that the first accused only went to the station to report threat on the life of his wife, she reply that the accused went to report the alleged incident and that the accused further denied the allegation of murder. She said the first told her that he has never had any malice with the deceased and that the deceased fell down at the banking of his house because he was drunk. The witness was also confronted by counsel that there were no eye witnesses at the scene to ascertain that first accused was at the scene on the alleged date of the incident, the witness said there was.
Lawyer C. I Williams and C Campbell also cross examined the witness on behalf of the second and third accused persons.
ASP Christiana Davis Cole Esq was prosecuting the matter on behalf of the Inspector General of Police. The matter was adjourned to the 21 March 2022 for further hearing whiles the accused persons were remanded in prison.
APC gets new Constitution
“The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) wishes to inform the Leadership, members and Supporters of the All Peoples Congress Party and the general public that, the Final draft of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party Constitution, has been published in the Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. CXLXIII No. 13 of Monday 7th March 2022 for fourteen working days. The publication is for the period ending the 24th March 2022”.
The statement continued that thereafter, the draft now published shall effective the 25th March 2022, become the extant operative Constitution of the Party, repealing and replacing its 5th December 1995 Constitution.
The Commission appreciates well-meaning members and Supporters of the party, the Objectors and the general public, for the patience and understanding exhibited throughout the process.
Qatar Foundation to Support 45,000 less privilege children
In a meeting held between Sierra Leone’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Her Excellency Haja Ishata Thomas and the Chief Executive Officer of Education Above All Foundation, Fahad Alsulaitti, the Foundation revealed plans to provide assistance for 45,000 Out of School Children (OOSC) to acquire quality education in Sierra Leone.
The 4-year project is designed to target Out of School Children in 13 districts in Sierra Leone with an estimated cost of $4.5 million, which will be partially funded by the Education Above All Foundation ($2.1 million) and the Qatar Fund for Development ($2.4 million), respectively.
Stating the purpose of the virtual meeting, Fahad Alsulaitti noted that the engagement was to inform the Embassy about his institution’s intervention to improve the educational sector of Sierra Leone. While stressing the need for the project to be aligned with the country’s development plan in the context of education, Fahad added that the project strategies would support the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in addressing Infrastructure Development, enrollment of Out of School Children, Accelerated Education Program, Capacity Building and Gender Sensitization.
He suggested a high-level visit to Sierra Leone to hold further discussions in the field of education and at the same time sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Qatar Fund for Development on Education Above All Foundation for the expeditious implementation of the said project.
Responding to Mr Fahad, Her Excellency Haja Ishata Thomas expressed appreciation for Qatar’s immense support to Sierra Leone’s educational sector, which she added that it was vital for the sustainable implementation of His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio’s Free Quality Education program.
She welcomed the idea of having a high-level visit to Sierra Leone with the view to signing the MoU and assured them to inform the concerned authorities for prompt approval.
In another development, Education Above All Foundation has extended an invitation to the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr David Moinina Sengeh, to participate in the Foundation’s “Audacious goals: Making them work on the ground” panel discussion during the Doha Forum slated for the 27th March 2022. The session will highlight the crucial elements that contribute to meeting bold and publicly announced goals directed toward access to education to reach Out of School Children across the world.
18 yrs old jailed for sexual abuse
By Feima Sesay
Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens has sentenced an eighteen years old pupil, Joseph Ballay to five years imprisonment for sexual penetrating a sixteen years old girl (Name Withheld) in Freetown.
The Convict pleaded guilty to the Sexual Penetration charge that he sexually penetrated the victim on 4th July 2021.
In her testimony, the Victim disclosed that the convict Jospeh Ballay was her boyfriend since 2018, but began to sexually penetrated her in 2020 and got pregnant in July 2020 but she aborted the pregnancy.
Despite such incidence, the victim said on 4th July 2021, the convict continued to sexually penetrated her.
The medical Doctor, Christine Williams attached at the Rainbo Medical Centre told the court that, she examined and treated the victim whose private part was ruptured on 3rd August 2021, and at the end, reduced her findings to a report
Another witness Finda Yarjah , a niece to the victim said the convict Joseph was their neighbor. She got the information from the victim, her niece that the convict has been penetrating her and in the event impregnated her.
The matter was investigated by Detective Sergeant 9909 Kabba attached at the Family Support Unit, Lumley together with Detective Sergeant 8602 Keifala A.K.
After going through the evidences adduced in court, Justice Alhaji Momoh-Jah Stevens sentenced Joseph Ballay to five years imprisonment at the Male Correctional Centre.
Lawyer J.K. Kamara prosecuted the matter for the State whiles Joseph Ballay was represented by Lawyer Cyril Taylor-Young.
