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Report by the AYV Internal Investigations Committee regarding Samuel Wise Bangura and Mr. Lawrence J. Light

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Report by the AYV Internal Investigations Committee regarding Samuel Wise Bangura and Mr. Lawrence J. Light

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The report by the AYV Internal Investigations Committee (with Legal support from Nicol-Wilson & Co., Malaika Chambers) which was established to look into the activities of Mr. Samuel Wise Bangura and Mr. Lawrence J. Light in relation to a video circulated on social media on or around the 8th of August, 2023 allegedly involving somemonetaryactivities is out.

Click the link to download the full report: The report by the AYV Internal Investigations

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Wednesday, 6th September 2023.

The report by the AYV Internal Investigations Committee (with Legal support from Nicol-Wilson & Co., Malaika Chambers) which was established to look into the activities of Mr. Samuel Wise Bangura and Mr. Lawrence J. Light in relation to a video circulated on social media on or around the 8th of August, 2023 allegedly involving somemonetaryactivities is out.

The report followed a robust investigation and independent findings.

Mr. Samuel Wise Bangura and Mr. Lawrence J. Light were granted leave days from work during the conduct of the investigations, in order to prepare for participation and also to create an enabling environment that is conducive for investigations of this nature within a work environment.

Here are the key findings:

a. The activities of the staff members were at variance with AYV Editorial policy on Investigative Journalism:

The committee finds that the activities of the two staff members were at variance with AYV Editorial policy on Investigative Journalism even thoughthe Staff members stated to the satisfaction of the committee that they were doing a private work that was not initiated, sanctioned, known or approved by AYV. The Policy binds all staff members in their official and private capacities.

b. Conflict of Interest:

The committee finds that there was a conflict of interest by both staff members in participating in a private work similar to that done by AYV without disclosing same as provided for by AYV’s Public Engagement, Coverage, and Production (CAP) Policy.

Mr. Samuel Wise Banguradisclosed to the Committee that he was working on 10 documentaries as a private activity (not related to AYV work) and the video circulated on social media is one of such documentaries called ‘’Wash-Wash’’.

Mr. Samuel Wise Bangurastated that he did not declare with HR, but verbally informed senior colleagues via an informal discussion that he was working on some documentaries, albeit he admitted that he did not specify or make full disclosure or otherwise communicated the nature of these documentaries as would be expected in line with the Company’s policy requirements. The activity was not sanctioned or otherwise approved by AYV.

Mr. Samuel Wise Bangurahowever stated he had previously completed a Declaration of Conflict of Interest form which the committee was unable to ascertain.

The AYV CAP Policy which came into effect in December 2022, after the declaration Mr. Samuel Wise Banguraspoke about, prohibits general declarations and expects staff members to continuously declare whenever they are engaging in private activities which have a potential to be in conflict with their work assignment in AYV.

Similarly, the committee finds Mr. Lawrence J. Light also culpable for non-disclosure and conflict of interest. 

c. Bringing the AYV into disrepute:

By reason of the foregoing the committee finds that AYV was brought into disrepute as a result of the conduct of both staff members since a significant proportion of the public that watched the video may have concluded that it was an AYV work and not a private work done by the staff members.

RECOMMENDATIONS 

The Committee recommends as follows:

a. Disassociation:

That AYV completely dissociates itself from the private work being undertaken by Mr. Samuel Wise Banguraand Mr. Lawrence J. Light since it’s not an AYV approved project/activity.

b. Disclaimer:

That Mr. Samuel Wise Banguraand Mr. Lawrence J. Light be encouraged to put out a Public Statement explaining the nature of the private project/activity being undertaken and the institution or individuals who contracted them to do so thereby exonerating AYV from the perception of members of the public as the institution investigating monetary activities.

c. Disengage:

That the Company confers with Mr. Samuel Wise Banguraand Mr. Lawrence J. Light to stop participating in such conflicted private activitiesthat has the propensity to bring the AYV into disrepute and breach of the policy on investigative journalismnow or in the future; or in the alternative, dispense with their services by mutual agreement.

d. Disciplinary action: 

That the Company is at liberty to institute disciplinary hearings against both staff in accordance with the provisions of its Staff Handbook and other relevant documents binding on all AYV Staff members.

6th September 2023

__________________________________________

Inquiry conducted by Internal Investigation Committee

Mr. Mamajah Jalloh (DJ Base -AYV Senior journalist).

Mr. Amadu Lamrana Bah (AYV Senior journalist/Director AYV NCA).

Ms. Elizabeth H. S. Momoh (Senior journalist/Deputy Director AYV NCA/Regions & International).

Ms. Phebean Swill (AYV Senior journalist).

Ms. Saudatu M. Timbo (HR Director, AYV)

Mr. Ivan L. Gbondo (Executive Secretary, AYV).

Dr. Abdul Rahman Swaray (media expert/ Lecturer Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone). 

Legal Support:Nicol-Wilson & Co. (MALAIKA CHAMBERS)

 

 

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