By Anthony Vandy
Baimba Moiforay, a magician and convicted killer of DJ Clef, has spoken out about the assassination of DJ Clef, his imprisonment, and his escape from Sierra Leone.
LAC was found guilty of murdering DJ Clef in 2015 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was pardoned by President Bio on January 1, 2022, after serving six years in prison.
However, Sierra Leoneans were alarmed by his Presidential pardon, prompting the President to withdraw it and launch an investigation.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Anthony Brewah, was sacked after LAC fled the country before the Sierra Leone Police declared him wanted.
LAC, on the other hand, has explained his side of the tale. He denied assassinating DJ Clef. He claimed he had never slain anyone since his arrival on this planet. He begged the family of DJ Clef’s pardon.
Here are six key points from LAC’s ‘True Story’ about DJ Clef’s death.
1. He was not the party’s organizer.
2. The police demanded 40 million Leones in exchange for his acquittal and the police vandalized his property.
3. His security camera footage was never shown in court.
4. After paying him a large sum of money, lawyer Ngevao, agreed to defend him but was swayed by the party organizers.
5. In the correctional center, people sent fake pastors to give fake prophecies.
6. He also claimed that the public was misled into believing that the clothing wrapped around DJ Clef was a carpet when it was actually a car cover similar to one owned by LAC.
Commonwealth Secretary General pays courtesy call on Ministers of Finance and Economic Development
The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, today paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Finance, Dennis Vandi and his counterpart the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai at the office of the Finance Minister on George Street in Freetown.
In the discussions, the Secretary General expressed her delight at the visit, commending His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio for his holistic vision for the country that is being clearly demonstrated in the excellent work the Ministers are doing through their respective Ministries.
She extended the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat towards achieving their shared goals of prosperity, development, democracy and peace.
Secretary General Scotland also commended the role of the Ministry of Finance for their cooperation towards the launch of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Governance study last year which examined the ERM implementation in six Commonwealth countries such as Sierra Leone, Botswana, Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya and Eswatini.
Rt. Hon. Scotland, QC shared some elements of her vast experience with the Ministers as well as highlighted areas the Commonwealth would deepen its cooperation especially in managing public debt, capacity building, data analytics and creating better trade opportunities.
The Minister of Finance, Dennis Vandi, highlighted the work they had done over the past years with the Commonwealth and explained what Sierra Leone sought to achieve especially in the areas of cooperation.
On his part, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai, thanked the Commonwealth Secretariat for their support in providing the necessary expertise in areas that are critical to the development of the country.
Minister Kai-Kai further recommended that the Commonwealth Secretariat re-establishes the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) to improve on its visibility as well as coordination of all commonwealth assistance support once again.
He assured the Secretary General that Sierra Leone, under the leadership of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, would continue to uphold and promote the values and principles of the Commonwealth which provide a platform and an avenue in presenting a common front with a view to dealing with the global challenges on climate change, peace, security, inequality and exclusion among others.
The Secretary General’s delegation comprised the Senior Director of the Governance & Peace Directorate, Prof Luis Franceschi, the Communications Officer, Ms Temitope Kalejaiye and was accompanied by the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Marie Komba Manyeh.
The Rt. Hon. Patricia Janet Scotland is the 6th Commonwealth Secretary General and she is the first black woman to be appointed a Queen’s Council (QC) in 1991.
NaCSA Boss talks on Key Projects Achievement
Dr. Sao Kapato Max-Kyne, Commissioner of the National Commission for Social Action
By: Amara Kargbo
Dr. Sao Kapato Max-Kyne, Commissioner of the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), has explained that the commission has made tremendous progress in projects implementation such as the cash transfer to informal and vulnerable households, increased in food security which have all contributed to improving people’s lives and communities across the country.
The Commissioner, early this week in Freetown, informed journalists on a radio discussion that 2021 had been a very positive moment for the commission. She furthered that despite there being challenges in implementing activities across the country, the commission as an entity (NaCSA) was able to achieve a lot in the different areas.
The Commissioner mentioned that, NaCSA as management, worked with ward for which enabled the commission to concentrate on building systems and structures to respond to a new outlook especially the Monitoring and Evaluation process which is pivotal in implementation not just only for government and donors but also the people whom the benefit was meant for.
She pointed out that NaCSA is putting a lot of emphasis on decentralizing NaCSA operations by making sure a lot of support will be made available in the districts and regions for effective and efficient implementation processes.
