Friday 17 August, 2018.

The Ombudsman Melron Nicol-Wilson presented the 2017 Annual Report of his office to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio on Thursday 9th August, 2018. In the report, the Ombudsman states that his Office received 305 complaints against various government's ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in 2017.

The report also states that when Mr. Melron Nicol-Wilson took up office as Ombudsman in May 2017, he inherited 300 backlog cases from his predecessor, thus summing up the total number of cases he handled in 2017 to 605.

The report further states that within four months of Melron Nicol-Wilson’s stewardship, he concluded 233 of the 300 backlog cases. Mr. Melron Nicol-Wilson says he was able to conclude majority of the backlog cases within a very short period because of the recruitment of additional personnel and the setting up of an internal committee to deal with backlog cases. 

According to the report, out of the 305 complaints that were lodged to the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017, 183 were lodged at the Head Office in Freetown, 32 at the regional office in Bo, 47 at the regional office in Kenema and 46 at the regional office in Makeni.

The report claims that 103 out of 305 complaints received in 2017 were concluded through mediation; mostly in favour of the complainants.

The report highlights that most of the complainants are former employees of private commercial entities who complained the Ministry of Labour for undue delay and bias in dealing with their  complaints against their employers.

The report further highlights that over 57% of the total complaints the Ombudsman received during the period under review were about non-payment of benefits and were largely against the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT).

About 14% of the complaints bordered on wrongful dismissals and were mostly against the Sierra Leone Police, lodged by officers that have been laid off for misconducts.

Unfair treatments accounts for about 28% of the complaints and were also predominantly against the Sierra Leone Police.

The Ombudsman reports that he relied more on informal resolution techniques, including contacts and mediation to resolve the complaints he received during the period under review.