At an emergency Meeting in Makeni… APC Endorses PPRC Constitutional Ruling

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Following a very turbulent situation involving the opposition All people`s Congress(APC) that has resulted in lawsuits and injunctions  against the party, the National Advisory Committee (NAC) has in an emergency meeting held yesterday in Makeni regional office of APC endorsed the political Party registration Commission(PPRC) ruling on the new constitution. A source has told Public Review last night.

According to sources from the meeting, the National Advisory Council (NAC) of the party has made it clearly that nothing is going to change in the new constitution and that nobody is going to derail the party this time round.

 The new development arises after one of the party`s stalwart Sylvia Blyden in a lengthy essay highlighted some loopholes regarding the legal ramifications that could affect the chances of the party in winning the 2023 general elections.

According to Sylvia Blyden, there are still outstanding issues relating to membership, delegates list and the mandate expiration of the current executive that still hangs in limbo.

She is of the opinion that the APC party could still face legal challenges in the court of law if these issues are not corrected in the new PPRC adopted constitution.

On the other had the external outreach of the party is adamant that since the PPRC has endorsed the new constitution, which is the legitimate body charged with the responsibility to regulate the activities of political parties nothing will derail the stance of the party membership in adopting the new constitution. In his keynote address, the Leader and Chairman of the APC, former President Ernest Bai Koroma, noted in clear terms that the Party has to move on more because the national elections are fast approaching. “The interest of the APC is bigger than all of our various aspirations more so as when 2023 elections are just around the corner and the party has to be more than united than ever before if only we are to win 2023 elections,” The Leader and Chairman averred.

According to sources, the new constitution is far more democratic than the 1995 constitution that was adopted during times of emergency, and is deemed to be more inclusive and appealing to the different structures of the party including the youth and wing of the party.

Moreover, the NAC which is the second most powerful organ and decision making body of the party after the convening of the national delegate’s convention have also endorsed the new constitution.

 Therefore, NAC has decided to move the party forward in what is deemed as a tight contest between the ruling SLPP and the APC ahead of the 2o23 general elections.

 This happened following a number of objections advanced by certain party members of the APC in relation to the party’s gazetted 1995 reviewed constitution.

It is now incumbent upon the external outreach of the party to popularize the newly adopted constitution to the general membership of the party.    

.

Notable in the said meeting was the age bracket for the leadership of the Young People’s Congress (YPC) which is 18-35yr in the new APC constitution among others and the Party has unanimously agreed to go by it as accordingly ruled by PPRC in the interest of moving forward.

In attendance were senior party stakeholders executive of NAC members as well as certain general members of same. And the whole meeting ended well with the Party’s victory song.

Legal Aid Board To Represent Inmates

The Legal Aid Board (LAB) has put modalities in place to provide legal representation to a total of One Thousand and Thirteen (1,013) indigent inmates whose matters have been listed for hearing during the upcoming Judicial Week. 

The Board’s preparedness came following final discussions with the Chief Justice of the republic of Sierra Leone, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards including other key stakeholders on the planning of the Judicial Week which commences Monday 31 January and ends on Friday 4 February 2022.

Of the One Thousand and Thirteen (1,013) inmates whose cases have been listed for the week, Seven Hundred and Nine (709) are scheduled for hearing in Freetown and Waterloo while the remaining Three Hundred and Four (304) will be heard in various courts around the country. In all, a total of Thirty (30) courts around the country have been designated for the week long session. Of this number, Eighteen (18) are in Freetown and Waterloo while the remaining Twelve (12) are in the provinces.

During this period, inmates who have been in correctional centres for long periods, such as prolonged adjournment; inmates on remand without bail; those on bail but did not meet their bail condition; inmates awaiting indictments; those on summary review etc will have their cases heard by judges already identified for purposes of the Judicial Week.

The move, according to the judiciary, is to decongest correctional centres across the country.

Speaking on the Board’s preparedness, the Executive Director, Ms Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, informed that Legal Aid Board Counsel have filed various applications ahead of the week long session which include applications for habeas corpus, bail, summary review etc.

