The Office of the Ombudsman is a vital institution in ensuring accountability and justice within government entities. Recently, Ombudsman, Tejan Ahmed Israel Jah, visited the Chairman of the Monument and Relics Commission, Joseph Kaifala, and his team at their office on Campbell Street.
The purpose of the visit was to educate the Commission on the role and responsibilities of the Ombudsman’s Office, as well as to establish a working relationship with them. During the briefing, Ombudsman Jah highlighted that the Ombudsman’s Office was established by the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and the Ombudsman Act of 1997. Their main function is to investigate any actions or inactions of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies that may result in injustice or maladministration.
Maladministration, as defined under the Ombudsman Act, includes bias, unfair discrimination, harshness, or misuse of power for wrongful purposes. In response, Chairman Kaifala expressed gratitude for the visit and emphasized the importance of mutual respect in all interactions. He stressed the significance of upholding the fundamental rights of individuals and ensuring that his staff are treated with dignity. Chairman Kaifala welcomed the Ombudsman’s proposal to engage with his staff in the future, signalling a commitment to transparency and accountability within the Commission. The dialogue between Ombudsman Jah and Chairman Kaifala exemplifies the importance of cooperation and communication between different government institutions. By fostering relationships and promoting understanding of each other’s roles, transparency and good governance can be upheld.
The visit serves as a symbol of collaboration and unity in the pursuit of justice and fairness for all citizens. As Ombudsman Jah continues to fulfil his mandate of investigating maladministration and upholding the rights of individuals, partnerships with entities like the Monument and Relics Commission will be crucial. Through ongoing engagement and dialogue, both parties can work towards a more accountable and just society for the people of Sierra Leone. The visit marks the beginning of a positive relationship between the Ombudsman’s Office and the Commission, setting a strong foundation for future collaboration and progress.