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EDITTED ONELEON JENKINS-JOHNSTON Esq

OMBUDSMAN OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE

By Subsection (2) of Section 146 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991, the Office of the Ombudsman was established to investigate any action taken or omitted to be taken by or on behalf of:-

(a) Any Department or Ministry of Government;

(b) Any statutory corporation or institutions of higher learning or education, set up entirely or partly out of public funds;

(c) Any member of the public service being an action taken or omitted to be taken in the exercise of the administrative functions of that department, ministry, statutory corporation, institutions or person.

It is to give effect to the aforementioned constitutional provisions that the Office of the Ombudsman was created by virtue of the Ombudsman’s Act No. 2 of 1997.

On the 23rd day of October, 2018, His Excellency the President Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio appointed Leon Jenkins-Johnston Esq., as the fourth Ombudsman of the Republic of Sierra Leone taking over from Melron Nicol-Wilson Esq., as the youngest person ever to hold that office.

He was subsequently approved by Parliament on the 14th day of November, 2018 and took his oath of office before His Excellency the President on the 5th day of December, 2018 and started working on the 6th day of December, 2018.

Leon Jenkins-Johnston is a graduate from Holborn Law College London in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB).

He did his Postgraduate studies at the University of Bournemouth in the United Kingdom, in International Commercial Law.

He was called to the Bar in Sierra Leone in 2005 and has been in private practice since that time prior to his appointment.

From 2007 and 2010, he was an associate Barrister and Solicitor at Messrs Jenkins-Johnston and Co. and between 2008 and 2010, he served as Chairman at the Sierra Leone Bar Association Human Right Committee where he led the Sierra Leone bar Association team in a UNDP sponsored project to provide legal aid to citizens who could not afford it.

In 2013, he was appointed Managing Partner in the firm of Messrs Jenkins-Johnston and Co. where he was responsible for handling and managing court cases, evaluating the work of associates and staff, enforcing ethical legal practices and maintaining law firm stability.

In May 2016, he was appointed by the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone as Commissioner for Oath and Notary Public for the Republic of Sierra Leone, an appointment that he holds for life.

Between June 2013 and June 2018, he served as the Sierra Leone Bar Association representative at the national Legal Aid Board where he was part of a team responsible for setting up and coordinating the government first initiative to provide free legal services for citizens who cannot afford it.

This turned out to be a huge success nationwide, as is evident today in the work of the Legal Aid Board.

Leon Jenkins-Johnston is also known to be a fearless champion for Human Rights and has worked in a series of high profiled cases including but not limited to Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana Vs. the State, Philip Neville Vs. Sylvia Blyden, Lokomasdama Chieftaincy petition, the Sierra Leone Motor Drivers Union cases etc.

In his approval in Parliament, it was said of him by the Honourable Osman Abdal Timbo

“Ten years ago, Leon Jenkins-Johnston was already doing the work of an Ombudsman when he championed my course against the Sierra Leone Law School”

He has been in private practice for 13 years prior to his appointment.