  Ms Carlton-Hanciles also disclosed plans by the Board to recruit additional lawyers on a week-long basis in order to assist the Board’s defence team in ensuring that all those whose matters have been listed for hearing around the country have access to legal representation.

The lawyers, she said, will be deployed in courts that are yet to have LAB counsel for the session both in the western area as well as the provincial areas.

She appealed to LAB counsel to remain committed to their work and to continue to uphold the Board’s good spirit in ensuring that indigent persons are well represented. 

S/Leone becomes hub for regional police information system 

Description: Sierra Leone Police – A Force For Good

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), European Union (EU), INTERPOL, and a host of senior government officials, on Thursday January 27 2022, launched the WAPIS-NCMS (National Crime Management System) Centre at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters, at Pa Demba Road in Freetown.

 The IGP, Dr. Ambrose Michael Sovula, in a short speech disclosed how important the WAPIS/NCMS could be to not only Sierra Leone but Africa and the World at large.

He stated that WAPIS/NCMS is a global and internal security framework to counter or combat transnational organized crimes and terrorism and a Centre for law enforcement agencies adding that the system provides a platform for electronic management and the sharing of information on crimes and offences among the various actors both locally and internationally.

Dr. Sovula also revealed that the system would allow for effective and efficient coordination and collaboration among stakeholders in combating crimes especially transactional organized crimes.

The IGP emphasized on the timeliness of this centre in line with the  growing trend in cybercrimes and threats as well as threats posed by terrorism and human or drug trafficking. 

The West African Police Information System (WAPIS) Project is the brainchild of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by INTERPOL.

In its current phase, it includes the 15 ECOWAS member states and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

Among other speakers were WAPIS-INTERPOL representative from Cameroon – Mr Richard Gotwe and the Head of EU Political Section – Mr. Juan Antonio Frutos, who strongly advised on the sustainability of the Centre after European Union (EU) could have stopped funding in 2025.

The ceremony was climaxed by cutting of the tape and visiting of the center at CID headquarters

Energy Minister Announces 24-Hour Electricity Package for Kono

By:Austine Luseni

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, who is leading a high-level delegation of stakeholders in the energy sector to Kono, has symbolically erected the first electricity pole to connect the district to the CLSG interconnections and assured the people of that diamond-rich district that plans were underway to enable them enjoy 24 hours of electricity supply.

Welcoming the delegation, Paramount Chief of Nimikoro Chiefdom,PC Aiah Dante Bona,said his people were happy to see such a high-level team in their district,noting that they were already relishing the prospects of enjoying sustainable and quality electricity.

Giving an overview of the purpose of the visit, Director General of EGTC, Ing. Milton Ngebai, said they were in Kono to assure the people of plans to connect the district to the CLSG interconnections, stressing that the contract which had already been awarded to a renowned energy company was going to be completed within a two-month timeframe.

While delivering his keynote address,Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay,said the high-level representation to the district was indicative of the attention that President Bio had given to Kono, adding that the President had asked him to convey his appreciation to the people of Kono for never allowing their patience for sustainable electricity to wane or grow thin. He said everybody  was aware of the challenging electricity situation in the district.

Mr. Sesay said Kono was only enjoying 10 hours of electricity out of the expected 24 hours a day, stressing that that ugly situation would soon give way to a sustainable 24-hour supply of electricity.

He said Bo and Kenema were now having reliable,sustainable and quality electricity courtesy of the TRANSCO CLSG facility and assured that it was now the turn of Kono to benefit from same .

One of the stakeholders of Kono district and former Ambassador to China, Ambassador S.E. Johnny, praised the Minister for his stellar leadership, adding that Alhaji Kanja Sesay had made an immaculate name and reputation for himself within the matrix of national development.

He catalogued the critical social, economic and industrial importance of electricity and assured that Kono was ready to reciprocate the development strides of President Bio in the district at the 2023 polls.

Mayor of Koidu City Council,His Worship Komba Sam,also spoke at the ceremony.

ACC urges Lokomasama on Corruption

The Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the North-West Region, Al-Hassan Sesay has told Local authorities and residents of Lokomasama Chiefdom to resist being involved in corruption and embrace the fight against graft.

