IMC lectures journalists on professional ethics

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By Mustapha Dumbuya

The Independent Media Commission (IMC) in support of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone had concluded a day seminar for senior media practitioners at the Kuna Lodge Hotel in Freetown.

During the seminar, Dr. Massaquoi the chairman for the Independent Media Commission said that he is very passionate about the development of journalism in Sierra Leone and he is fighting very hard to have more fellowship training for journalists outside Sierra Leone.

He explained that the Independent Media Commission is always ready to help journalists to search for the truth and report it fairly without malice.

Ahmed Sahid Naseralla, president for the Sierra Leone Association (SLAJ) underscore that journalists should always followed the ethics and media code of practice; that is the professional road journalists should follow in executing their duty.

The President continued that journalists are the gate keepers, even though the social media is now gaining momentum but journalists should always followed the rules and professional guideline of journalism which shows difference.

Mr. Naseralla pointed that journalist have no longer have the Monopoly of the gatekeeper, because of the advisement of social media which made every individual can generate or give out information to the public but following the code and ethics will show that journalists were professional.

The president also said that the SLAJ disciplinary committed will also ensure that they popularized the media code of ethics that will guide journalists while doing their work and that will gives them a great responsibility in performing their duty.

 He explained that SLAJ have created the welfare fund to support independent journalists and they are developing a policy to know which media houses and journalists will benefit from this fund.

He added that the main purpose of creating is to support journalists who were caught traumatizing during emergency on disaster reporting or covering live.

The Chief Executive Officer for Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) Masella Samba explained the nexus between the media, the public and the civil rights activists. She maintained that these actors have a major role to play in the Sierra Leone governance system.

Masella continued that while journalists were being called the Fourth Estate, civil society were the third force, but the media uphold a greater responsibility in ensuring the dissemination of information to the public.

She also argue that the media is part of the society, the reason been the media is not part of the market which is the private sectors and also not part of the government as well.

She continued that it is a tendency for the private sectors to punish and marginalized the public without any fear and the government also will do the same and therefor the two forces uphold a great responsibility to criticize the government.

She ended that both forces have a similar role to play in making sure that they stand by the public and liberate for the public therefor the government will not punish the public because when they did, we are all involved.

Lawyer Beretay set to take constituency 124 symbol

…As He Embark on community development

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By Alhaji Turay

The former National Security officer, who also served in the Health and Education sector, active member in the Bar Association lawyer Musa Beretay, has continued to embark on community developments projects on road maintenance at constituency 124.

In a bid to continue salvaging the deplorable road conditions in constituency 124, aspiring candidate for the all people congress (APC) parliamentary symbol for the forthcoming 2023 election.

Mr. Beretay has officially opened the Trustcot Street in the central part of Freetown Municipality on the 15th May, 2022.

Addressing the crowd, lawyer Beretay informed his audience that he decided to rehabilitated the road because over the years the years the said feeder road had been referring as a” death trap,” adding that several pedestrians have sustained injuries while plying the said Street.

According to lawyer Beretay, owing to the deplorable state of the road, drivers have been in the habit of dropping off passengers halfway for fear of their vehicles being damaged.

He explained that a good number of residents and youths of that community supported the project especially in the area of labour and finance, among others interventions, for which he was also grateful.

He further revealed that besides Trustcot Street, he had also rehabilitated others streets within his constituency, including Sackville street and Block lane.

The Legal luminary express appreciation to all those in diverse ways supported him for completing the road, while calling on residents to regularly clean up the drainages at all time.

Mr. Manga explained to this medium that lawyer Beretay alone spent over one hundred and seventy Million Leones, adding that through the Support of other community people, the project ended costing more than 178 million Leones.

He continued that they cannot got help from any other person or organizations that they cannot boast of any support from the diaspora in the cause of the project implementation, stressing further that everything that was used to rehabilitate the road was locally generated.

Speakers who made meaningful contributions, expressed similar sentiments as they all gives praises on Lawyer beretay, describing him as someone who always bends over backwards to ensure the happiness of his people.

Several community people had called on the APC party to award constituency 124 symbol to lawyer Beretay to brings more community development for his people within his constituency.

They also commended him for his efforts which they consider as laudable venture behind him for 2023 elections.

The ceremony was climaxed by the cutting of the tape by their donor, lawyer Beretay amidst thunderous applause from the cheerful crowd.

SLP Marred by Unprofessionalism…

LUC Allieu Musa beats up complainants

The Local Unit Commander (LUC) at Panlap Police Division on the outskirts of Makeni township, Allieu Musa, has been accused of physically manhandling a married couple.

The officer allegedly manhandled Sarah Bangura and wife Kadiatu Kamara, after the couple had reported an assault case at the police division.

Reports are that Kadiatu Kamara was assaulted by some boys at Saoliya Village in Gbanty Chiefdom, Bombali District, who borrowed some agricultural implements from her, but stubbornly refused to return them to her. When the poor woman went to Saoliya Village to collect the agricultural implements from the boys, they reportedly molested her and beat her up.

