May 9, 2017 By John Gowahun
Former Chief of Staff of State House,Dr. Richard Konteh,who was recently discharged by the High court after a long trial, has over the weekend made it abundantly clear that as a true Christian “he holds no grudge against anybody for his predicament.”
Dr.Konteh was in 2015 sacked by President Ernest Bai Koroma on allegations that he was not open and transparent in the conduct of official negotiations for a mining agreement with a private sector operator, thereby violating established policy, undermining existing institutional arrangements, and exposing government to potential loss of revenue.
He was also alleged to have allegedly involved himself in the illegal export of timber from Sierra Leone, using an unauthorized executive order, which granted an open-ended mandate to the timber harvesters, processors and exporters (SL) Ltd to undertake the export of an unlimited quantity of value-added processed timber, in direct contravention of the approval granted by the president.
He was subsequently arrested and taken to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), where police obtained statement from him over the illegal shipment of 400 containers of timber from Sierra Leone.
He was charged to court alongside Alie Suma, a timber merchant but both were last month declared innocent by the High Court after two years of legal battle with the state.
As a show of gratitude to God, a thanksgiving Service was held on his behalf and family at Lumley Wesleyan Church on Sunday, May 7, 2017 under the theme: ‘The Attitude of Gratitude Exalts to Higher Altitude’
In his brief and succinct testimony before the mammoth congregation, Dr Richard Konteh described his predicament as a test from God that was only accomplished by men.
He said even though there is a curse for whosoever accomplishes bad plan, he nevertheless asked that the merciful God forgives those who plotted against him.
He narrated that from the time the charges were made against him, he has been telling people that “he is not saying he is a saint but as far as this matter is concerned he is innocent.”
“Today, the evidence of my innocence has been proven beyond every reasonable doubt. To God be all the glory,” he said.
Schooling the congregation on challenges and trials at various levels and diverse forms, Rev. Alie Sehdu Conteh, senior pastor of the church emphasised that trials/difficulties in this world are not only meant for disbelievers or else Jesus Christ wouldn’t have faced abhorrent trial to the point of even losing his life.
“As long as you are in this world as child of God you must be faced with trials in diverse ways but as a child of God, you must be thankful under whatever circumstance,” he stressed.
The experienced pastor called on every believer to take pride to suffer injustice than for him to do injustice to others, commending Dr Richard’s exemplary Christian life style by always giving God all the glory.
He made mention of specific instances like the time he was appointed as Deputy Finance Minister, Minister of Trade, Chief of Staff and even the time he was granted bail by the court, when he thought it all wise to be grateful to his Lord.
“There is no way this particular Thanksgiving could be associated with any other reason. It has been part of his culture as a true Christian and nothing else,” he said and fervently congratulated Dr. Richard amidst thunderous congregation.
Meanwhile, subsequent thanksgiving services would be held on 12, 13 and 14 of May in the three Loko chiefdoms of Libeysegahun, Magbaimba Ndorhahun and Gbendembu Ngowahun respectively.