He made this statement during a sensitization meeting held on the 28th January 2022 at the Local  Court Barray in Petifu Junction.

Speaking at the meeting, Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said

Foremost effect of corruption is that it leads to a reduction in economic growth and development as well as impeding the state from improving

the social welfare of the people such as providing social amenities like quality education, potable water, infrastructural facilities, medical care etc. He pointed out that national development must involve the aggregation of national resources of the country for the general wellbeing of the citizenry in terms of their social and economic advancements. He expressed dismay that even though the Chiefdom has produced prominent people, the reality on ground do not resonate or give a representation on the development of the Chiefdom. He said that public funds allocated for rural development are embezzled by corrupt public officials and in collusion with local authorities, depriving society of the much needed social services.

Outlining the forms and nature of corrupt practices inherent in rural communities, the Regional Head noted that the meeting was largely informed as a response to intelligence gathering relating to corrupt practices in the Chiefdom. He made a precise explanation of several corrupt practices across various sectors including the local court administration, the school system, the health sector, the Sierra Leone Police and other areas of concerns like donor driven projects implemented by Non Governmental organizations in rural communities across the country and the Port Loko District Council. He pointed out corruption demands in the aforementioned areas including but not limited to exploiting the people through extortionate demand and levying of exorbitant fines outsides the confines of the law in the Local Court Act of 2011, payment for bail and obtaining statement, corruption demands in health centres, misuse of public funds and illegal charges that are rife in public schools.

The Senior Public Education Officer Samuel Junisa Sankoh spoke on the role of the community in the fight against corruption and highlighted various methods of reporting corrupt practices to the ACC. He also encouraged them to resist and reject demands of corruption.

Earlier in his welcome statement the Regent Chief of Lokomasama Chiefdom Bockarie Bangura expressed profound happiness to have ACC officials in his chiefdom and for taking anti-corruption messages to his chiefdom particularly so when the effects of corruption have had a devastating effects on the country’s socioeconomic development. He urged his subjects to support the ACC and embrace the fight against graft.

Presentation of IEC materials and question and answer session formed part of the engagement

Following a very turbulent situation involving the opposition All people`s Congress(APC) that has resulted in lawsuits and injunctions  against the party, the National Advisory Committee (NAC) has in an emergency meeting held yesterday in Makeni regional office of APC endorsed the political Party registration Commission(PPRC) ruling on the new constitution. A source has told Public Review last night.

According to sources from the meeting, the National Advisory Council (NAC) of the party has made it clearly that nothing is going to change in the new constitution and that nobody is going to derail the party this time round.

 The new development arises after one of the party`s stalwart Sylvia Blyden in a lengthy essay highlighted some loopholes regarding the legal ramifications that could affect the chances of the party in winning the 2023 general elections.

According to Sylvia Blyden, there are still outstanding issues relating to membership, delegates list and the mandate expiration of the current executive that still hangs in limbo.

She is of the opinion that the APC party could still face legal challenges in the court of law if these issues are not corrected in the new PPRC adopted constitution.

On the other had the external outreach of the party is adamant that since the PPRC has endorsed the new constitution, which is the legitimate body charged with the responsibility to regulate the activities of political parties nothing will derail the stance of the party membership in adopting the new constitution. In his keynote address, the Leader and Chairman of the APC, former President Ernest Bai Koroma, noted in clear terms that the Party has to move on more because the national elections are fast approaching. “The interest of the APC is bigger than all of our various aspirations more so as when 2023 elections are just around the corner and the party has to be more than united than ever before if only we are to win 2023 elections,” The Leader and Chairman averred.

According to sources, the new constitution is far more democratic than the 1995 constitution that was adopted during times of emergency, and is deemed to be more inclusive and appealing to the different structures of the party including the youth and wing of the party.

Moreover, the NAC which is the second most powerful organ and decision making body of the party after the convening of the national delegate’s convention have also endorsed the new constitution.

 Therefore, NAC has decided to move the party forward in what is deemed as a tight contest between the ruling SLPP and the APC ahead of the 2o23 general elections.

