ACC Ben Kaifala’s selective attempt to criminalise and oust Mayor Aki-Sawyer will not be tolerated – Op ed

Femi Claudius-Cole: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 May 2022:

In 2018, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer, a first timer in the murky world of Sierra Leone politics, emerged the winner of the municipality elections for the Freetown City Council. She won by a landslide, attracting widespread support from Freetonians who were attracted to her powerful message to transform Freetown.

However, winning the Freetown Mayoralty, which is the second-largest constituency in Sierra Leone, put Mayor Aki-Sawyerr on a collision course with the Bio-led SLPP government, from the onset.

On 11 May 2022, the ACC released a Media Release on its Facebook page, stating that it had concluded its investigations in the Freetown City Council, relating to issues highlighted on the Council in the 2019 Auditor General’s Report, concerning payments of council funds to personal staff to the mayor. Ben Kaifala deliberately describes Ms. Manja Kargbo, as the personal staff of the mayor, in order to delegitimise her vital contribution to the Mayor’s Transform Freetown Agenda.

The irony of this investigation is the selective manner in which Ben Kaifala has attempted to criminalise Mayor Aki-Sawyer alone, when the 2019 Audit Report, highlighted an abundance of fraudulent activities with far-reaching consequences for the people of Sierra Leone, then the legitimate payments made to Manja Kargbo, working tirelessly to support Mayor Aki-Sawyer and the Councillors of the FCC, to deliver the Transform Freetown agenda.

The 2019 Audit Report highlighted on Page 4, that Export Levy on timber revenue was not valued in line with Legislative Directives and that Section 3 of the Finance Act (Amended) of 2018 stipulated that: “An exporter of timber or timber product, shall prior to exportation pay to the National Revenue Authority a timber royalty of US$2,500 on every cubic meter of such timber or part thereof.”

In her report, Lara Taylor-Pearce stated that “We observed that the Leadway Trading Company (SL) Limited used 20-feet containers as a unit of measurement instead of cubic meters as required by Section 3 of the Finance Act (Amended) of 2018. The ASYCUDA data from the Customs Department revealed that a total of 2,201,024.88 cubic meters was exported, which translates to a recomputed revenue of US$5.5 billion. Revenue of US$25.7 million was recorded in the GPFS, resulting in a difference of US$5.48 billion.”

Unconvinced by the sham excuse offered by the Ministry of Finance, the Auditor General went on to state on Page 8 that – “I draw attention to Note 11 in the financial statement, which describes details of revenue received from other departments. The method of valuation for timber products prior to exportation was not in accordance with Section 3 of the Finance (Amended) Act of 2018. Instead of using cubic meters as required by law, 20-feet shipping containers were used as units of measurement. Based on the ASYCUDA data from the Customs Department, a total of 2,201,024.88 cubic meters valued at US$5.5billion was exported. Revenue of US$25.7 million was recorded in the GPFS, thereby leaving a difference of US$5.48 billion.”

In response, the Ministry of Finance stated that the discrepancy is due to an error in the drafting of the Finance Act (Amended) of 2018, but the necessary correction will be done in the Finance Act of 2021. The Auditor-General concluded – My opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.

Ms. Taylor-Pearce’s audit found that revenues of US$25.7m were booked in the GPFS when US$5.5bn should have been and that she was not impressed with the explanation the Ministry of Finance had offered, for what was a breach of the law. This is an eye-watering sum and evidence of industrial-scale fraud, which the ACC has ignored.

The Finance Act 2021 did make an amendment as the Ministry of Finance claimed. The Finance Act 2021 amend Section 25A of the Forestry Act 1988 by repealing and replacing that section with the following new section, which states – “An exporter of timber log, timber and timber products shall pay to the National Revenue Authority a timber royalty of $3,000 per any 33.2 cubic metres before he exports any timber log, timber and timber products excluding furniture, edge glue boards, plywood and wooden transmission poles from planted forests.”

