It could be recalled that SLAJ had earlier questioned the appointment of the IMC Commissioner by no less a person than His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. According to SLAJ, the newly appointed IMC Commissioner is a not a journalist and was appointed to that position without the approval of SLAJ.
However, the newly appointed IMC Chair argued that he is qualified for the position as according to him, the IMC Code of Conduct states the Chairman must be a practicing journalists or a legal practitioner.
Speaking to journalists, the newly appointed IMC Chair said he has practised law in the United Kingdom for some 15 years and was even qualified to serve as Judge in any court in the UK. As a matter of fact, he said,the British jurisdiction is the same at that of Sierra Leone’s which according to him makes qualify to hold such a position.
According to Amb Kanu, if members of SLAJ think he is not qualified for the position, they can take a law suit against him and that he is more than prepared to argue the issue out in the court of law.
It is however not yet clear as to whether or not SLAJ intends to take a court action against the IMC Chair but as it stands now, the relationship between the IMC and SLAJ is not all that rosy.
The newly appointed IMC Chair however assured journalists that the IMC under his chairmanship will be as independent as it should and that he would exploit all avenues available to him to upgrade journalists and journalism in this country.
Also, the newly appointed Commissioners of the Commission took turns to express readiness to work in both the interest of journalists and the public.
Commissioner James Williams, a veteran journalist with more than 40 years standing admonished journalists to be more professionals in their duties as according to him, journalism is a noble profession. Commissioner Patricia Ganda who is also the Station Manager at Star Radio emphasized on the proactive posture of the new crop of Commissioners. According to her, the IMC journalists and the public use to know is different from the IMC today.