Parliament yesterday approved Rev. Mrs. Marie Jilo Barnett as ambassador to Liberia, Aiah Daniel Konoyeima as High Court judge and Sylvanus Torto as electoral commissioner East.
Presenting the nominees to MPs, deputy majority leader Hon Sheku Badara Bashiru Dumbuya of the APC said the committee on appointments and public service strictly adhered to its standard procedure in its deliberations.
He said the approved ambassador to the Republic of Liberia responded during interviews before the committee that she would accommodate all Sierra Leoneans in Liberia irrespective of gender, ethnic, religious, and political affiliations as she would endeavour to attend to their problems to the best of her ability.
The ambassador promised to work assiduously to help resuscitate the Mano River Union and with the cooperation of the two sister states of Guinea and Liberia, the union would work effectively and efficiently.
Rev. Mrs Marie Jilo is a highly educated woman who started as a teacher, lecturer before serving in the civil service from 1977-1984. She had a brief sojourn in politics as a member of parliament from 1996-2002.
Aiah Daniel Konoyeima said while not disputing the fact that the public had some negative perceptions about the courts, he attributed the reason for these negative perceptions to the poor conditions of service for judges that existed before now.
“With poor conditions of service for the bench, coupled with inadequate number of judges and magistrates and the lack of basic logistics made the work of judges extremely difficult,” he said.
He was a teacher from 1972-90, state counsel, Law Officers’ Department 1991-94, Deputy Administrator and Registrar 1994-06 and Administrator and Registrar 2006 to date. The electoral commissioner East, Sylvanus Torto, spoke of his awareness about the sensitive nature of the job but was aware of section (11) of the 1991 Constitution which provides that the electoral commission shall not be subject to the director or control of any person or authority.
He assured that as a lecturer in ethics he would not subject himself to the direction of any person or authority. Mr Torto has served as commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2000, lecturer at IPAM 1996, deputy Director (Admin) Hotel and Tourism Training Centre, local government inspector in the ministry of Internal Affairs; teacher, Yengema Secondary School and Administrative Officer, Kono District. By Ishmael Bayoh