If this amendment was retrospectively applied to the royalties due to the NRA, from the export of 2,201,024.88 cubic meters of timber by Leadway, royalties of US$166,744,309, not US$25.7 million which was paid. Therefore, royalties of US$139,244,309 is outstanding to the NRA.

Page 433 of the 2019 Audit Report, commented on the Office of the President. The report made the following observations on the way in which Special Imprests for Overseas Travel were managed. “We observed during the period under review that special imprest provided for overseas travel, expected to be used to cover the incidental costs of the President, were not retired in accordance with Section 114 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2018. The sum of US$160,000 was provided, but not retired in compliance with the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2018.”

Responding to the Auditor General, the Office of the Secretary to the President said that the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP) has now provided documents accounting for the expenditure which are ready for inspection. It goes on to say tips given by the President and the First Lady when departing hotels and airports are difficult to capture for retirement as it is often done in haste. In effect, during their travels, President Bio and Mrs. Fatima Bio used US$160,000 of public funds, to give away as tips to hotel workers in the countries they visited that year.

Pause and think about this for a moment and let it sink in. The President of Sierra Leone, a poor country, which is hugely dependent on external aid, uses US$160,00 of public funds, to tip hotel workers, in economies that fare far better than our own.

Ben Kaifala has not considered this frivolous use of public funds, as something that necessitates a criminal investigation by the ACC.

Furthermore, in the 2020 Audit Report, the Auditor General delivered a bombshell, when it was reported by the Office of the President, that appropriate retirement details were not provided for payments of US$135,000, made for various overseas travels by HE the President, and the First Lady.

The report recommended that the State Chief of Protocol should provide the necessary retirements; otherwise, the said payments will be disallowed and surcharged. It went on to state that following detailed verification, inspection, and other standard audit checks, including checks with third parties where applicable and possible, we concluded that:

  • the sum of US$110,000 or Le1,080,504,300 should be refunded by the payees (i.e., the State Chief of Protocol and the Personal Assistant to the First Lady), as the retirement receipts were marred by discrepancies, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies.
  • the receipts provided have also been disputed by the concerned third parties. Further investigation to be carried out on the transaction on PV No. 83325 of 10th March 2020 for an amount of $25,000 or Le247,254,500; the retirement receipt is marred by discrepancies, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies.

The 2020 Audit Report also specifically focused on President Bio and Mrs. Fatima Bio’s official visit cum private medical treatment, cum honeymoon, to Lebanon, which many observers believe is what triggered the suspension of Lara Taylor-Pearce. The Auditor General’s comments stated the following:

“• “Original” receipts all with dates in September 2020, to support a total payment of US$352,481.77 for hotel accommodation and medical treatment were presented during the audit verification exercise.

  • We however concluded that one of the retirement receipts of US$156,113.73 for hotel accommodation dated 18th September 2021, was marred by discrepancies, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies. It was also disputed by the concerned third party, whose record show that the bill remains outstanding. In view of such discrepancies and disputes, the matter still stands and the amount of US$156,113.73 should be refunded by the payee, the State Chief of Protocol.
  • We noted that hospital bills to the value of US$170,489.04 were settled in cash at the hospital in question.”

Against this backdrop of industrial-scale fraud reported in the 2019 and 2020 Audit Reports, Francis Ben Kaifala has found it necessary to focus on the legitimate payments made to Ms. Isatu Manja Kargbo, in her capacity as Head of the Mayor’s Delivery Unit.

Ms. Kargbo in her role, provided additional capacity and capability to support the vision of the Freetown City Council to transform our nation’s capital city to a modern and confident city, which can take its place among other cities in the region and the continent. This is something that all Sierra Leoneans should celebrate. Through her legal team, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr highlighted the following:

  • Manja Kargbo has been the Team Lead of the Mayor’s Delivery Unit since 2018
  • The travel expenses paid in respect of airfares, hotel, and per diems were done following council procedures and with the signatures of the Chief Administrator (Vote Controller) and the Finance Officer, but only Mayor Aki-Sawyer and Manja Kargbo were investigated.
  • That Manja Kargbo’s travel expenses of Le187,904,830 (the equivalent of US$14,500) yielded FCC, investments of over US$4m.

