President Koroma administers Oath of Office to NEC chairperson, Judicial tribunal
President Ernest Bai Koroma has today administered the oath of office to the Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Dr. Christiana Ayoka Mary Thorpe, at a short but impressive ceremony at State House.
Presenting Dr. Thorpe to President Koroma, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Government, Dauda Kamara, stated that she had already sought and got parliament approval.
After administering the oath of office to her, President Koroma congratulated Dr. Thorpe on behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone, stating that it is a big responsibility that she has already previously handled very well to the admiration of Sierra Leoneans and the international community, pushing Sierra Leoneâ€™s democratic credentials upward.
â€œI believe that with this appointment, we now have the full confidence of the commission, and our move towards making it a professional institution is now confirmed. With the experience you gained and the support from your commissioners, the nation will have nothing less than professionally conducted elections at every level, which to an extent has been manifested in the recent by-electionsâ€ he observed.
The President further implored her to continue the good work as the world is watching and expecting Sierra Leone to continue with its exemplary electioneering, and ending by wishing her a good tenure of office.
Replying, Dr. Thorpe conveyed her appreciation to the President for nominating her for another term. â€œKindly permit me to also congratulate all Members of Parliament for what I would describe as a classic display of the democratic process at work during the debate on my appointment in Parliament. Their analyses left me convinced that our fledgling democracy is beginning to flourish,â€ she said.
According to the NEC Chairperson, Sierra Leone is swiftly moving into the peace consolidation phase of its post-conflict era, revealing that in the next couple of months the commission will officially launch the 2010- 2014 Five Year Strategic Plan, which will encompass the 2012 elections. She therefore encouraged all electoral stakeholders to collaborate positively with the commission in the implementation of all steps of the Strategic Plan.
â€œAs we continue to work towards national development in a peaceful and democratic environment, I would like to assure the people of this nation that the confidence that has been reposed on me and the commission will not be misguided,â€ she concluded.
The occasion was witnessed by Vice President Sam Sumana, Information Minister I. B. Kargbo, and a relative of Dr. Thorpeâ€™s.
In another engagement at State House today, President Koroma also administered the oath of office to the Chairman and members of the Judicial Tribunal on â€˜Stated Misconduct of Judges.â€™
The Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Abdul F. Serry Kamal, in presenting the members to the President, said the tribunal comprises of well respected and experienced members of the Bar and that he has no doubt they will live up to expectations.
In his address after administering the oath, President Koroma congratulated the team, saying that he expected the best from them, based on their background and experience acquired. â€œYou will be looking into matters affecting members of your profession, some of them your colleaguesâ€¦ but we are doing this to ensure that signals are sent out there that nobody is above the law, and that the judiciary itself has mechanisms and is able to check itself,â€ the President noted, stressing that â€œit is good for democracy and geared towards building the image of the judiciary and building our democracy as a young nation.â€
â€œA lot is expected of you and you will be going out there to address issues which are unique. We donâ€™t know if it is happening in any of our neighboring countries, but it is this uniqueness that is helping us build a very special democracy,â€ he observed.
The Chairman of the Judicial Tribunal, Justice Edmond Cowan, on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them, promising that they will live up to expectations. â€œBetween us, we have over a hundred years of legal practice; and I assure you we will not be found wanting in ensuring that justice is meted out in its true form.â€
Other members of the Judicial Tribunal include Wandi Kobba, Wordsworth Filo Jones, Roland Ade Caesar and Mariama Seray Kallay.
Justice Minister Serry Kamal also took the opportunity to introduce Reginald Fynn Jnr. as a member of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission currently working with the Anti Corruption Commission.
Also present at the ceremony were Vice President Sam Sumana and Chief Justice Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh.
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