Labour Officer attached to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Abubakarr Sillah has said the Bank of Sierra Leone’s Employee Handbook and Code of Conduct have not been vetted by the Ministry of Labor. He made this statement when he was testifying at the Industrial Division of the High Court, in an industrial matter involving Patrick Massaquoi, the Bank’s former Security Guard and the BSL. Massaquoi had worked at the Bank since his appointment in 2015. He however received a letter of dismissal on 10 May 2019 from the Bank on allegations of illegal dealings in foreign exchange. His dismissal was pursuant to the said documents. In his testimony before the presiding Justice Sengu Koroma on Wednesday 22nd January 2020, Sillah said it was during the investigation, when they requested for the documents that they realized that the documents were not vetted. Counsel representing the Bank however argued that it was the same Handbook and Code of Conduct that the plaintiff (Massaquoi) relied on… meaning his employment was nothing to go by in the first place. Justice Sengu became curious and stated that what the Labor Officer was saying was a serious issue. He said if the Bank has not done so, they were operating in default. He noted that there may be other institutions that have not done so either and if that is the case, the court will have to review all their labour decision. He told the witness that if he was correct, he would have played a major role in developing industrial justice. He advised the Bank’s counsel to verify the issue. The hearing will continue on 5th February 2020.
By Edna Browne-Dauphine
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