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Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2009 - 17:11:47 
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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Misleading Press Report: Biriwa Chief Never Boycotted Commission of Enquiry
By Mohamed Kabba in Makeni
Nov 12, 2009, 17:24
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The Awareness Times newspaper can authoritatively confirm that a certain report published in a local tabloid yesterday, in connection with the Justice Sheikh Fofanah Commission of Enquiry, was a complete misrepresentation of the facts.

The newspaper in question reported that the disputed Paramount Chief of Biriwa Limba Chiefdom, Alhaji Dr. Madeseray II has been boycotting the hearing since its inception.

Several citizens have yesterday described the aforementioned assertion as misleading, due to the fact that it was in total contrast with the Government Notice No. 166 of the Sierra Leone Gazette.

Paragraph three of the aforementioned notice reads: "At the expiration of the period fixed by the Commission, the Commission shall consider the allegations which have been communicated to the Secretary and if it shall appear to them that the facts stated in any such allegation could not be considered to be kind of subversive of the interests of good government they shall cause such allegation to be struck out and shall cause a copy of the allegations which have not been so struck out to be served on the Chief and shall fix a date for hearing (which shall be communicated to the Chief and to all persons who have communicated allegations to the Secretary) being a date not less than ten days after the copy of the allegations has been served on the Chief".

The Awareness Times has however, learnt that the Commission of Enquiry has held only two sessions since its inception. The first session held on Monday 9th November 2009 was the inaugural opening of the Commission. At the said event, Commissioner Abdulai Sheikh Fofanah informed the people that the occasion marks the formal opening of the Commission of Enquiry; introduced the Commissioners; announced the venue for the sittings and adjourned the sitting to Monday 9th November 2009. Within the adjourned timeframe, the Commission then formally wrote a letter informing the Chief about the commencement of the Enquiry. It was also learnt that the Chief had received the letter and promised to cooperate with the Commission whenever he is needed.

Past Monday 9th November, the Commissioner used the forum as an opportunity to explain to the people, at grassroot level, the procedures involved during the cause of the enquiry and called on all those desiring to make allegations tending to show that the conduct of the Chief has been subversive of the interest of good government. Justice Fofanah clearly explained that the allegations should be communicated in writing to the Secretary of the Commission, or declare same orally to the Secretary who shall commit the same to writing in English Language in the presence of a competent interpreter who shall sign the document to vouch for the accuracy of the translation.

With all the aforementioned facts, several concerned citizens have described the publication alleging that Alhaji Dr. Madeseray Sheriff II has boycotted the Commission of Enquiry, as premature.

The Commission is yet to serve the Chief with any allegation and the not less than ten days timeframe for the Chief to study the allegations and reply the Commission, is still far from expiration.

"So why the rush to conclude that the Chief has boycotted the Commission?" a senior citizen commented yesterday.


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

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