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Saturday, January 28, 2023

New Ombudsman Talks Tough

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New Ombudsman Talks Tough

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He thanked President Julius Maada Bio for the confidence reposed in him to serve as Ombudsman; and noted that with the confidence of the President, he is ready to serve the nation – without fear or favor.

He further said that in accordance with the Ombudsman’s Act of 1997, maladministration includes, bias, unfair discrimination or failure to explain grounds of decision which appears discriminatory.

He informed the media that the Constitution of Sierra Leone states that the functions of the Ombudsman shall include investigation of any action taken or omitted to be taken by or on behalf of departments, ministries, agencies, statutory corporation or institutions of higher learning set up entirely by public funds, and members of the public.

Speaking about his accomplishments since taking up office a few weeks ago, Leon Jenkins-Johnston said he has conducted a regional familiarization tour of the four regions to engage stakeholders and staff, so as to develop an agenda to continuously improve on the services rendered to the public.

He went on to say that his programmes are geared towards issues that are within the purview of the Ombudsman, including: Effective Prison/Correctional Service monitoring; Unlawful Arrest and detention of persons; Improving grievance mechanism; Introduction of subpoena to enhance compliance in accordance with section 10(4) of the Ombudsman’s Act which makes the following provision” “The Ombudsman shall have such powers, rights and privileges as vested with the high Court of justice or a judge.”

He informed the press that he will be visiting various ministries, departments and agencies especially the ministries of Lands and Social Welfare, and NASSIT to name a few. He pledges to fight maladministration in public life. 

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