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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Interim Report On The Dispute Between Philip Neville And Stanley Bangura And Co
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Apr 20, 2009, 12:02
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INTERIM REPORT ON THE DISPUTE BETWEEN PHILIP NEVILLE AND STANLEY BANGURA AND CO

INTRODUCTION

The minister of information and communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo recently appointed a committee of senior journalists to investigate the conflict that led to a court action filed by Mr. Philip Neville, former Acting president of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) against some members of the SLAJ Northern Region branch.

During the investigation, the committee visited Makeni and spoke separately with the parties to the dispute, including the landlord/ caretaker, Mr. Edward Sesay and his two nephews, Momoh and Thomas Kargbo. The team also heard statements from Mr. Stanley Bangura, Chairman SLAJ Northern Region and Mr. Sahr Bangah, former SLAJ executive members, north.

In Freetown, the committee heard statements from Mr. Philip Neville who produced as evidence a recorded cassette which was played and listened to by the committee. It was a radio discussion programme aired on radio Mankeneh in Makeni. The cassette contains statements directed at Mr. Neville which the committee deemed malicious.

In addition Mr. Neville gave some conditions if there was to be any peaceful settlement of the matter. One such condition was for him to take possession of the disputed building in Makeni.

The committee also obtained statement from a representative of SLAJ Executive, Mr. Mustapha Sesay who said the executive supports any negotiated settlement but insisted that the building in Makeni belongs to SLAJ North as there was no evidence that it belongs to some other person.

FINDINGS

Having listened to all parties to the dispute, the committee was able to establish the following:

1. That the sum of five million Leones (Le5 million) was paid for an office space on No. Magburkaka Road, Makeni sometime in September 2008. However, even though the receipt of Le5 million bears the name SLAJ North, there is no evidence before the committee hat the money came from the coffers of SLAJ North.
2. The landlord/ caretakers did confirm that they received five millions from SLAJ North and NOT from Mr. Philip Neville; hence they rented the building to SLAJ North represented by Stanley Bangura, Sahr Bangah and Morlai Sillah.
3. Mr. Neville did send the sum of five million Leones through Mr. Edward Marah (another SLAJ member) to some members in Makeni for the purpose of renting an office building.
4. The current animosity among members of SLAJ northern region is the outcome of the last SLAJ elections in November 2008.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1 the committee recommends that in the interest of peace and reconciliation, the solicitors of the two parties draw up a Memorandum of Understanding (an MOU) signed by representatives of all parties to the conflict, agreeing to withdraw all the matters from the courts unconditionally

1. Similarly, in the interest of peace and unity within the association, Mr. Neville should take possession of the building in Makeni while simultaneously withdrawing all his matters from courts without preconditions.
2. The committee recommends that the Minister of information be requested to ensure that all parties adhere to the implementation of the recommendations.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

1. Mr. Mohamed M. Samoura- Chairman
2. Christo Johnson Member
3. Joshua Nicol Member
4. Unisa Seisay Member
5. Mariama Coker (Ms) Member
6. Ibrahim Karim Sei - Secretary.


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