''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol XI No 1

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Monday January 6, 2014 - 15 years ago today, the Sierra Leone capital Freetown was put to the sword in the manner of true medieval and primitive cruelty as thousands of unarmed, unprotected and innocent civilians - men, women, children, the old and infirm were brutalised, tortured, dispossessed, raped, abducted, enslaved and dehumanised in an orgy of bloodletting that would have shamed the hordes of Genghis Khan. Ernest Bai Koroma - the puppet master at State House bent on engulfing Sierra Leone into another round of extreme violence and disorder using all means necessary.Anti Corruption Commission boss Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara - has he put his reputation on the line because of that salary increase from Ernest Bai Koroma?National Electoral Commission boss Christiana Thorpe - who is she serving - the people or Ernest Bai Koroma?Chief Justice Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh - is she really independent?

15 years on, the planners of those murderous attacks on civilians walk the streets and alleyways of the same capital as the new overlords over the people they subjected to such inhuman treatment. 15 years on, a President whose party  was out of power for 15 years (1992-2007) is showing Sierra Leoneans his true colours as well as his party badge of greed, massive corruption and disrespect for the rule of law and the Constitution.

Now he does not only reward those associated with the mindless violence on civilians, but is ready and willing to kick survivors in the teeth by championing the welfare of the murderers and rapists and their media apologists as well as all those who fed fat on the misery of the victims. 15 years on, a President whose party was out of power for 15 years is not only laying conditions for what led to our troubles of the 90's starting with a war in 1991, but is busy making a laughing stock of the facts and warning messages contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report which had highlighted the many reasons that led to an armed insurrection against the powers that refused to listen to the cries of the people.

The Sierra Leone Constitution clearly separates the three arms of governance, but in the diary of the smoke and mirrors occupant of State House, this does not matter as the Judiciary and Parliament get compromised and officials given this sacred duty see things the way of one Ernest Bai Koroma even though these actions are clearly not in line with the spirit and the provisions of the 1991 Constitution.

For him, it is the 1978 APC One Party Constitution spirit that still reigns supreme with any opposition subjected to a clearly dysfunctional Parliament and Judiciary. Indeed the TRC report highlighted, among others, the separation of powers with this observation.

8. For good governance to obtain, the three branches of government - the executive, the legislature and the judiciary - must be separate and independent of one another, and each must have the requisite power to fulfil its functions.  The constitutional provisions that ensure the separation of powers must not merely exist on paper, but rather must be developed and reaffirmed continuously in their application.  A failure to respect this separation inevitably allows one branch of government - most often the executive - to act in an unaccountable fashion and to influence or undermine the work of the other two.  A government that permits little or no restraint on its own powers is an authoritarian government, which epitomises bad governance.  In analysing the pre-war period in Sierra Leone, the Commission regards authoritarianism, wherever it occurred, as a direct cause of injustice and, accordingly, as a cause of the conflict.

The lack of respect for the rule of law in as far as it affects opposition parties and non-APC functionaries has become the order of the day with court cases getting twisted in the most criminal manner while those declaring for the ruling APC, are functionaries or have connections with State House enjoy the benefits of a warped system that encourages impunity. This is what the TRC says on the rule of law.

78. The rule of law signifies a society in which law is supreme.  The running of state institutions, the relationship between the rulers and the ruled, interactions amongst and between individuals or corporate bodies; they should all be done according to law.  The rule of law opposes the arbitrary rule of powerful men and women.  The basic principles of the rule of law include equality before the law of the land;61 an impartial and independent judiciary; an accessible justice system; irrevocable constitutional guarantees; and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.62  Other important components of the rule of law are due process and fair legislative mechanisms that do not discriminate against particular groups in the society...

172. Proper governance is still an imperative, unfulfilled objective in Sierra Leone.  Corruption remains rampant and no culture of tolerance or inclusion in political discourse has yet emerged.

The same scenario is now being played out with smoke and mirrors Ernest Bai Koroma, (PhD x3 added but in reality BA General Div 3 - Allowed to Pass category) disregarding the provisions of the Constitution - provisions he had taken an oath to defend. And this in effect means that Ernest Bai Koroma is not only in contravention of the Constitution, but is setting himself for up for charges of treason.

Treason, in our view, is not only the taking up of arms to replace a government that is voted into office in a free, fair and violence-free election, but treason charges can be laid against a President who having taken the oath of office to defend the constitution, deliberately and in a calculating manner goes against the key elements of that document that defines the position he holds.

His accomplices should include, among others the Chief Justice Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh, the Head of the Electoral Commission Christiana Thorpe and the Head of the Anti Corruption Commission Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara. These named officials know and are aware of their duty to the people of Sierra Leone as defined in the Constitution and other documents relating to the discharge of their duties, but have failed to do so. Instead they have become a part of a concerted plot against the people of Sierra Leone who are now forced to suffer further agony. Thanks to a system orchestrated with the help of others still to be identified, where the rule of law has become almost non-existent unless you are a party activist or have direct connections to State House from where the smoke and mirrors President presides over the fate of the millions of poor and disadvantaged and unconnected Sierra Leoneans in their own God-given country.

The November 17, 2012 had many a glaring flaw with the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party, the SLPP claiming that victory was stolen from them. Recent court decisions all going in favour of the ruling party highlights once more the refusal of the Ernest Bai Koroma gang to learn from the lessons of history as stated in the TRC report -

"25. Court cases involving elections under the APC were decided in favour of the APC by a compliant judiciary.  Violent by-elections conducted under a state of emergency between 1969 and 1970 led to the loss of 23 SLPP opposition seats.  Thus by the time the Republican Constitution was passed in 1971, the APC commanded more than the two-thirds majority necessary to pass whatever bill it deemed necessary.  With an executive President and an obedient legislature and judiciary, the creation of a dictatorial system and destruction of state institutions took hold."