It is now clear that plans are being put in place to formally remove Mayor Aki-Sawyer from her office this week. as per the ACC Act 2008, Section 89, subsection (1) (b), repayment of amounts (as demanded by Francis Ben Kaifala) would automatically result in the payer being barred from public office for a period of at least three years.

It is clear that the ACC’s insistence on repayment of valid and legitimate travel expenses of the MDU Team, led by the mayor, will result in the mayor being barred from holding public office for at least three years.

Rather than allowing the issue of the procedural audit query to be addressed via the parliamentary process, the ACC instead sought criminal prosecution for the exact same issue raised in the same Audit Report in respect of the Office of the First Lady (i.e., the case of Mr. Paul Massaquoi). No action has been taken by the ACC about this audit query.

The 2019 Audit Report observed that a DSA allowance of US$2,160 was paid to Mr. Paul Massaquoi as part of the delegation of the Office of the First Lady during a visit to Niame, Niger to attend the 23rd Oaflad (Office of African First Ladies) Ordinary General Assembly. The Report observed that Mr. Paul Massaquoi was neither a staff nor a consultant in the Offices of the President or the First Lady. As a result, we have considered this expenditure to be ineligible. Unlike Manja Kargbo, the Office of the First Lady has provided no evidence of the benefits that Mr. Massaquoi’s consultancy yielded for Sierra Leone.

The selective manner that Francis Ben Kaifala uses the powers of the ACC to criminalise political opponents while ignoring the high crimes and misdemeanours of those in the SLPP and high-ranking public servants, is a worrying trend.

This pattern of selective justice was also evident in his decision to ignore the evidence of the widespread abuse of fake degrees, by very senior political and public figures, including Ambrose Sovula, Inspector General of Police; Memuna Pratt, Minister of Tourism; and Paran Tarawally, Clerk of Parliament.

Mr. Kaifala dismissed the revelations that IG Sovula was a recipient of a fake PhDs from African Graduates University and Dominion Christian University, saying that, if the fake degree acquired, was not a requirement of the job a person held, there was no case to answer. This was in marked contrast to his swift deployment of the Scorpion Unit to round up, handcuff and parade teachers at Cotton Tree on allegations of accepting bribes for grades at WASSCE exams, without affording them the presumption of innocence, until proven guilty.

Make no mistake, this is a big gamble that the Bio-led government is pursuing, emboldened by the decision of Justice Adrian Fisher, to remove the APC Executive.

Kaifala and Bio seem confident that the ACC’s action to remove Mayor Aki-Sawyer from office and bar her for a period of three years, would be met with no resistance by the public. Their confidence may also be attributed to the muted public response to the suspension of Lara Taylor-Pearce and Tamba Momoh.

It would therefore be interesting to see, if Sierra Leoneans, especially the people of Freetown and women, are going to sit back and allow the ACC to use the appointment of Manja Kargbo to head the Mayor’s MDU, as a justifiable reason to remove her from office, thus preventing her from also contesting elections in 2023.

Western Area, with twenty-eight constituencies and over eight hundred thousand voters, is pivotal to the 2023 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, and it seems as though Bio’s Paopa SLPP would stop at nothing to ensure that they make significant inroads into the Western Area.

This sinister attempt to discredit and bar Mayor Aki-Sawyer from contesting the 2023 elections, is part of the master plan of SLPP hegemony.

About the author

Ms. Femi Claudius-Cole is the Chairperson of the Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (CoPPP) in Sierra Leone.

 

22 Comments

  1. Wow Mr Fally, it seems that you are on a full time Job with the State House Media unit.
    Feel free to quote my words, I know if it was some years ago, Kamajors would be knocking at my door for court barre and slow death.to engage in the acts of cannibalism so clearly elucidated by the special court.

