Appointment of NEC Chairman in Sierra Leone
President Bio Violates 1991 Constitution Again
Sierra Leone’s President, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio, is once again accused of violating the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone following his appointment of Mohamed Konneh- the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), as Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
According to Sierra Leone laws, Mohamed Konneh, who before his appointment was a serving public officer, is not qualified to be appointed as a member of the commission.
Section 76(1b) Act No 6 of the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone states that, no person shall be qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament if he is a public officer unless he/she has resigned 12 months prior to the date on which he/she seeks to be elected to parliament.
The Sierra Leone 1991 constitution further states in section 32(4a) Act No 6 that, a person shall not be qualified for appointment as a member of the Electoral Commission if he/she is not qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament.
His appointment as chairman of the National Electoral Commission by Sierra Leone President therefore, according to many legal minds, is a complete violation of the country’s constitution which the president had sworn to protect.
This is so because, Mohamed Konneh is a serving public officer who by all indications, did not resign his position as Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) before his new appointment as contained in section 76 (1b) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara
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