Dr. Max-Kyne disclosed that the Commission has been engaging rural and urban areas to embark on productive activities as well as Enterprise Development for young people which will enhance them to earn self-employment at the same time provide them livelihood and Institutional Building.
NaCSA is a semi-autonomous government agency that augments the work of social sector Ministries and Agencies as well as local authorities in delivering social services to deprived and remote communities across the country.
She intimated that one of the projects that were funded by the government was the Community Infrastructure which captured different community facilities including schools, markets, and other modern facilities communities as well as Strengthening the Value Chain project in Agriculture that provided roads and bridges which their key infrastructural needs to go to farms and enhance agriculture.
The Commissioner equally noted that NaCSA contributed immensely to the food security sector by employing fish ponds as well as contributed to rice production through the IVS swamp development projects and giving agricultural inputs.
The Cash Transfer Project which Commissioner referred to as a ‘life-saver’ was meant on the premises that during the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of people lost their livelihood and one of the things the commission did through support from the European Union (EU) was to give financial support to the workers of the informal sector which the commission was able to service about 39,000 Household and the entire fund disbursed to the 39,000 Household was $5.5 million.
The commission continued to give cash support to vulnerable households even though most of them were not in business activities but regrettably affected by Covid-19 and the commission was able to support 35,000 households throughout 2021. The commission, however, in total was able to give financial assistance to 74,000 households and the money that was disbursed to both sectors was over $35 million.
Commissioner unfolded that, in their strategic planning for 2022, they will work together with their well-established networks with partners, local councils as well as other development partners in smooth and collaborative implementations. And the completion of affirmative action will ensure that the commission gets equitable gender parity.
She outlined that their 2022 Action Plan will be a continuation of the current activities of NacSA but also emphasizing the same areas that will take them to NaCSA strategic planning implementation adding that the commission has served the country for Twenty years in that NaCSA is very relevant and it is imperative to use such opportunity to showcase citizens tangible achievements on how the commission has been improving people’s lives as well as communities across the country.
She ended by noting that the current plan NaCSA is implementing will end in 2023 which is the end time to most of the Commission’s projects and the commission will do a lot of strategic planning this year – a plan which will guide them as an institution regarding what they want to do beyond which ranges from 2024-to-2028.
Deputy Energy Minister Launches Solar Entrepreneurs Harnessed Project
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Edward Taylor, has at the launch of the Solar Entrepreneurs Harnessed Project said that the primary mandate of the Ministry of Energy was to provide energy for sustainable productivity use.
“As much as energy is now a fundamental human right as also being said by President Bio, we believe that one way to provide this type of energy is to reach out to our various communities,” Dr. Taylor noted, adding that, over the last three years, government had taken strides to increase access to energy from 14.8% to 31%.
Dr. Taylor spoke about government’s renewable energy drive which he said was being aggressively pursued, noting that the appetite for mini grids was always growing as evidenced in the proliferation of mini grid sites in every part of the country.
He assured private operators that government would continue to provide incentives to them as well as the policy and regulatory frameworks that would guide the operations of private partners in the energy sector.
He concluded by saying that government was always receptive to and supportive of the idea of women’s participation in the energy sector.
Deputy Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Samba Bindi Hindowa, said the day was a memorable one within the context of empowerment of rural women. He said his Ministry would therefore partner with the Ministry of Energy and CARE in the implementation of the project.
Mr. Bindi spoke about a variety of gender bills, stressing that renewable energy was a source of income for women and a platform to empower them. He concluded by saying that his Ministry would continue to support the New Direction Government in the implementation of manifesto commitments relating to women’s empowerment.
Country Director, CARE Sierra Leone and Liberia, Dr. Yaikah Jeng-Joof, thanked stakeholders in the energy sector and reiterated the commitment of CARE to empowering women through renewable energy.
She said her organization was working with communities to change the lives of women and girls through agricultural, energy and other livelihood projects.
Dr. Yaikah Jeng-Joof said the ‘Solar for Beteh Business Project’ would improve the livelihoods of women through financing, capacity building, training and enhanced private businesses.
Project Director at CARE, Dr. Lamin Ibrahim Kamara, gave an overview of the project, adding that the project would be implemented in seven districts in the country and would target some 7,120 women in 20 communities.
He assured that CARE would continue to support the Government of Sierra Leone in the conception and implementation of projects that are critical to women’s empowerment and development.
UNICEF Ambassador In Court
By Feima Sesay
Ishmeal Beah, an author and United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) ambassador, has narrated how his security guard looted his house and carted away with property worth over Three Hundred Million Leones.