Although a Constitutional Review Commission is reported to be in progress, the smoke and mirrors exponent has gone ahead with an amendment to the present Constitution which in effect paves the way for the selection of a Speaker with little or no legal background - the same as was foisted upon the people during the one-party days that saw one William Conteh robed in the attire that had been the preserve of persons trained and practised in legal matters.

The framers of the Constitution had this provision for a legal mind so that the Speaker will be in a position to interpret certain sections of the Constitution and hence guide law makers in their duty of making good laws for all within the borders of Sierra Leone.

The recent pronouncement of Christiana Thorpe that the Members of Parliament for Constituencies 005 and 015 would now be the APC losers after a dubious court decision leaves no doubt that by implication the Executive (read President Koroma) in a bid to have the necessary number of MPs to pass any bill into law has acted in an unconstitutional manner and together with Christiana Thorpe, the Head of the Electoral Commission as well as the Cheif Justice Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh must be brought to a tribunal for an examination of their conduct in office.

There is no provision in the Constitution which says that in an election if the clear winner is disenfranchised by a suppliant justice system, the second highest recipient of votes in that constituency should be declared the winner. No way.

Christiana Thorpe has acted outside her remit and must be taken to a court/tribunal for depriving the many voters who cast their ballots for the SLPP candidate of their choice. This is not only a fraudulent act, but one of a criminal nature that threatens the very foundation of Sierra Leone's fledgling democracy. Whatever the case - there should have been a bye-election and not this broad daylight thievery and outright chicanery.

This goes against the Constitution.

Christiana Thorpe, having received a whopping salary increase from Ernest Bai Koroma appears bent on earning her wages and in the process acting against the Constitution which document is one of the laws of Sierra Leone. And this is not the first time. Remember how she tried to disenfranchise potential President candidates by raising the nomination fees without consulting the other political parties? This is what the Carter Centre, one of the international observer groups for the November 17, 2012 elections noted -

"On July 31, 2012, the commission (read Christiana Thorpe's National Electoral Commission) announced steep increases in non-refundable nomination fees for all elections. Presidential nomination fees were increased from Le1,000,000 to Le100,000,000 (US $230 to US $23,000), fees for member of Parliament candidates were increased from Le100,000 to Le25,000,000 (US $23 to $5,800), and fees for district chairs/mayors and local council candidates were increased from Le100,000 to Le5,000,000 (US $23 to US $1,155) and from Le100,000 to Le2,000,000 (US $23 to $460), respectively. The commission’s decision to increase the registration fees for candidates shortly before the registration period began was seen by some stakeholders as an attempt to limit the number of candidates, particularly those from opposition parties..."

This observation was also noted by the European Union team -

"The NEC acted independently and impartially throughout the whole election process and key decisions were made in consultation with political parties and other stakeholders. Notable exceptions, however, were the process of prescribing nomination fees, which did not include any consultations, and the announcement of presidential election results, as the winning APC presidential candidate and incumbent President was evidently informed about the results earlier than the other presidential candidates and the general public, as his swearing in ceremony started shortly after the official announcement of the presidential election results."

Kindly read again what Christiana Thorpe has written so you can appreciate the level of fraud and sheer criminality displayed.

She writes - "In exercise of the powers conferred on me as the National Returning Officer, by section 94, of the Public Elections Act 2012, I hereby declare REGINA MARRAH who, having polled 1,342 the highest number of valid votes cast, duly elected Member of Parliament for Constituency 005."

And Christiana Thorpe actually signed this statement!!!

This in effect means that the more than 11,000 voters who cast their ballots for the SLPP candidate in constituency 005 have been deprived of their votes by a government and an electoral commission that is bent on pleasing Ernest Bai Koroma.

This in effect means that the more than 11,000 votes cast for the winning SLPP candidate, have with a compliant judiciary and National Electoral Commission become invalid!!!

It was such manipulation of elections that caused our troubles and this must be reversed immediately and a bye-election called. The people of the three Chiefdoms comprising this constituency must be respected and their choice be the representative in Parliament.

How can someone who polled so low a vote be a representative of the people in that constituency?

If this is not treason, then we wonder what it is.

There should be a bye-election in both constituency 005 and 015.

We have also noted that Constituency 005 and 015 have been expunged from the NEC website on Parliamentary Results with the serial going - 001, 002, 003, 004, and 006 as if no results were available after the elections. The same has been done for Constituency 015 missing thus ...013, 014, 016.

If this is not fraud, then we wonder what it is.

Here's a reminder to one President Ernest Bai Koroma on what our Constitution says about what to do in the event of misconduct by the President. This is one of two options available apart from the Parliamentary route.

127. Enforcement of the Constitution.

(1) A person who alleges that an enactment or anything contained in or done under the authority of that or any other enactment is inconsistent with, or is in contravention of a provision of this Constitution, may at any time bring an action in the Supreme Court for a declaration to that effect.

(2) The Supreme Court shall, for the purposes of a declaration under subsection (1), make such orders and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for giving effect to, or enabling effect to be given to, the declaration so made.

(3) Any person to whom an order or direction is addressed under subsection (1) by the Supreme Court shall duly obey and carry out the terms of the order or direction.

(4) Failure to obey or to carry out the terms of an order or direction made or given under subsection (1) shall constitute a crime under this Constitution.


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