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BAD JOURNALISM : Sierra Express Paper Begs First Lady locally but keeps article online
Nov 9, 2009, 13:46
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Sierra Express Media(SEM) paper operated by Adeyemi Paul has proven to be engaged in repeated acts of bad journalism with the latest victim being the First Lady of the Republic, Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma whilst Supreme Court Justice Tolla Thompson stands accused of acquiescent negligence over the matter. In late October, the SEM newspaper ran a series of promotional articles for Justice Tolla Thompson and following this, they ran an article in which they cited an un-named source as having revealed to workers of Hughes Security that Justice Tolla Thompson was being put under pressure by the First Lady not to deliver justice to the affected workers at the Industrial Court. In light of the promotional articles on Tolla Thompson and the shocking silence from Tolla Thompson to debunk the story, many readers had concluded that the article was correct and had the tacit approval of Tolla Thompson.

However, the Press Officer to the First Lady, effectively worked to get the SEM newspaper to retract what was clearly proven to be total rubbish as the First Lady did not even know Hughes Security let alone speak to Tolla Thompson about the workers. SEM retracted and even apologised on their front pages on October 31st 2009, two days after the offending article of October 28th 2009. The Editor of SEM, Richie Bockarie, reportedly personally apologised to First Lady Sia Koroma over the phone and promised to retract.

Unfortunately, despite the profuse apologies and published retraction by Richie Bockarie locally, the defamatory article against the First Lady has not been removed by Adeyemi Paul from the World Wide Internet nor has the SEM Apology and Retraction been published over the SEM website thus leaving important International Partners into thinking there was truth in what is an outright lie.

Emails pointing out this anomaly to SEMs Adeyemi Paul currently in USA, have gone unanswered but it will be recalled that the SEM newspaper has bagged a reputation for publishing lies. It was this same paper that published outright lies few weeks ago claiming it interviewed a female newspaper Publisher and even made up quotations it falsely assigned as coming from her.

As for Justice Tolla Thompson and his silence as his name was used by his associates at SEM to libel First Lady, those au fait with his modus operandi at the Judiciary over the years say he cares not for anyone elses reputation but only for his own selfish interests.

Many senior judicial and legal figures have told this newspaper in no uncertain terms that if the Chief Justice Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh continues to rely on Judge Tolla-Thompson as her experienced adviser, she was signing away her possible chances to make a difference at the helm of the Judiciary. Already, Tolla Thompsons continued supervision of local Magistrates has seen Magisterial service delivery drop to appalling levels all over the country whilst his much-trumpeted presiding over the Industrial Courts have been described as a cheap publicity stunt to justify his continued retention way past his Judicial Expiry Date (i.e: 7 years beyond the 65-years retirement for all Judges). He spends all his time playing gimmicks at the Industrial Court.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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