Supreme Court Judge Hon. Justice Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh who until this her latest appointment was the Number 2 in the Judicial hierarchy, has yesterday Friday January 25 2008, been sworn in by President Ernest Koroma at State House to act as Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone. This move follows the substantive Chief Justice, Dr. Ade Renner Thomas being sent on leave. It is believed that Dr. Renner Thomas will not be coming back to that office.
"Yes, it is true. I have been sent on leave," was the response given by Dr. Ade Renner Thomas when Awareness Times called to confirm.
Meanwhile, efforts to speak with the new acting Honourable Lord Chief Justice, Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh were not successful as the new acting Lord Chief Justice of the land was now unreachable by phone.
However, sources close to her have confirmed to Awareness Times that indeed she had been offered the position by the President, has accepted the offer and has already been sworn in. Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh, thus becomes the first woman to ever hold such a lofty position in the history of Sierra Leone.
Many local women groups are already reported to be strongly endorsing the move to have a woman placed in charge of the Sierra Leone Judiciary.
Meanwhile, there have been some other fresh appointments made including reported replacement Commissioners for the sacked Eddie Nyalley and Winston Minah at the National Electoral Commission (NEC). The NEC Chair, Dr. Christiana Thorpe who is currently battling out a legal battle with the main opposition SLPP Party, was not replaced as had been demanded by the SLPP as a precondition to their participation in the upcoming Local Government Elections slated for July this year.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.