Justice Stevens presents COI recommendations on Tonkolili Paramount Chief to President BIO

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Justice Momoh-Jah Stevens’ has presented to President Bio

By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

Justice Momoh-Jah Stevens has presented the Commission of Inquiry into the alleged gross misconduct of Paramount Chief Alimamy Bockarie Yalan Koroma III of Dansogoia Chiefdom, Tonkolili District, to President Bio.

Presenting the report to the President, the Sole Commissioner of the Commission of Inquiry, Justice Momoh-Jah Stevens, said following his appointment to investigate the Paramount Chief, they sat on the matter at the first hearing on 8 November 2023, where reasons for its establishment were introduced in the presence of the Paramount Chief.

Justice Stevens further noted that the case was deferred to 13 November, when the State Counsel introduced his case that the Chief had violated his duty as the Paramount Chief by compromising his responsibilities.

He said the Chief was heard in audio and seen in video recordings, claiming that he had been denied the opportunity to be a Paramount Chief Member of Parliament for the Tonkolili District, thereby pointing fingers at the Government of Sierra Leone for the state of affairs.

The sole commissioner said when the allegations were put to him,the Chief did not object and also accepted that he did so because he was unhappy that he was not made PC MP for Tonkolili District.

“His Excellency, my recommendations are here in confidential. They are subjected to your approval, according to the constitution, to be accepted or rejected at your sole discretion,” he said.

“According to the code of ethics and service standards of the Chieftaincy in Sierra Leone, chiefs are expected to maintain social harmony at the local level and in chiefdoms, as it is a vital foundation for the security of the nation. It is also expected to be non-partisan in carrying out their responsibilities as traditional authorities,” he said .

President Julius Maada Bio thanked the sole commissioner, the minister, and the state counsel and team for taking their time and for their effort to present the recommendations of the investigation.

He said in the space of the rule of law, they had to make sure that they followed certain procedures and not just according to their own encumbrances.

He added that, that was the main reason, even when many people thought that the actions of the Paramount Chief were wrong, the Government still needed to form the procedure to fully meet the requirements of a rule-based society.

The President recognised their efforts and stressed the point that government would go through the report and the recommendations and then take the necessary actions.

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