The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Hon. Philip Tetema Tondoneh, has accused the suspended National Secretary General of the party, Lawyer Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie and Dr. Yilla in Bo of siphoning money they received from Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, the two-time Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) meant for the purpose of registering his membership with the party.
Making the accusation in an interview with Radio Galaxy in Lungi on Monday 11th January, 2015 following the suspension of Lawyer Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie and the Regional Secretary South, Mr. Francis Hindowa, and the expulsion of Issa Kolleh Dumbuya from the SLPP, Hon. Philip T. Tondoneh claimed that the relationship between the suspended National Secretary General and the officers of the National Executive Council (NEC) became strenuous when he failed to prevail on them to mandate the registration of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella as SLPP member without submitting the registration fee which he and Dr. Yilla received from the flag-bearer aspirant.
The SLPP Acting National Publicity Secretary maintained that since Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella registered as party member on Thursday 7th January, 2016, they have had no problem with him and that some of his supporters are now visiting the party headquarters on Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown.
He explained that NEC, which is the second highest body in the SLPP, took disciplinary action against Lawyer Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie for insubordination, adding that trice he had refused to attend meetings summoned by NEC.
Hon. Philip Tondoneh also claimed that the suspended National Secretary General left his office without leave for nine months during which he issued press statements on behalf of the party without the approval of NEC.
He added that Lawyer Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie on many occasions challenged NEC that he was the only officer with the mandate to summon NEC meetings and not the National Chairman and Leader of the party, a stance which he referred to as confrontational.
The Acting National Publicity Secretary further claimed that during the suspended scribe’s frosty relationship with NEC members, the Chairman and Leader, Chief Shebora Somano Kapen III wrote him twice to see reason to work amicably with NEC officers but he wouldn’t listen to the admonition.
Hon. Philip Tondoneh also accused Lawyer Sulaiman Bajan Tejan-Sie of embarking on anti-party activities anathema to the constitution of the party which he described as the foundation upon which the party is built.
He also claimed that the suspension of Francis Hindowa was predicated on his utterances in the media without the approval of the party, adding that even when NEC warned him to refrain from such practice, he went ahead to make utterances in the media aimed at bringing the name of the party and some national officers to public ridicule.
Hon. Tondoneh further claimed that the expulsion of Issa Kolleh Dumbuya also has to do with his utterances in the media and his deliberate attack on certain party officers with the intention to ridicule the SLPP.
He however assured that the two suspended party officers would have to be investigated by the party as quickly as possible in order to put the issue to rest.
When questioned about the rationale behind the decision to suspend two party officers and expel one member, Hon. Tondoneh stressed that it was a disciplinary action taken against them for their anti-party activities aimed at ridiculing the SLPP.
He maintained that the decision will not affect the party in any way, shape or form, noting that despite the ‘more time’ campaign by the ruling All People’s Congress (APC), the SLPP will take power from them democratically in 2018.