Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – President Julius Maada Bio received a report yesterday containing recommendations from Justice Momoh-Jah Stevens’ Commission of Inquiry into the alleged gross misconduct of Paramount Chief Alimamy Bockarie Yalan Koroma III of Dansogoia Chiefdom, Tonkolili district.
Presenting the report, Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs, Ambassador Tamba Lamina, highlighted that the investigation stemmed from reported incidents of incitement and a breach of ethics and self-regulation on March 21, 2023. It was alleged that the Paramount Chief made pronouncements through television and radio that violated the code of ethics and service standards of the chieftaincy, prompting the Ministry to address public concerns.
According to Ambassador Tamba Lamina, the code of ethics for the Chieftaincy in Sierra Leone expects chiefs to maintain social harmony at the local level, being a vital foundation for national security. Chiefs are also required to be nonpartisan in carrying out their responsibilities as traditional authorities.
The minister stated that a meeting with Paramount Chief Alimamy Koroma III took place on March 27, 2023, where he expressed regrets, asked for forgiveness, and committed to upholding the code of ethics and service standards of the Chieftaincy of Sierra Leone.
Justice Momoh-Jah Stevens, the Sole Commissioner of the Commission of Inquiry, detailed the proceedings, indicating that the first hearing occurred on November 8, 2023. During this hearing, the reasons for establishing the commission were introduced, with the Paramount Chief present. The case was later deferred to November 13, where the State Counsel argued that the Chief had violated his duties by compromising his responsibilities. The Chief was alleged to have claimed, through audio and video recordings, that he was denied the opportunity to be a Paramount Chief Member of Parliament for the Tonkolili District, pointing fingers at the government.
When the allegations were presented to the Chief, he did not object and accepted that his actions were fuelled by dissatisfaction over not being appointed PC MP for Tonkolili District.
The Sole Commissioner emphasized that his recommendations, presented to the President, were confidential and subject to approval or rejection at the President’s discretion according to the constitution.
President Julius Maada Bio expressed gratitude to the Commissioner, the minister, and the state counsel for their efforts in presenting the investigation’s recommendations. He acknowledged the necessity of following proper procedures in a rule-based society, even when addressing the actions of the Paramount Chief. MJB/9/2/2024