    In the whole of the civil war, the S.L.P..P backed Kamajors had the distinction of not having a single prisoner of war. Vindictive much?

    Sadly, I am out of your reach.

  2. In general.” The Rule Of Law implies that the creation of laws,their enforcement, and the relationships among legal rules are themselves legally regulated,, so that no one is above the law”. The fact is respectable and independent panel has investigated our Mayor and concluded that she break the law, which is consistent with the ACC investigation. This is not “personal”.
    Making my “beloved president” a scapegoat for the alleged corrupt practices of your Creole Mayor can be best described as classic conspiracy theory. Activities like trying to illegally sack her deputy Mayor and removing the Administrative Officer who is a professional says a lot about her connections with the lifetime leader of APC party.
    My only advice for our Mayor is to first put her office in order instead of blaming our president.
    Finally, your continuous ranting about the victimization of the Creoles has become palpable in this forum as can be seen in the link below
    Leo Africanus says:
    JULY 10, 2021 AT 5:55 AM
    The comments section illustrate the rampant tribalism and hatred towards Creoles in Sierra Leone. Siaka Stevens has Kabasa Lodge, President Momoh,Ben Kanu had massive houses. How many civil servants have built houses right next to their government quarters? President Bio builds a small house for an ex-president and look at all the vitriol. Yes, I guess the house would have solved Sierra Leone’s problems. I think what the posters are trying to say, why should a Creole get a house? We prefer to drive them into the sea.

    The fact that Strasser does not have a house and money amplifies his lack of corruption. Show me one Creole who has being charged and convicted for corruption in Sierra Leone, so please let the ex-president have his house. Every government has killed. Bash-Taqi, Gabriel Kai Kai, FM Minah, Kula Samba. Why hold only the N.P.R.C to account?

  3. Hahaha! rambling! rambling, rambling, hahaha! I am enjoying myself in this platform. Feels goods to expose lairs, lunatics, and propagandist. Sierra Leone, the land of my birth, as our national pledge reads, ‘i pledge my love and loyalty to you at all times’. Be rest assure, the criminal cabals pillaging and looting the resources designated for all you offsprings, will continue to be call out by patriots on this platform.

    To the fake news spreaders and propagandist, i pity you; sorry the Sierra Leone telegraph is not your typical village platform . Here, the team of intellectuals patriots, are ever ready to dissect and debunk lies and deceitful utterances, from indoctrinated, delusional party loyalist, who thinks Sierra Leone belongs to only a selected criminal cabal. 2023, we move!!

  4. Mr. YOUNG. FORNAH Who has received his final warning based on the fact that he has attempted to abuse his privilege by spreading propaganda on this forum ,has once again decided to spew absolute rubbish about the origin of African last name. What if I assume that he is purposely using pseudonym because he is afraid that his last name will be associated with lie, deceit , betrayal and coup, based on the fact that his last name was implicated by the founder of his APC party ( late President Siaka Stevens) who made an example of in the Pademba Road Prison?.
    I have been reading and making comments on this credible newspaper for years responsibly and respectfully based on my personal opinion, as compared to some people who were comfortable and complacent with the 11 years APC misrule but never had the audacity to make any comment.
    Going further, I hope and pray that all of us will continue to “AGREE TO DISAGREE” respectfully without derogatory name calling, because in African tradition family names are PRECIOUS.
    Finally, going back to the topic of our Mayor, I hope and pray that the Rule of Law will be respected in our beloved country, because the alternative will be counterproductive.

  5. Thanks for the compliment, Mr Jalloh. It is absolutely critical for the health of our fledgeling democracy that the rather incestuous relationship between law and politics as practised in our country be called out. There is indeed an urgent need to decouple the two to enable a genuine democratic culture to develop deep, firm roots, bloom and then bear the golden, succulent fruits that we all want.