MBSSE issues over 70,000 radio Sets to aid radio teaching program
By Feima Sesay
The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) Dr David Sengeh has confirmed that the Ministry has distributed about 74,000 radio set as of March 2022.
He gave such figure based on the numbers that were given to them by their partners who have been supplying these sets to pupils, parents and local heads across the country.
These radio sets are meant to support the radio teaching programs, which the Ministry has been run since the outbreak of the deadly Ebola in 2014, where pupils found it difficult to come in contact with teachers and their colleagues in the classroom.
According to the Minister “As of this March , 2022 ,we have distributed about 74 radio sets” of which most are solar powered and many have USB to pupils and teachers across the country.
The radio sets were distributed to girls , children with disability and those in hard to reach area ,which he cited to be part of the radical inclusion policy.
And among the organisations that supported such distribution, are World Vision that distributed 48,000 set to pupils, Plan that distributed to 16155 to pupils, Sight Save that distributed 826 set to children with disabilities and EduAid distributed to 180 sets to Heads of Schools, Teachers and Local Chiefs.
Cross examination continues in Samura’s Kamara alleged corruption matter
By Feima Sesay
The Lead ACC Investigator, Joseph Bockarie Noah yesterday again answered to questions posed to him by Defense Counsel, Africanus Sesay on behalf of the second accused Foday Vahfombah Bawoh who was charged with the offence of Conspiracy and other corruption offences together with Dr. Samura Kamara and four others.
In his Cross examination, IRN/BAD/002 documents that was requested by Defense Counsel Africanus Sesay, which was later handed over to him in Court by the Prosecuting Team, the said documents was tendered in the Court as exhibit through the Prosecution witness Joseph Bockarie Noah.
Exhibit B1-52 which was the statement of the second accused, the witness stated that the second accused in that statement explained to the investigators the duty of an Ambassador.
He said the second accused told them that he was representing Sierra Leone in New York and his duty is to attend regular meetings on behalf of the country and there was no other duty assigned to him in handling procurement issues of the Chancery Building in New York.
The second accused also stated that when the contract was signed in 2013 for such renovation, he was not in office.
Exhibit “U” which is the contract document signed for the rehabilitation of the Chancery Building was shown to the witness whom he identified.
Noah said the instructions of the letter in exhibit “U” stated that the Head of Chancery and the Government of Sierra Leone should signed the contract between the Government and the Construction Company.
He said the second accused told him that he never participated in the said contract, as he took over office in 2016.
The witness furthered that in 2015, when the contract was finally signed ,it was Alusine Sesay that was the Ambassador then at that time and the Director General for the said Chancery Building was Andrew Gbebay Bangalie.
The witness maintained that the second accused became an Ambassador in March 2016 but went to New York in September 2016.
The witness was shown an email titled “invitation for Bid” and the bid was for the renovation of the Sierra Leone Chancery Building in New York and it was prepared by Alusine Sesay on 21st September 2015 and Defense Counsel Africanus Sesay applied that the said documents been tendered before the Court through the Prosecution witness.
At this point, Calvin Matesbo objected that the said documents should not be tendered by the witness as he has no knowledge of the document.
Justice Fisher ruled that cross examination involved wide ambit and they have pass that stage of preventing the witness to tender documents produced by the defense.
The said document was tendered as exhibit and marked as AS1-4.
At this stage defense counsel sought for a date to have further conference with his client.
Matter was later adjourned today for further hearing
Ministry of the Environment Discusses Environmental Management with MCCU
The Due Diligence team from MCCU has met with the Minister of the Environment to know the functions of the Ministry and its relationship with energy utilities and other relevant institutions that are concerned with climatic issues affecting energy productivity.
The team lead, Asumana Swarray from MCCU said Sierra Leone qualified for another support from MCC after passing the MCCU threshold in 2020. He noted that MCCU formed the Compact Development Unit that has successfully completed the constraint analysis that focused on energy that related to economic growth and private sector investment in the country. He pinpointed the relevance of the compact, noting that it seeks to provide reliable and resilient electricity with climate change been considered as paramount in the forefront.
He said four components have been drafted under the compact proposal notably on hydro, solar, institutional capacity and environmental management in Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, Prof. Foday M. Jaward stated that all sectors require environmental management and further expressed his appreciation over the positive achievements Sierra Leone gained on the MCC scorecard.
He affirmed that the Government is committed on environmental management thus leading to the establishment of the Ministry as stand-alone one. He noted that since the establishment of the Ministry, it has been supervising six key Agencies that are directly concerned with environmental sustainability. He emphasized that green energy is critical for sustainable environmental management in Sierra Leone.
He said the government has taken a step to remove the carbon footprint in the environment by reducing deforestation.
He continued that the Ministry has revisited six key legislations to ensure sustainable preservation of the environment, enforcement and environmental compliance. He expressed his willingness to support the compact proposal wholeheartedly.