Kadiatu reported the matter at the Panlap Police Division, but the police dragged their feet over it for over a month. When the matter finally came up, the married couple went to the police station and told the security personnel that due to the unnecessary delay in handling the matter, they were no longer interested in it because the boys had already apologized to them. When Kadiatu requested to withdraw the matter from the police station, the security personnel started raining invectives on the married couple for allegedly wasting their time. Even when the married couple explained to the police that the village elders had prevailed on them to withdraw the matter from the police station, the police refused to listen. Instead, they insisted that the matter has been charged to court for hearing.

It was during the argument between the married couple and the police that the LUC, Allieu Musa, came out of his office and called the driver of a waiting vehicle to take the married couple to court. When the husband said they were no longer interested in the matter because the village elders have prevailed on them to resolve the matter amicably, the LUC, according to eye-witness accounts, physically manhandled the husband and ordered his orderlies to apprehend and bundle him into the waiting vehicle.

While the LUC was manhandling the husband, his 6-month heavily pregnant wife Kadiatu was also brutalized by the junior officers that beat her up. They dragged her into the waiting van. Sarah, according to our sources, was frog-marched to the Panlap Police cells and locked up for four days. They were only released on bail after Sarah fell ill. He is at present admitted at the Makeni Government Hospital. After the Spectator contacted LUC Allieu Musa, he declined speaking to the reporter, the damning allegations leveled against him and his junior officers are very serious. He referred this newspaper to the Makeni Police Media Officer, Chief Inspector Sankoh, who dodged answering for three consecutive days.

It could be recalled that this was the second time the Panlap Police Division has maltreated and locked up complainants. Some couple of months ago, a man was beaten up and later locked up in the police cells where he became gravely ill. He died some days later. When the BBC and other media houses reported the matter, only two junior police officers were dismissed and the beleaguered LUC Allieu Musa appeared untouchable.

Theft at NASSIT Internal Auditor’s House…

Man r emanded

By:Feima Sesay

Alhassan Kanney Bangura (20) was on Wednesday, May 25 2022 remanded in jail by Magistrate Sahr Kekura of Pademba Road Court No. 1 over a theft case involving Le 12m from Hassan Musa Bangura (an Internal Auditor at NASSIT) and wife Umu Bangura.

The accused was initially arraigned in court on two counts charges of house breaking and larceny contrary section 26(1) of the Larceny Act 1916.

According to the particulars of offence, it was reported that the Kanney on diverse dates between 11 March and 7 April 2022 at No. 1 HM Bangura Avenue SS Camp, Freetown, broke into the house of Hassan Musa Bangura and Umu Bangura with intent to steal the sum of Le12m and various documents belonging to the complainants.  They added that the Kanney on the same date stole other items.

A prosecution witness Hassan Musa Bangura led in evidence by Sergeant 9939 Mohamed Lahai said he was an Internal Auditor at NASSIT

The witness further recalled a date between 11 March and 7 April 2022.  At this stage the prosecutor requested for an adjournment to have further conference with the witness. Kanney was however refused bail and the matter was adjourned to 31 May 2022 for further hearing. No legal representation was made on behalf of the accused in court. 

30 Thousand Pounds Fraud

By Feima Sesay

A building contractor John R. Taylor was on Wednesday May 25 2022 granted bail in the sum of Le250m by Magistrate Sahr Kekura of Pademba Road Court No.1 over an alleged 30, 000 Pounds fraud.

The accused John R. Taylor appeared before the court on a charge of Fraudulent conversion contrary to section 20 (1) of the Larceny Act 1916.

According to Court papers, it was alleged that the accused on diverse date between 29 July to 16 September 2021 in Freetown being entrusted with 30,000 Pounds or its Leones equivalent in order to renovate a building at 50 Pratt Street, New England Ville, which belonged to the complainant. But he fraudulently converted Le133, 597,900.00 of the same to your own use and benefit.

When the charge was read to the accused no plea was taken.

Prosecution witness number one Josephine Beckley Barnett led in examination in chief by lawyer Achatoh said she is a pensioners and that she know the defendant in the matter through one Hawa Kanu.

She said the property at No 50 Pratt Street belongs to her.

The witness further recalled that on 29 July 2021 and 16 September 2021, adding that on the aforementioned dates, the defendant was introduced to her by Hawa as a contractor and that upon that introduction, she gave the defendant a contract to renovate her house.  At this juncture the prosecutor requested an adjournment to have further conference with her.

Lawyer T. Beah applied for bail on herald of the defendant on the grounds that the accused is a Sierra Leonean and has responsible sureties who are ready to enter recognizance on his behalf if granted bail. He said he was not served with affidavit by the prosecutor opposing to bail. His application was made pursuant to section 79(2) of the Criminal procedure Act 1965.

The prosecuting Lawyer Achatoh in reply vehemently opposed to bail noting that he has served the court with an affidavit in opposition to bail dated 24 May 2022, adding that the defense counsel refused to accept the affidavit in opposition to bail on the grounds that the file is not before him. Magistrate  Kekura  having listened to both sides granted bail to the defendant  in the sum of 250 million Leones and one  surety in like sum and the surety  should be a responsible  citizen  resident  in Freetown  and should produce valid identity card and that the bail should be approved by Deputy Acting Registrar and the matter was adjourned to  26th May 2022.

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