  6. Poppy Mentality, No I do not have a victim complex.
    Regarding the rule of law. A.V Dicey, the great English jurist first principle: first principle of the rule of law was that ‘no man is punishable or can be lawfully made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land. In this excerpt we can see that the exercise of the law should not be arbitrary.

    Therefore, it could be said that the attack on the Mayor seems personal.
    Your link seems to allege tribalistic remarks, there are laws against such statements, if proven in a court of law. However, that has nothing to do with the current predicament, as such that is inadmissible.

    With regards to my statement, your beloved president in his statement to the T.R.C stated and I quote” I overthrew Strasser due to a Creole conspiracy” the details of the conspiracy, he has yet to divulge.
    Personally my academic journey was stimulated by a Mende lecturer, who was incorruptible and a real mentor in Business Administration in those days of yore, when I was learning. He inspired me with greats such as Peter Drucker, Abraham Maslow et Al.
    Therefore, I do not have any hate or grudges towards any tribe. Long live Sierra Leone.

  7. Totally agree with you Mr Yillah .At present we have already crossed that Rubicon where those entrusted to investigate corruption are themselves seen through the eyes of the general public as corrupted themselves .Corruption is so endemic in every level of Sierra Leonean society , for some they see it as a way of life .To root it out we need an independent ACC and an independent Judiciary where cases are investigated with out any fear or favours .The idea that Ben Kaifala and his team can claim the mantle of impartiality and are not tainted by their inaction against Bio’s untouchables , is not only offensive to any fair minded Sierra leonean , but that concept of being seen to be fair and open with the public in dealing with some of this cases has all been tuned on it’s head.It easy to go after the low hanging fruits .And is not any low hanging fruits it has to display Red like tomatoes or the sun the APC symbol not Avocado or palm tree that carries the symbol of the one directionless SLPP government of Bio .

    If Ben Kaifala and his ACC team were following the evidence where it leads them , chances are we could have seen the office of the First Lady Mrs Fatima Bio and the office of the vice president Dr Juldeh Jalloh placed under some sort of investigation after the evidence of malfeasances were published in the Africanist press .As an ACC commissioners , you shouldn’t suffering from the disease of see no evil and hear no evil when you are presented with an overwhelming evidence of abuse of public office .If you are carrying the sword of truth and justice, you should not only be seen to be blindfolded, and being led by the evidence but where you suspect any cases of maladministration it is your responsibility as the ACC commissioner to investigate those cases .And that is the only way you can regain public trust .

    Throwing the tribal bait on this forum about Mendes and any other tribe for that matter will not cut the mustard with us .Iam a Jalloh and the vice president is a Jalloh and I am calling on his office to be investigated .Chernor Bah the investigative journalist from The Africanist press is a Fulani .We need to start to see things as they are not how we want to see them .Otherwise as a Fulani myself does that qualify me as a sell out or someone who believe the ACC should do the right thing for our country and not to be used to settle political scores .

  8. Come to think of it, if the law dictates that, a certain punishment or process should be follow or implemented for committing a crime, by virtue, any law enforcer who chooses to ignore the dictates of the law for due advantage, have also committed a crime. In other words, if a police officer is caught conniving with criminals for kick backs from their illicit activities, that police officer is also consider a criminal.

    In our nation’s case, ACC officials, and other law enforcers, who connive with corrupt government officials in stealing state resources, are themselves criminals. That is to say, when ACC is presented with all the evidence of a corrupt act, but chooses to ignore those evidence for political expediency, then by all means it constitutes a crime. So what is the fuss and noises of allowing the law to take it cause? Is anyone following any of our laws in the current regime? Be real folks!!

  9. To those fake/pretentious law implementers or let’s allow the law to take it cause advocates, what law are you all exactly talking about? For the past 4 years, there has been 3 audit reports under this regime, with trillions missing, where were you to proclaim that the laws MUST be allow to take it cause in ensuring all those monies are investigated and recover?

