Justice Edmund Cowan, the Speaker of Parliament during the latter stages of the Sierra Leone People’s Party’s eleven-year rule, has been appointed as the country’s Ombudsman under the All People’s Congress (APC) government.
A release from the Office of the President over the weekend announced the appointment of Justice Cowan and nine others for various other positions.
Justice Cowan is replacing Francis Gabbidon who, as Ombudsman, was busying himself with conducting intra-party elections for the then ruling SLPP. He was the country’s first Ombudsman elected in 2003.
Cowan was appointed Speaker of Parliament by the Tejan Kabbah led SLPP government after the death of Justice Kutubu. He was quick to have mastered the art of parliamentary debates without bias which placed him as one of the best speakers to date.
His function as Ombudsman will be to look into complaints and grievances of members of the public against public officials. He has wide powers as he can question any public officer including ministers and have access to documents.
The Ombudsman works with a team of investigators who help him look into grievances, interview individuals and study files.
The other appointments made were the retaining of the chairperson of the Independent Media Commission, Bernadette Cole, and Ibrahim Soriba Kanu as director of the National Authorising Office.
Mrs Daphne Olu Williams is appointed as chairperson of the National Insurance Company (NIC), Abu Bangura as National Commission for Privatization (NCP), Ali Fornah as NaCSA chairman whilst Siray Timbo goes to National Commission (NATCOM).
Mr Sulaiman Sesay and Tom Kargbo are appointed as SALPOST Chairman and SIERRATEL chairman respectively. Mr D F Shears, Dr Sandi Bockarie, Dr Morie K. Manyeh Mrs. Marian Kamara and Harold Hanciles appointed as directors of the Bank of Sierra Leone.