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MISCONDUCT & BRIBERY…

5 military officers fired

NOVEMBER 25, 2014 By Samuel Ben Turay

Five officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) have been sent on compulsory retirement after the Defence Council met in its 32nd sitting on 21st November, according to a release by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Colonel Michael Samura.

Colonel Samura identified the dismissed officers as Colonel Abu Magba Koroma; Captain Alhaji Koroma; Lieutenant (Navy) Francis Alimamy Mohamed Conteh; Captain Mohamed Jalloh; and Second Lieutenant Allieu Sheriff.

Among the quintet, only Colonel Koroma and Lieutenant (Navy) Conteh are entitled to retirement benefits, while the other three officers were “compulsorily retired from service with no entitlement to retirement benefits”.

The release states: “It is important to note that the first three officers were retired on issues of personal misconduct, the last two were retired as a result of their involvement in the last bribery incident at the Bandama Checkpoint in the East of the country together with some RSLAF other ranks and SL Police personnel. These other ranks and Police personnel had already been retired long ago.”

The Bandama checkpoint is the key security bastion into and out of Kenema city, manned by a joint police and military forces. When Kenema and Kailahun were the Ebola epicentre districts in August, both districts were isolated from the rest of the country, with more than 700 security agents deployed to enforce the isolation.

The release further explains that serious disciplinary issues affecting commissioned officers are addressed by the Defence Council, while those affecting the other ranks (Private to Warrant Officer) are handled within the RSLAF disciplinary chain, under the authority of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

The Defence Council is the highest body in the RSLAF administration chain and is chaired by the President, who is Commander-in-Chief, and includes the Vice President; Ministers of Defence; Finance and Economic Development; Internal Affairs; the Chief of Defence Staff; and Service Chiefs for the Army, Navy and Air Force; while the Director-General of Defence is the Secretary to the Council.