Sierra Leone parliament approves new Chief Justice

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 December 2018:

Yesterday, Friday 21st December 2018, the parliament of Sierra Leone approved Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards as the country’s new Chief Justice, after the abrupt, though expected resignation of Justice Hamid Charm.

A unanimous vote of confidence and approval was given by MPs, after a debate of the recommendations of the Twenty-Third Report of the Committee on Appointments and the Public Service, which is chaired by the leader of government business, Hon. Sidie M. Tunis.

Speaking after his approval, Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu commended President Bio for nominating a highly qualified Judge as Chief Justice to preside over the Judiciary of Sierra Leone.

The Speaker congratulated Justice Edwards (Photo) along with two other nominees and wished them well in pursuit of their new assignments.

The other presidential nominees approved by parliament were Dr. Morie Kalilu Kormoh, as member of Board of Directors of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and
Mrs. Madiana Nyanda Samba (Nee Marra), as member of the Board of the National Telecommunication Commission.

The leader of the National Grand Coalition party, Hon. Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella welcomed the nomination of Justice Edwards as the new Chief Justice, and called on him to protect and uphold the Constitution of Sierra Leone, whilst emphasising the obligation to see that the rights of all Sierra Leoneans are respected and protected at all times.

Yumkella encouraged the new Chief Justice to particularly ensure that the Judiciary is subjected to only the 1991 Constitution or any other law devoid of control or direction from any other person or authority.

The leader of the opposition APC, Hon. Chernor R.M Bah unreservedly endorsed the Committee’s Twenty-Third Report, saying “I was part of the interview process of the nominees”.

In concluding the debate, the leader of government business, Hon. Sidie M. Tunis thanked the House for approving the nominees.

The newly approved Chief Justice Edwards promised effective justice delivery, but called on the government to provide the needed financial support for the Judiciary so as to improve performance and service delivery.

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