President Bai Koroma yesterday Thursday 6th March 2008 revoked the expulsion and deprivation of citizenship order of two prominent Lebanese nationals Mohamed Kamel Wanza and Mrs F.T. Saad.
The two were among ten others who had been deported and stripped of their naturalized Sierra Leonean citizenship by the former government of President Tejan Kabbah barely 21 days after he triumphantly returned to the country after being temporarily ousted by the AFRC junta some ten years ago on the 31st March 1998.
Kamel Wanza had been involved (and is still involved) in a long battle over payment for a marine surveillance ship with the former government, who accused him of impropriety.
Mrs F.T Saad had allegedly been accused of involvement with the now defunct rebel Revolutionary United Front.
The release from State House did not indicate or supply any background why the President took this decision except to say that the President Koroma exercised “the powers conferred on him by Section 23 of the Non-citizen Act No. 14 of 1965” to revoke the expulsion and deprivation of citizenship order on the two people “with effect from … Thursday 6th March 2008.” Government officials could not be reached for their comments.
However, reacting to the news the President of the Lebanese community in Sierra Leone Mr Samir Hassaniyeh said “I welcome the news and hope it will be for the good of all of us. These people” he said “had big businesses going on here.”
He added “I hope that we will let bygones be bygones and we will all work for the development of this country.”