The accused persons, Ibrahim Dundas, Zainab Kamara, Mohamed Maada Kamara and Lucy Bockarie are before Magistrate Sahr Kekura of Pademba Road Court No 1 on Preliminary Investigation for larceny and receiving stolen goods.
It was alleged on the charge sheet that first accused, Ibrahim Dundas, on Saturday 1st January 2022 at Baw-Baw village, off Peninsula Road, Freetown, stole property worth Three Hundred and Seventy Six Million One Hundred and Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Leones (Le376,112,500/00) belonging to complainant Ishmeal Beah.
Whiles count two, three and four, stated that the second, third and fourth accused persons received the said stolen property from first accused Ibrahim Dundas worth the above value knowing same to have been stolen from complainant Ishmeal Beah.
Taking the witness stand, and led by Seargent Lahai, complainant Ishmeal Beah recognized first accused as his security guard and the three others in respect of the matter.
He said he came from up county with his wife, Pricilia, and children on the 1st of January 2022 and noticed that some of his property are missing.
He identified the list of property missing before the court and the list was marked as exhibit to form part of the prosecution’s case.
When questioned as to the cost of the the missing property, complainant said they cost Three Hundred and Seventy Six Million, One Hundred and Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Leones.
Explaining further, complainant said when he discovered that his property were missing, he called on Adonkia police station and one Sergeant Bellia surfaced and questioned all those present and later took them to the station.
Complainant said after obtaining statement from all parties present, the police prepared search warrant. He said the search warrant was first executed at the premise shown by first accused and on arrival the owner of the said premise denied knowing him.
Complainant said they proceeded to another premise at Goderich shown by the accused where he identified some of his suitcase and other property listed.
He said they took all the stolen items discovered to the station where the first accused later confessed committing the offence.
Complainant identified the search warrant prepared by the police before going for the search.
In continuation of his examination in chief, complainant said first accused later went and showed them where he sold some of the property.
He said they visited the premises of second, third and forth accused persons and the police took out the items which he identified as theirs. ” My Lord when the police questioned them as to where they got those property, they responded that they bought them from first accused”, complainant stated.
At the dock, forth accused buttressed what and what they found on her.
Complainant said after exhausting all the search warrant, he made statement to the police.
Having heard the evidence of complainant, Magistrate Sahr Kekura, refused the first accused bail and adjourned the matter to 7th of February 2022 for complainant to be cross-examined.
SUPERINTENDENT GEORGE MOMOH DESERVES RECOGNITION
BY ALHAJI TURAY
The Ops officer for Central Police Division, Superintendent George Momoh, has been recognized not only among colleague officers but also by members of the general public for his human and transparent manner while executing national duty. Superintendent Momoh had worked well in many provincial headquarter towns including Makeni City before he was recently sent to attach at the Central Police Division as Operations Officer where he had equally proved his competence and capability as a seasoned government administrator.
Since superintendent Momoh assumed office few months ago, it is evident that crime such as arm robbery and other related lawless activities have been minimised drastically through by his robust and regular field patrols with his hardworking junior police officers at night.
According to findings among fellow officers, George Momoh’s passion to improve livelihood or welfare among junior police officers in his jurisdiction cannot be over-emphasize.
George Momoh is held to highest esteem among senior and junior colleague officers for his humble approach and human attributes in performing his constitutional duty.
Speaking to Superintendent Momoh, who was caught up in an interview, expressed gratitude to the Inspector General of Police, Dr. Ambrose Michael suvula and DIG Elizabeth Turay, Deputy Inspector General of Police to recognise his good work at the Central Division as well as for exhibiting astute leadership thereby affirming that he is always committed to his duty and to continue serving Sierra Leone faithfully at all times.
For killing his Uncle…
Motor Driver Jailed to 5 Yr imprisonment
By Feima Sesay
The convict, Foday Sawaneh, was sentenced by Appeals Court Judge at the High Court of Sierra Leone, Justice Monfred Sesay, after he pleaded guilty of the crime.
Prior to his conviction, Foday Sawaneh who has been in custody for three years now since his arrest in 2019, was standing trial at the High Court for the offence of murder and pleaded not guilty.
