Ombudsman releases complaint statistics for 2018

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Ombudsman, Leon Jenkins-Johnson, on Tuesday 15th January 2019, released statistics for the year 2018 at their office on Howe Street in Freetown. Doing so he revealed the theme for the statistics which is, “Improving the Delivery of Service, to Enhance Administrative Justice and Safeguard Human Rights.”
It was reported that the Office of the Ombudsman received 519 complaints from across the country furthering how the Freetown office received 264 complaints of which 143 were mediated, investigated and resolved. Fifty complaints were transferred to the appropriate institution, and 71 cases are still under investigation. In Kenema, there were 47 complaints and nine of those complaints were mediated, investigated and resolved.
19 complaints were transferred to the appropriate institution and 19 complaints are still under investigation. In Bo, there were 111 complaints of which 53 were mediated, investigated and resolved. 37 complaints were referred to the appropriate institution and 21 complaints were still being investigated.
In Makeni-Northern Region, there were 52 complaints of which 23 were mediated, investigated and resolved, and 20 complaints were referred to the appropriate institution. In Port Loko, North West Region, a total of 45 complaints were received with 25 mediated, investigated and resolved. 20 of those complaints are still under investigation.
The complaints ranged from non-payment of salaries or benefits, late payment of gratuities and pensions from NASSIT, wrongful dismissal, bias and unfair treatment, harassment, and other issues relating to “maladministration.” The Ombudsman said for 2019 he plans effective prison and correctional center monitoring. The Ombudsman said prisoners across the country are being mistreated. Unlawful arrest and detention of persons across the country, he said, has become the norm. He said the Police have to realize that Section 23(1) of the 1991 Constitution is very clear on the freedom of citizens that should be guaranteed. He also mentioned the poor attitude by MDAs in not responding to letters written on behalf of complainants. He also said he wants to monitor “some of the ugly things that are happening at the higher institutions of learning”.

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