Paolo Conteh Demonstrates Statesmanship
Former Defence and Internal Affairs Minister in the Ernest Koroma led Government, Major Rtd Paolo who was freed on a Presidential Pardon on Friday 1st January, 2021 has told his congregation at the Judea West African Methodist Church Wilberforce last Sunday that he will still work for the National COVID-19 Response Center if called upon by the authorities.
‘’I will work and love Sierra Leoneans and it is only Sierra Leone that I will serve’’, the APC Strongman recounted.
He quoted Deuteronomy verse 32:35 which says ‘’To me belongeth vengeance and recompense…’’It is God that would revenge for me and not me.
He cited Nelson Mandela who once said that if you feel offended against those who have jailed you then you will remain in jail.
The former head of the National Ebola Response Centre attended service on Sunday 3rd January, 2021 two days after his release on 1st January, 2021 and was full of praise for the Almighty God for rescuing him noting that the praises goes to God and not man since according to him Man had a different intention for his life.
Mr. Conteh was serving a two years jail term for carrying with him a gun to a public place to wit State House.
This was after he was acquitted and discharge of treason and other several charges by the High Court of Sierra Leone in the same matter.
Lawyers for Mr.Conteh had appealed against the two years jail term and had argued that their client was not guilty.
The APC Strongman’s high profile trail had created security problems at the capital’s Central Business District creating wanton traffic and vehicular challenges for residents of the capital whenever Mr.Conteh turns-up for trail.
While Lawyers and party faithfull’s were confident that Mr.Conteh would walk free after the state has delayed the appeals process, they were surprised to learn on the 1st January,2021 that their client had been freed as a result of a Presidential pardon.
Initial reaction from Lawyers for Mr.Conteh had welcomed the decision by the President to free their client but they had vividly stated that they would have preferred to have Mr.Conteh freed by an order from the Court.
The release of the APC Strongman had created a whole lot of legal arguments between various legal luminaries.
Some are of the opinion that President Pardons does not extend to freeing persons undergoing appeal processes
Many prominent lawyers have noted in their various social media posts that the President does not have such powers and that Mr.Conteh stands to lose further rights to stand for any political position in the country and that winning the appeals process would have been the best way for their client.
The main Opposition All Peoples Congress party was yet to make any statement on the release of Paolo Conteh and many supporters have urged the party to get their lawyers to continue with the appeals proceedings and reject the Presidential pardon which many think is not in favour of Mr.Conteh’s political ambition.
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