Indications reaching this newspaper are that the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, currently visiting Sierra Leone, might be all set to be given a ‘Gba Nya Fakei’ (i.e: have the wool pulled over his eyes) this morning of June 15th 2010 at the premises of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) when he would be given the impression by the APC-led Government of President Ernest Koroma that the much important Board of the SLBC has been fully constituted and functional.
The reality is as of last night, only five out of the nine proposed members as mandated by the SLBC Act, have been approved by Parliament. A last ditch attempt yesterday to have the extra four persons approved was fruitless with some reports even emerging that the nominated member to represent the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Dr. Julius Spencer, has been turned down by the ruling party dominated Parliamentary Appointments Committee.
The five persons who have been approved so far are:
· Professor Septimus Kaikai – Chairman
· Lawyer Easmon N.B. Ngakui – Bar Association
· Paramount Chief Koroma of Bumbuna – Council of Chiefs
· Mrs. Saffa Koroma (nee Tucker) – Women’s Representative
· Mr. Morlai Conteh – Youths Representative.
The remaining representatives yet to be approved are
· Nominee for SLAJ
· Nominee for Civil Society
· Nominee for Inter-religious Council
· Nominee for Department of Engineering, Fourah Bay College
Whilst Mr. Ban Ki Moon will be delivering a Statement today to mark the launch of what is supposed to be a fully functional SLBC, the reality is that the SLBC is not yet fully functional as the Board is yet to fully constituted and so no legitimate decision can be taken by either Professor Septimus Kaikai or the Board as presently constituted.
The SLBC Act says five out of the nine members forms a quorum for decisions which had caused the Government to mis-advise itself that with only five members, decisions could be taken. The legal position, which we understand is held by strategic members of the Bar Association, is that the use of the term ‘quorum’ can only be applied when an entity is fully constituted and a required fraction of the fully constituted entity is present.
The Board, as an entity has not been fully constituted as of now so whatever it is that is being launched this morning at SLBC Premises in the presence of Mr. Ban Ki Moon, will have to be properly defined as it does not fall into the definition of a properly constituted SLBC as it is yet to have a legitimate Board to supervise its operations.
Meanwhile, the programme for this morning is scheduled to commence at 11am and is as follows:
· Welcome Address by Chairman of occasion, Minister I.B. Kargbo
· Handing Over of Television Equipment to SLBC Board
· Statement to mark Launch by UNSG Ban Ki Moon
· Keynote Address and Formal Launch by President Koroma
· Vote of Thanks by Board Chairman Prof. Septimus Kaikai
· Conducted Tour of the Premises and Refreshments