    You talking about hypocrisy! Goodness gracious! I don’t know if some of you ever looked up the definition of integrity. You could be doing yourself a huge favor by just staying mute instead of uttering gibberish, putting your reputation on the line like a few here on this platform, who have sold their souls to the devil, with lies and deceptions enshrine in their last names. A word of advice, think before you hit the keystrokes, don’t allow your uncontrollable impulses expose you to ridicule.

  10. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in such a state of political disarray today because President Bio for reasons best known to him, moved away from the noble and humble manner that should have assured his second term and brought us together. Sitting with slippery political customers like Mr Alpha Kahn, Mr Victor Foh, etc would not have been necessary. Many of us should have been rejoicing today. But today, we are divided more than ever. Most worrisome, we are not ready to forgive.

    Ladies and gentlemen, read this article. You will always feel good after reading it.

    https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/president-bio-meets-leaders-of-opposition-parties-peace-at-last/.

    Is it fair for us to be divided in every sector of society? See how divided we have become and not ready to forgive each other. “We Day Na Road””. God bless Sierra Leone

  11. Me Lion Africa, please stop sounding like a “poppy”. Your victim mentality is unfortunate.
    Stating that “the Creoles are seen as easy scapegoats, due to our limited numbers “ is a fabrication of your distorted imagination.
    Even the final statement from the author of this article that “ The sinister attempt to discredit and bar Mayor Aki-Sawyer from contesting the 2023 elections, is part of the master plan of SLPP HEGEMONY” is not only deranged but very dangerous, which explains why she received only 0.2% from the voters in the 2018 presidential elections. The Corruption investigation is based on the Rule Of Law.
    Finally,to justify my statement about the “Buwa Besei” or “Mende Man”, the link below is the Utterance of Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer:
    https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/mayor-yvonne-aki-sawyerr-beyond-those-utterances/

  12. But when those so-called laws of the land are hijacked and manipulated for political purposes, one cannot but wonder whether the ends of justice they are meant to serve are not themselves ultimately political in nature. Put differently, the political instrumentalisation of the ACC’s mandate in order to go after people that Bio’s SLPP casts as its rivals and enemies, be they real or imagined, amounts to an unwanted and unwarranted use of the laws of the land, to an indefensible travesty of those laws and of the justice they serve.

  13. “Is the Mayor’s case and all the district councils the most serious matter in the Auditor General’s report?”- Sahr Maturri

    the answer to your question is no. A follow up question is, is it your position that the FCC and other district councils mentioned in the audit report should not be investigated and why do you think that they should be treated different and not subjected to the laws of the land?

    • Many thanks Mr David Samura for question. I believe that you have already answered your question using the queen’s language in another way.
      This was part of your comment – “Is the Mayor’s case and all the district councils the most serious matter in the Auditor General’s report?”- Sahr Maturri

      the answer to your question is no.
      “I’m not saying that the Mayor should not be investigated. The law of the land is paramount. No one , even the First Lady is not above it. Judge for yourself in terms investigating corruption in Sierra Leone today.

      What I’m saying is that the most serious and damaging allegations of rampant corruption costing millions of dollars to the taxpayers, should be dealt with in the first place and with urgency. I will not call names here. Do you agree again with my comment at the start of this paragraph or not? Do you believe that the ACC is neutral when it comes to fighting corruption under the leadership of the present ACC boss? Do you believe that the ACC under the present ACC boss is doing President Bio more harm than good? Do you believe that President Bio’s job approval is ( 65%) compared to the ACC Boss’ ,(45%)? With all the failures of this ACC boss, he must resign for heaven’s sake. I know you might not be happy about that. But that is the reality. God bless Sierra Leone. Yeah

  14. Mr Fallacy, the notion that we are up in arms simply due to the commissioner’s ethnicity is a fallacy.
    Furthermore, the Mayor herself is of South-Eastern origin.
    No, this is the other way around, the Creoles are seen as easy scapegoats, due to our limited numbers. That’s fine, but remember there is a God.

