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SPECIAL REPORTS : Afsatu Kabba  

In Sierra Leone, Afsatu Kabbaís Son Went Through Due Processes
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Jun 30, 2010, 17:12
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Count 6 of the latest seven counts that the embattled former Fisheries Minister was dragged to Court for by the Anti Corruption Commission states that Haja Afsatu Kabba abused her office by "instructing for and causing the irregular and unlawful employment" of her son Ibrahim Kabba at the Radiation Protection Unit. Well, past Monday 28th June 2010, it was revealed by the ACCís very own prosecution witness that Ibrahim Kabba, the son of Haja Afsatu Kabba, was duly employed and went through all the required processes starting from filling in an application, being interviewed, taking practical tests, passing competence tests, all the way to seeking for Board Approval following which due process that took a lengthy period of three months, Ibrahim Kabba was employed not as a "Radiation Protection Technician" as erroneously stated on the indictment but duly employed as a "Technician-in-Training" by the Radiation Board. The Witness informed that after going through all these rigorous due processes, Ibrahim Kabbaís Employment Letter was signed and issued out to him by no less a person than the well respected Chairman of the Radiation Protection Board, Professor Ernest Ndomahina, Dean of the Faculty of Pure & Applied Science of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.

The Protected Witness who described himself as a "public servant since 2006" stated that "sometime in the Year 2008", he was informed by Haja Afsatu Kabba that her son wanted to develop a career in Radiation Engineering so she "requested for my assistance to help her son develop such a career".

The Witness explained that he however followed due employment procedures by first inviting Ibrahim Kabba to his office where he was shown copies of Ibrahimís academic qualifications in Computer Hardware Training.

"I then interviewed him following which I told him to write a formal application. After he sent in the written application to us, I called him in again and interviewed him again a second time and then decided to test him to see if he had competence so we gave him practical tests and he demonstrated that he had sound practical experience," the Witness recounted to the ACC Prosecutor.

"I subsequently recommended to my Boss that Ibrahim be recruited as a Trainee-Technician. The Supervisory Board had already approved for recruitment of Trainee Techicians and a number of other vacancies. It has been the style that we recruit Trainees as Interns and then give them further on the job training because our Universities do not do Radiation Training," the witness furthered.

The Witness also informed that other persons not related to the Minister were employed at around that time.

The Witness insisted very adamantly in response to a question posed to him that although he was the Head of the Unit, he was not the one who employed Ibrahim because the Employment Processes and Procedures of his Radiation Unit was such that no one person alone could make a decision to employ anyone.

"I did not employ Ibrahim Kabba. I do not have the powers to employ. I can only recommend for someone to be employed. I recommended to our Board Committee for the employment of Ibrahim Kabba. It was the Board that employed the son of Afsatu Kabba. His employment Letter was signed by the Chairman of the Board who is Professor Ernest Ndomahina," the Witness told the Court.

During cross-examination by Lawyer Yada Williams, the Witness was asked if he had any control over the Board or the Board Chairman who signed the employment letter of Ibrahim Kabba to which the Witness responded, "No. It is the other way around. I am the one who is subject to the Board".

Pressed further by Yada Williams about whether the position currently held by Ibrahim Kabba was ever advertised, the Prosecution Witness responded that "it has been the style for us to only advertise for senior cadre positions. The junior ones like Interns and Trainees we never put out adverts. That has been the practice now for several years".

The Witness stated the date Ibrahim Kabba first sent in written application was on 3rd November 2008 but due to the laid down processes, it was only after Ibrahim Kabba completed all interviews, tests, other employment formalities that he was issued a Letter of Employment by Professor Ernest Ndomahina on 22nd January of the next year 2009. Three months later.


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