 This happened following a number of objections advanced by certain party members of the APC in relation to the party’s gazetted 1995 reviewed constitution.

It is now incumbent upon the external outreach of the party to popularize the newly adopted constitution to the general membership of the party.    

.

Notable in the said meeting was the age bracket for the leadership of the Young People’s Congress (YPC) which is 18-35yr in the new APC constitution among others and the Party has unanimously agreed to go by it as accordingly ruled by PPRC in the interest of moving forward.

In attendance were senior party stakeholders executive of NAC members as well as certain general members of same. And the whole meeting ended well with the Party’s victory song.

Legal Aid Board To Represent Inmates

The Legal Aid Board (LAB) has put modalities in place to provide legal representation to a total of One Thousand and Thirteen (1,013) indigent inmates whose matters have been listed for hearing during the upcoming Judicial Week. 

The Board’s preparedness came following final discussions with the Chief Justice of the republic of Sierra Leone, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards including other key stakeholders on the planning of the Judicial Week which commences Monday 31 January and ends on Friday 4 February 2022.

Of the One Thousand and Thirteen (1,013) inmates whose cases have been listed for the week, Seven Hundred and Nine (709) are scheduled for hearing in Freetown and Waterloo while the remaining Three Hundred and Four (304) will be heard in various courts around the country. In all, a total of Thirty (30) courts around the country have been designated for the week long session. Of this number, Eighteen (18) are in Freetown and Waterloo while the remaining Twelve (12) are in the provinces.

During this period, inmates who have been in correctional centres for long periods, such as prolonged adjournment; inmates on remand without bail; those on bail but did not meet their bail condition; inmates awaiting indictments; those on summary review etc will have their cases heard by judges already identified for purposes of the Judicial Week.

The move, according to the judiciary, is to decongest correctional centres across the country.

Speaking on the Board’s preparedness, the Executive Director, Ms Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, informed that Legal Aid Board Counsel have filed various applications ahead of the week long session which include applications for habeas corpus, bail, summary review etc.

  Ms Carlton-Hanciles also disclosed plans by the Board to recruit additional lawyers on a week-long basis in order to assist the Board’s defence team in ensuring that all those whose matters have been listed for hearing around the country have access to legal representation.

The lawyers, she said, will be deployed in courts that are yet to have LAB counsel for the session both in the western area as well as the provincial areas.

She appealed to LAB counsel to remain committed to their work and to continue to uphold the Board’s good spirit in ensuring that indigent persons are well represented. 

S/Leone becomes hub for regional police information system 

Description: Sierra Leone Police – A Force For Good

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), European Union (EU), INTERPOL, and a host of senior government officials, on Thursday January 27 2022, launched the WAPIS-NCMS (National Crime Management System) Centre at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters, at Pa Demba Road in Freetown.

 The IGP, Dr. Ambrose Michael Sovula, in a short speech disclosed how important the WAPIS/NCMS could be to not only Sierra Leone but Africa and the World at large.

He stated that WAPIS/NCMS is a global and internal security framework to counter or combat transnational organized crimes and terrorism and a Centre for law enforcement agencies adding that the system provides a platform for electronic management and the sharing of information on crimes and offences among the various actors both locally and internationally.

Dr. Sovula also revealed that the system would allow for effective and efficient coordination and collaboration among stakeholders in combating crimes especially transactional organized crimes.

The IGP emphasized on the timeliness of this centre in line with the  growing trend in cybercrimes and threats as well as threats posed by terrorism and human or drug trafficking. 

The West African Police Information System (WAPIS) Project is the brainchild of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by INTERPOL.

In its current phase, it includes the 15 ECOWAS member states and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

Among other speakers were WAPIS-INTERPOL representative from Cameroon – Mr Richard Gotwe and the Head of EU Political Section – Mr. Juan Antonio Frutos, who strongly advised on the sustainability of the Centre after European Union (EU) could have stopped funding in 2025.

The ceremony was climaxed by cutting of the tape and visiting of the center at CID headquarters

Energy Minister Announces 24-Hour Electricity Package for Kono

By:Austine Luseni

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, who is leading a high-level delegation of stakeholders in the energy sector to Kono, has symbolically erected the first electricity pole to connect the district to the CLSG interconnections and assured the people of that diamond-rich district that plans were underway to enable them enjoy 24 hours of electricity supply.

