His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has received a report with 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. Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs, Ambassador Tamba Lamina, who presented the report, noted that the investigation was a result of a reported incident of incitement and a breach of ethics and self-regulation on 21 March 2023.
He said it was alleged that the Paramount Chief used both television and radio to make pronouncements that were in breach of the code of ethics and the service standards of the Chieftaincy. He noted that following the incident, his ministry was mandated to look into concerns raised by members of the public, who considered it unacceptable. “According to the code of ethics and service standards of the Chieftaincy in Sierra Leone, chiefs are expected to maintain social harmony at the local level and in chiefdoms, as it is a vital foundation for the security of the nation.
It is also expected to be nonpartisan in carrying out their responsibilities as traditional authorities,” the Minister informed. The Minister said they met with the traditional leader on 27 March 2023 to establish whether he was aware of the allegations, pointing out that PC Alimamy Koroma III immediately expressed regrets, asked for forgiveness, and additionally submitted a commitment to uphold the tenets of the code of ethics and service standards of the Chieftaincy of Sierra Leone.
The Sole Commissioner of the Commission of Inquiry, Justice Momoh-Jah Stevens, said that following his appointment to investigate the Paramount Chief, they sat on the matter at the first hearing on 8 November 2023, where reasons for its establishment were introduced in the presence of the Paramount Chief. Justice Stevens further noted that the case was deferred to 13 November, when the State Counsel introduced his case that the Chief had violated his duty as the Paramount Chief by compromising his responsibilities. He said the Chief was heard on audio and seen in video recordings, claiming that he had been denied the opportunity to be a Paramount Chief Member of Parliament for the Tonkolili District, thereby pointing fingers at the Government of Sierra Leone for the state of affairs. The sole commissioner said when the allegations were put to him, the Chief did not object and also accepted that he did so because he was unhappy that he was not made PC MP for Tonkolili District.
“His Excellency, my recommendations are here in confidential. They are subjected to your approval, according to the constitution, to be accepted or rejected at your sole discretion,” he informed.
President Julius Maada Bio thanked the Sole Commissioner, the Minister, and the State Counsel and team for taking their time and for their effort to present the recommendations of the investigation. He said in the space of the rule of law, they had to make sure that they followed certain procedures and not just according to their encumbrances. He added that that was the main reason, even when many people thought that the actions of the Paramount Chief were wrong, the Government still needed to form the procedure to fully meet the requirements of a rule-based society. The President recognised their efforts and stressed the point that government would go through the report and the recommendations, and then take the necessary actions.