Ruling SLPP Retains Control Of Sierra Leone Parliament
By Paul Ejime
Sierra Leone’s ruling People’s Party, SLPP has retained control of the country’s 135-seat Parliament after winning 81 seats or 60% of the membership.
According to results of the 24 June elections released in Freetown on Saturday by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) won 54 of the seats or 40%.
The two parties, which have alternated the share of political power since the end of the country’s 10-year civil war in 2002, are also expected to share the bulk of the available 493 mayoral and local council seats from the 24 June elections.
Incumbent President Julius Maada Bio of the SLPP has already been sworn in after being declared winner of the presidential poll by the ECSL with 56.17% of the votes against 41.16% scored by his rival candidate Samura Kamara of the APC.
The APC has rejected the results of the general elections and called for a rerun, alleging irregularities in the process.
It has also accused the ECSL Commissioners and some government officials of bias and called for their resignations.
The APC has further urged development partners to impose travel bans on a number of government officials, including President Bio, his wife, some cabinet ministers and security Chiefs.
The ECOWAS Observation Mission to Sierra Leone for the 24 June elections led by Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas and his counterparts of the AU, Commonwealth and the West Africa Elders’ Forum, held several pre and post-election mediation meetings with major stakeholders aimed at dousing political tensions in the country.
Similar quiet diplomatic initiatives are still required to address the residual disputes and prevent Sierra Leone from relapsing into conflict after its bloody civil war that ended in 2002.
ECOWAS had deployed 95 Long- and Short-Term Observers in 15 of the country’s 16 electoral districts for the 2023 elections.
Under the regional protocol on assistance to member States holding elections, ECOWAS had also provided Sierra Leone with five hundred thousand US dollars (US$500,000) to support the elections, the fifth electoral cycle with two successful transfers of power between ruling and opposition parties since the end of the civil war.
Sierra Leone, with an estimated 8.7 population is not only facing serious economic challenges characterised by high inflation and unemployment, especially among its radicalised youthful population, it is also politically polarised and highly ethnicized.
Court records show that the Company paid US$ 414.000 to the bank in response to a credit of US$ 3.3M, but only to know that the Bank alleged that they still have the balance of US$758.000
According to the records, six years after the transactions, Kailondo Petroleum Company requested for an audit of its accounts at GT bank.
After the audit, the court records show that over US$ 900.000 was taken from various accounts of the company.
The records show that GT bank deducted US$ 510 from the company’s account for what it termed “regulation”.
Again, another US$62,500.00 was taken for similar reasons from the company’s operation account, according to court documents.
The court records revealed that US$ 40.000 and US$ 50.000 was redrawn respectively on different dates from Kailondo personal account at Eco bank.
The audit records show that the money was never deposited by GT bank in the Company accounts at GT bank.
Another, US$ 50.000 was redrawn by the bank but was not realized in any of the Company accounts at GT bank.
The audit records show that the US$ 3.3 million requested by KP was reflected, but during the audit it was discovered that GT bank had redrawn approximately US$ 3468.352 the difference of US$ 168.352.
According to the records, GT bank filed US$ 1.2 million claim at the Civil Law Court but could not prove the allegation in court, the bank agreed in court that it illegally redrew approximately US$ 930.000 from businessman Kailondo
The Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank wrongfully executed several financial transactions with the accounts of Kailondo Petroleum Company since 2015.
Documentary evidence in our possession from the Court, also stated that the Bank also pleaded with the businessman to save the bank from further public ridicule through a damage control press release in which the bank will be exonerated from the dubious transactions.
A document in possession of this paper has shown that the GTB addressed a letter to a counsel of the businessman dated April 22, 2021 in which the bank admitted to the crime of debiting US$510,000 to the Account of Kailondo Petroleum and promised to put the monies back.
Following the audit, it was established that an unauthorized amount of over 900,000 or so was taken out of his account at the bank; while the bank on April 21, 2021, wrote Kailondo Petroleum through its then Lawyer Dr. Jallah A. Barbu, Counselor at Law and Senior Consulting Counsel at Public Interest Law acknowledging that an unauthorized amount of US$510,000.00 was debited to his account and agreed to credit his account with said amount.
The bank claims Kailondo owes it an alleged accumulated debt of US$1.2M, but the businessman has argued otherwise, claiming that the Bank has rather defrauded him.