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Suspension of SLRSA’s Executive Director is Illegal -Law Firm

Ibrahim Sannoh versus Sheik Bawoh: Who is who?

November 19, 2021

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

Brewa & Co. Legal Consultant has disapproved the indefinite suspension of Ibrahim Sannoh, Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA), by the Board, stating that the Board acted Ultra-vires as no such powers are conferred on to it by the SLRSA’s Act.

Members of the SLRSA Board had earlier in this month indefinitely suspended Ibrahim Sannoh, Executive Director SLRSA.

According to the Board, they suspended Sannoh for insubordination to the person and authority of the Chairman, Board of Directors, disrespect to the Deputy Minister, Board Member, Reverend Mustapha Janneh and the Senior Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transportation and Aviation.

The Board also accused him of putting the Authority into disrepute and of deliberating stalling the implementation of a contract between the Government of Sierra Leone and Autospect, among others.

Based on the action of the board against the executive director, the law firm was hired to provide a legal opinion on the issue.

Laying their premises on the argument that the Board has no such powers to either permanently or temporarily remove the Executive Director, the Legal Consultants cited Section 3 (4) Paragraph (b) of the SLRSA Act No.3 of 1996, which   makes the Executive Director a member of the Board.

“So, it follows that the Executive Director is a member of the Board of Directors with powers under Section 3(1). Secondly, the Board is not an Executive Board. This is evident from the fact that the Authority has an Executive Director, who, as provided for in Section 13(1), is the Chief Executive Officer. Section 13 (1) Paragraph gives the Executive Director overall leadership in the conduct and management of the day to day business or activities of the Authority,” they pointed out. 

According to the law firm, the Act also stipulates that the Executive Director shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Minister of Transport and Aviation.

“Section 4(4) stipulates that Board Members may be removed by the President for misconduct among others. No such power is conferred on the Board in the Act.”

“The Board acted Ultra-vires when it suspended the Executive Director, as no such powers are conferred on to it by the SLRSA Act.”

The Legal Consultants further state that the Executive Director is a presidential appointee, which means issues of such removal, whether temporal or permanent, should be handled by the Office of the President and not the Board.

“Paragraph 2 supra, the Board has no such power under the Act to temporarily remove the presidential appointee on their own and appoint the Deputy to act in such capacity. That action contravenes section 12 (1) of the Act and amounts to usurpation to Presidential powers of appointment of an Executive Director either in an acting or permanent basis by the Board.”

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