From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

FEATURES
Sierra Leone Christiana Thorpe is a Fraud who Forges Signatures on Documents
By Augustine Samba
Aug 30, 2010, 17:36

PERTINENT REFERENCES

THE ELECTORAL LAWS ACT No. 2 of 2002
Section 78: Counting Officer's decision to be final.
The decision of the Counting Officer as to any question arising in respect of any ballot paper shall be final and subject to review only on an election petition questioning the election.

THE NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION ACT No. 1 of 2002
Section 3: Independence of Commission.
3. By virtue of subsection (11) of section 32 of the Constitution, the Commission is an independent body.

THE NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION ACT No. 1 of 2002
Section 4: REMOVAL OF MEMBER
4.(1) Pursuant to subsection (8) of section 32 of the Constitution, a member of the National Electoral Commission may be removed from office by the President for inability to discharge the functions of his office, whether arising from the infirmity of mind or body or any other cause, or for misbehaviour.
4.(2) When a member of the Commission is to be removed from office for misbehaviour under section 4.(1), the statement of the misbehaviour shall be addressed to a tribunal appointed by the President, adapting for that purpose, the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (5) of section 137 of the Constitution and subsections (6) and (7) of that section shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to the removal of that member of the Commission.


START OF ARTICLE:
Hon. Elizabeth Alpha-Lavalie is one of the leading aspirants for the position of flagbearer and Presidential Candidate for Sierra Leone’s main opposition party during the elections slated for 2012. She paid her mandatory, non-refundable Le10million deposit to the Party last Friday August 27th 2010, following which she gave a full-length exclusive interview to Awareness Times at her Hill Station residence. We will publish the full interview later this week. Meanwhile, here are extracts from her no-holds-barred, hard-hitting interview. When asked if her views on Dr. Christiana Thorpe had changed, she was firm in her reply as published below.

“I would have said she should have learnt her lessons well that in September 2007, she was wrong to have contravened Section 78 of the National Electoral Laws Act No. 2 of 2002 but what really gives me great concern is not so much her cancellation of the results of 477 Polling Stations but her fraudulent act of forgery. That alone should disqualify her aside all the other issues like the illegal elections training institution she is operating without parliamentary approval. Christiana Thorpe is a big forger of signatures. Such a woman who can forge signatures should not be conducting elections. She forged her fellow Commissioner’s signature from a computer onto a document and had the gall to take the forged signature document to us Parliamentarians; imagine the nerve of this woman to take a forged signature document to us, the elected representatives of Sierra Leoneans!

When her fraudulent act was uncovered, her fellow Commissioner, Mrs. Daphne Olu-Williams bitterly complained over the illegal forgery of Olu-Williams’ signature on parliamentary documents without the consent of Olu-Williams but Christiana Thorpe was recalcitrant and showed no form of remorse. Instead she is believed to be the one who immediately manipulated for President Koroma to breach Section 4 of the National Electoral Commission Act No. 1 of 2002 and abruptly and illegally remove Mrs. Daphne Olu-Williams for no just cause. How can such a woman; a fraudulent forger like Christiana Thorpe, be allowed to conduct important National Elections?”


Still on the issue of the forging of the signature of Daphne Olu-Williams without her consent, Hon. Elizabeth Lavalie had this to say:

I read Daphne’s bitter complaint she wrote to the then Executive Secretary, Aiah Mattia against using her signature forged from a computer without her consent. It is clear that the forged Daphne Olu-Williams signature which was sent to Parliament by Christiana Thorpe was with the consent and approval of Aiah Mattia. Lamentably, today, Aiah Mattia has been elevated from Executive Secretary to be appointed as Electoral Commissioner for the Eastern Province. Christiana Thorpe and Aiah Mattia! What a team! A team of forgers of signatures. Fraudsters! I do not know how anyone can expect any credible elections conducted by signature forgers like Christiana Thorpe and Aiah Mattia.

 

Another extract of the hot interview deals with the attempt by a local columnist last Thursday to de-cry true patriots raising alarms over the appointment of Christiana Thorpe that saw all elected SLPP MPs walk out of Parliament. The columnist made a mockery of himself when he compared the appointment of Dr. Christiana Thorpe to that of Kanji Daramy as Telecommunications Chairman. Well, here is what SLPP Strongwoman, Hon. Elizabeth Lavalie had to say about that issue:
“You cannot compare the appointment of a National Telecommunications Chairman to that of a National Electoral Commissioner. They are not comparable by any stretch of the imagination. I am yet to see anywhere on the African Continent where people went berserk and caused a civil uprising resulting in deaths because of telecommunications issues but election issues are very, very, very sensitive issues. Very sensitive because they concern lives and passions so those people conducting elections must be credible and acceptable to all parties so as to make the elections results credible and acceptable.

Our President is yet to demonstrate to the country and our international partners that he intends to have credible elections in Sierra Leone come 2012 which is why he sent the name of a signature forger like Christiana Thorpe to us in Parliament. This is why we all walked out of Parliament. We cannot in any shape or form associate the SLPP with the endorsement of a fraudulent forger of signatures. This is why we walked out.

Elections issues are sensitive issues and the citizens of Sierra Leone whom we are representing from so many, many constituencies have told us they do not want Christiana Thorpe! They abhor her. They do not trust her. They despise her tactics so we have to adhere to the wishes of our Constituents. This is why we walked out. Elections issues are sensitive issues concerning lives; our people’s lives”.


Hon. Lavalie also compared her party’s sensitivity to the delicate elections issues to that of now-ruling APC party which was in opposition during the period preceding the 2007 Elections when the SLPP was in governance.

“The SLPP has so much respect for the sensitivity of elections and the importance of the perception of a level playing field that when the then-opposition APC leader, Ernest Koroma made an insignificant hue and cry over the appointment of our preferred Elections Chair, Mr. Ahmed Akar, in 2005, even though his reason given for not wanting Mr. Akar did not border on serious issues, former President Kabbah of the SLPP respected Ernest Koroma’s APC views, withdrew the nomination of Akar and searched well for a candidate who will be acceptable to all political parties.

Now the tables are turned, look at how the APC Leader is behaving to SLPP Leader John Benjamin? He refused to hold a consultative meeting with the SLPP Leader John Benjamin even after our leader wrote a letter to him dated May 24th 2010 requesting for such consultations to be done. He just ignored our very serious concerns. This is why I say the APC is a very callous party as shown by the actions of the President.

In a democracy, it does not mean that only the Majority should have their way. Consideration should be paid to the minority also and in this case, the minority is speaking on behalf of 50% of the country as compared to the last time when Ernest Koroma in opposition was only speaking on behalf of less than one-third of our electorates. This is not the time to be callous. This is the time to be considerate and behave not as a partisan APC man but as Father of the Nation. We do not want Christiana Thorpe to conduct 2012 Elections because we do not trust her. She is a fraudulent forger”.

 

:::::END OF EXTRACTS:::::   STAY TUNED FOR THE FULL BLOCKBUSTER INTERVIEW!!



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