Welcoming the delegation, Paramount Chief of Nimikoro Chiefdom,PC Aiah Dante Bona,said his people were happy to see such a high-level team in their district,noting that they were already relishing the prospects of enjoying sustainable and quality electricity.

Giving an overview of the purpose of the visit, Director General of EGTC, Ing. Milton Ngebai, said they were in Kono to assure the people of plans to connect the district to the CLSG interconnections, stressing that the contract which had already been awarded to a renowned energy company was going to be completed within a two-month timeframe.

While delivering his keynote address,Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay,said the high-level representation to the district was indicative of the attention that President Bio had given to Kono, adding that the President had asked him to convey his appreciation to the people of Kono for never allowing their patience for sustainable electricity to wane or grow thin. He said everybody  was aware of the challenging electricity situation in the district.

Mr. Sesay said Kono was only enjoying 10 hours of electricity out of the expected 24 hours a day, stressing that that ugly situation would soon give way to a sustainable 24-hour supply of electricity.

He said Bo and Kenema were now having reliable,sustainable and quality electricity courtesy of the TRANSCO CLSG facility and assured that it was now the turn of Kono to benefit from same .

One of the stakeholders of Kono district and former Ambassador to China, Ambassador S.E. Johnny, praised the Minister for his stellar leadership, adding that Alhaji Kanja Sesay had made an immaculate name and reputation for himself within the matrix of national development.

He catalogued the critical social, economic and industrial importance of electricity and assured that Kono was ready to reciprocate the development strides of President Bio in the district at the 2023 polls.

Mayor of Koidu City Council,His Worship Komba Sam,also spoke at the ceremony.

ACC urges Lokomasama on Corruption

The Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the North-West Region, Al-Hassan Sesay has told Local authorities and residents of Lokomasama Chiefdom to resist being involved in corruption and embrace the fight against graft.

He made this statement during a sensitization meeting held on the 28th January 2022 at the Local  Court Barray in Petifu Junction.

Speaking at the meeting, Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said

Foremost effect of corruption is that it leads to a reduction in economic growth and development as well as impeding the state from improving

the social welfare of the people such as providing social amenities like quality education, potable water, infrastructural facilities, medical care etc. He pointed out that national development must involve the aggregation of national resources of the country for the general wellbeing of the citizenry in terms of their social and economic advancements. He expressed dismay that even though the Chiefdom has produced prominent people, the reality on ground do not resonate or give a representation on the development of the Chiefdom. He said that public funds allocated for rural development are embezzled by corrupt public officials and in collusion with local authorities, depriving society of the much needed social services.

Outlining the forms and nature of corrupt practices inherent in rural communities, the Regional Head noted that the meeting was largely informed as a response to intelligence gathering relating to corrupt practices in the Chiefdom. He made a precise explanation of several corrupt practices across various sectors including the local court administration, the school system, the health sector, the Sierra Leone Police and other areas of concerns like donor driven projects implemented by Non Governmental organizations in rural communities across the country and the Port Loko District Council. He pointed out corruption demands in the aforementioned areas including but not limited to exploiting the people through extortionate demand and levying of exorbitant fines outsides the confines of the law in the Local Court Act of 2011, payment for bail and obtaining statement, corruption demands in health centres, misuse of public funds and illegal charges that are rife in public schools.

The Senior Public Education Officer Samuel Junisa Sankoh spoke on the role of the community in the fight against corruption and highlighted various methods of reporting corrupt practices to the ACC. He also encouraged them to resist and reject demands of corruption.

Earlier in his welcome statement the Regent Chief of Lokomasama Chiefdom Bockarie Bangura expressed profound happiness to have ACC officials in his chiefdom and for taking anti-corruption messages to his chiefdom particularly so when the effects of corruption have had a devastating effects on the country’s socioeconomic development. He urged his subjects to support the ACC and embrace the fight against graft.

Presentation of IEC materials and question and answer session formed part of the engagement

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