  15. I personally believe that the just concluded investigations by the ACC against Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer and members of her delivery unit is consistent with the investigative report that was conducted by the Local government Minister Lamina. The only difference this time around is the report is coming from a “Buwa Besei” or “ Mende Man” which is unacceptable.
    That narrative should be rejected especially when it comes from a former presidential candidate.
    “Superiority Complex” should also be rejected when it comes to enforcing the law in the fight against corruption. Corruption has destroyed our nation for decades, and the processes and procedures must be followed to prove your innocence.
    Imagine that I get stopped by a white law enforcement officer for speeding, and I tried to make mention of all the drivers and white people that have been speeding before I was stopped.
    Finally, corruption in the FCC is nothing new, which is responsible for the filthy conditions of Freetown. The link below shows a pattern:
    http://www.thisissierraleone.com/in-sierra-leone-the-mayor-herbert-williams-and-5-others-found-guilty-for-various-corruption-and-procurement-violation-offences-by-the-acc/

  16. Folks, what shortshighted PAOPA supporters and other like Slaversscapegoat44 failed to realize is that, the prevalent of selective justice in any setting, eventually translates to higher corruption, crimes, and other misdeeds. Take for instance in a typical home setting; when compare to kids who are generally discipline, kids who are favor and not discipline regardless of what offence committed at home, will generally grow up being rebelious, feeling entitle, and in some instances a menance to society.

    The same argument can be made for society at large. Law breakers, criminals, corrupt governmental officials, etc, who are privilege and overshighted whenever they commit an offence towards the state are usually embolden, more determine, and aggressive in pursing their lawless behavior. Come to think of it, if i have a free pass on doing whatever i want, stealing, raping women, and whatever my desires are, why should i even bother to stop? In fact, at times, it will feel like i am doing nothing wrong, just enjoying life.

    Now when this is mix in our political dispensation, it even become more worrisome. Now we are talking about the development and safety of an entire nation. If not curtail, successive regimes will use this scheme to hold the country to ransom. Those in power will steal state resouces and commit other crimes with no questions ask. Things will only get worse from there on. So if you care about our nation’s development and security, selective justice must be scorn at. Corruption, crimes rates, and other ills of the society can only be address when every citizen realize that, if they commit a crime, they will face justice no matter what their political affiliations are. That is the only way of building deterrence.

  17. Slaversscapegoat44. A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. However, I digress. Your argument is a straw man argument littered with oxymorons.
    Good day to you sir.

  18. In 2021 we witnessed the repeal of the 1965 sedition and libellous ACT for which were told by straight talking Bio , that for too long the Act has been used by various governments of all colours to suppressed and intimidate or in some cases worse to fulfil their political goals.Now we are witnessing the same thing with the 2008 -2019 as amended anti corruption Act .If past governments used our corrupt and not fit for purpose criminal justice system, as a blunt instruments to pressure the opposition and the press , and free speech now we are in uncharted territory.Because Bio is using the same play book to achieve his political goals in the form of a reincarnated oppressive anti corruption act ,that bare no semblance to a real Anti corruption act used by countries like Kenya , South Africa and Nigeria of all places ,the Mecca of corruption in Africa.The ACC under Ben Kaifala has abandoned all pretence of being seen to be independent but is now actively becoming enforcers of Bio’s vendetta politics .Recently the Mayor celebrated her four years in office by video highlights of her accomplishments of delivery of services to her people .And despite all the attempts by Bio and his acolytes to derailed her good work for the residents of Freetown she still managed to put in place the waste management infrastructure and commissioned the building of a market place for PEPE WOMEN at Wilberforce etc .That message of truth couldn’t have gone unnoticed in State House , because they have nothing to show for their accomplishment since taking office at the same time .Four wasted years under Bio .You can’t even compare the two .One is getting international support in the form of loans and grants and the Mayor rely on tax receipts from her residents.Yes on paper Bio talks about his accomplishments but nothing to show for it .As the saying goes in Sierra Leone “Talk is cheap”. And that is where we found ourselves .The Mayor is working wonders to change the trajectory of peoples lives while Bio and his cronies are busy trying to sabotage her every move .