On the 12th January 2022, State Prosecuting Counsel, Aruna Jalloh, reduced the murder charge to manslaughter in the interest of justice and for fair trial for which the convict Foday Sawaneh took responsibility of his action thereby pleading guilty for killing his uncle, Foday Ishmael Kallon, by hitting him on his head with a cutlass at their 64B Black Hall Road residence in Freetown on Sunday 29th April 2018. This occurred after the deceased tried to stop the convict from beating his wife, Iye Sawaneh, and as a result of this, argument arose which trigered a fight between the two of them and the convict. Foday Sawaneh hit his uncle on the head with a cutlass.
Due to the serious nature of the injury he sustained on his head, the deceased Foday Ishmael fell on the ground and went unconscious as he was bleeding profusely.
He was rushed to the Connaught Hospital for urgent medical attention but died while undergoing treatment there.
After stabbing the deceased, Foday Sawaneh was at large almost for a year until 2019 when he resurfaced and was apprehended by some family members who handed him over to the police and was later charged to court for murder.
During his conviction, Foday Sawaneh in his alocutus pleaded for mercy, saying he is suffering in prison due to poor facility there.
His Lawyer, Cecelia Tucker, in her plea in mitigation on behalf of the convict, begged the bench to temper justice with mercy on Foday Sawaneh who she said did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty.
Lawyer Cecelia Tucker urged the bench to take cognizance of the time Foday Sawaneh has taken in custody when handing down his sentence and also suggested a three year sentence for her client Foday Sawaneh.
Addressing the court on point of law, State Prosecutor, Aruna Jalloh, stated that for manslaughter, the law requires for a jail term not exceeding Twenty-Five years but urged the bench to give Foday Sawaneh Fifteen years jail term.
After listening to both counsel, Justice Monfred Sesay, in his verdict, sentenced Foday Sawaneh to five years imprisonment for killing his Twenty-Seven year old uncle Foday Ishmael Kallon in 2018.
According to Justice Monfred Sesay, the sentence is inclusive of the Three years Foday Sawaneh has spent on reman
SIERRA LEONE “HARDSHIP INDEX” JANUARY 2022
By Dr Dennis Bright
Most Sierra Leoneans who have been following the steady rise of NGC in the political theatre of Sierra Leone will recall that since March 2018 we have been monitoring the prices of basic food items in local markets, items such as rice, pepper, oil, onions, maggi that the poorest of the poor need to prepare a simple meal for the family.
Although Sierra Leoneans complain everywhere that living conditions are worsening every day, it is not easy for them to measure to what extent their condition is deteriorating. These market surveys give an idea of how bad things are for the common man or woman.
Furthermore, we try to estimate the cooking ingredients that will be needed to prepare a meal for a family of four (father, mother and two children) a family size that is admittedly extremely small for typical poor families which tend to be big and extended. When the cost of a basic daily meal is compared to the minimum wage of a sole breadwinner, we discover that since this Government has been running our lives, a minimum wage earner’s income, if spent on food alone, does not last for long; in fact, in this month of January 2022 when a basic meal for four costs Le 68,000 per day the entire wage of Le 600,000 will last for only 9 days; so since the family has other compulsory items to pay for such as rent, transport fares, clothing and medical bills, one can assume that parents and children will have to go without food some days, without bus fare, without light etc. This is the misery to which our people have been reduced while people in power are spending fiti fata on themselves, callously blind to the sufferings of the poor and stone deaf to their cries. And yet they keep congratulating themselves, for some job well done that only they can see.
As the day of reckoning draws closer we present to you, once again, our market survey for January 2022. The prices of the food items are compared to the price levels in March 2018. Between 2018 and 2022, the prices have been dancing up and down year in and year out but they have always been higher after 2018.
This January, the lowest increase has been the price of a bag of rice which is nearly 50% higher than in March 2018. As everybody knows, some 40,000 metric tonnes of rice have magically appeared at Water Quay just in time for the election campaigns. Maybe, the expectation is that Sierra Leoneans are fools and will fall for the trick; that they will eat rice until they forget how much they have suffered and repeat their 2018 mistake of voting in the vampires. Time will tell.
But isn’t it crazy that these people who boasted so much for the past three years of their great Tok and Do, soon-to-flood-the-nation Toma Bom rice harvests should be frantically importing rice to feed us fourteen months to the next elections?
Meanwhile, those things that we produce locally appear to be the most expensive: the price of one of the main sources of protein available to the common man, dry bonga fish, has increased by 1100% while peppeh per cup increased by 900% and vegetable plassas per tie costs 300% more than in 2018.
Sadly, some people are more interested in flying up in the air, cooking elections and sacking upright women who are doing their job