  19. The Bureau for Selective Investigation (BSI), formerly known as Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) headed by ben ben Kaifala is certainly living up to its name and reputation by going after The Mayor of Freetown, Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr in a deliberate, well tailored move to scuttle her progressive ideas to transform her city to a modern metropolis, fit to be the seat of government and national institutions. It is this underhand and unprofessional escapade which Femi Claudius Cole was quick to detect that led to her up-ed, on whose back this author is riding.

    The Op-ed clearly shows why the former ACC has been renamed BSI. In a well structured and cohesive manner, befitting somebody with all her screws in place,Femi Claudius Cole places the reader in a thrillingly trance in her narrative of how BSI has singled out The Mayor for investigation while turning their back on financial issues that have devastated the nation as revealed by successive audit reports. The personal characteristic of the investigation is too naked not too be seen. The Mayor is a conduit of woes for the Bio government which Ben Kaifala is determined to destroy by any means that presents itself to save the Bio presidency from constant embarrassment, one of which is that foreign donors and dignitaries have taken to dealing with The Mayor directly rather than a corrupt outfit.

    “ben ben” Kaifala could not even muster enough decency to hold a press conference to reveal his devious findings to show respect for the office of The Mayor, he used social media. The reason should be clear. Her Worship is not SLPP. David Francis and others are SLPP. See the point?

  20. If there is selective justice, then, it is bad and it should be checked. While they are investigating selective justice, they must continue with the case against the Mayor and Taylor-Pearce. The accusation of selective justice shouldn’t stop the proceedings against them. These are the kind of mentality that has retard the country since independence. Implying that others are corrupting and therefore corruption must not be investigated is as good as legalizing corruption. This case must go to the very end.

    • Good morning, Good afternoon or Good evening Mr, Ms or Mrs slaversscapegoat44. Before I start digesting your comments, I would like to know from you in your own words, the meaning of selective Justice and corruption? Without that, tells me that your comment bears no weight whatsoever on both sides of the discussion. It should have been better for you to tell me about the many other crucial and serious allegations against the so called people linked with the country’s political power grid in the report. I would like to challenge you and invite you for an open discussion or debate on this particular issue. Are you familiar or did you read the article properly? I’m back on this glorious platform to challenge what I believe is unacceptable and unjustifiable.
      Again, no-one will be allowed to scandal our hardworking, diligent, charismatic and honest Mayor of Freetown for cheap political gains. For heaven’s sake, the ACC boss must resign.
      This nonsense of attacking our Iron Ladies has to stop. Ms Finda Konomany was dragged into the COI only to be freed later. Many analysts and people including myself, said clearly that she did nothing wrong. Then came the SLPP women’s wing election, where as far as I’m concerned, Ms Fatmata Sawaneh who should have won, lost by political manipulation. She is a fighter and I believe that she will fight back with politics precision. After, the political hammer came down on Ms Femi Claudius Cole, who was arrested for saying something that the wavering opposing political elite did not like. By the way, she was detained with Ms Finda Konomany although the later was released earlier. Now, they want to take their wavering opposing political fight to one of Africa’s most influential and focused women to gain politically or compensate the failure of not investigating the fake degrees or whatever. This madness of trying to weaken our Iron Ladies in every area of our society has to stop and must be condemned outright. My question to the ACC and again to Mr, Ms or Mrs slaversscapegoat44 is this – Is the Mayor’s case and all the district councils the most serious matter in the Auditor General’s report? Women are wonderful people and they should not be harrased, intimidated or be downgraded politically. They should be treated with respect and dignity. God bless, Ms Femi Claudius Cole, Ms Finda Konomany, Ms Fatmata Sawaneh and of course the one and only most effective and honest Mayor, no other than Ms Aki Sawyer. Amen and amen. Father God. We have to attack with the queen’s language on all political fronts with vigour and responsibility. “Den Go Tyre”.

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