Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 September 2019:
Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), last Thursday, 19th September 2019, filed corruption charges against Mannah Lahai, principal of Fatibu Technical Junior and Secondary School and supervisor for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Mohamed Kamara, a teacher, and Edward Lamboi, a Facilitator for WAEC.
A few weeks ago there was public outcry after the three were handcuffed and paraded in public in the centre of Freetown, with placards on their chests admitting guilt, which human rights activists and some legal commentators judged to be extra-judicial and unlawful.
This prompted president Bio to then make a public statement apologising on behalf of the ACC.
But although there were public sympathies for the three in terms of the manner with which justice was summarily discharged in the ‘open court of public justice’ at Cotton Tree, there was overwhelming call for a court trial so that they can prove their innocence.
Yesterday, a statement published by the ACC says that the three have now been charged with various counts of corruption, including: Corrupt transaction with an Agent, contrary to section 39(1)(b); receiving a gift for corrupt purpose, contrary to section 47(a); accepting an advantage for a public officer, contrary to Section 35(1); obstruction of justice, contrary to Section 127(1)(a); and conspiracy to commit a corruption offence, contrary to section 128 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, respectively.
“The Public can recall that on Saturday 7th September 2019, the Commission, acting on intelligence that WASSCE examination malpractices were happening at the Fatibu Technical Junior and Secondary School in Freetown, deployed the Scorpion Squad who were instructed to arrest any person(s) found to have engaged or was engaging in examination malpractices. The raid that followed led to the arrest of the persons aforementioned who were detained by the ACC but subsequently released on bail.
“Following the arrests, investigations revealed that Messrs. Mannah Lahai and Edward Lamboi were both Supervisors and Facilitators, respectively for WAEC, for the 2019 Mathematics Private WASSCE examination at the Fatibu Technical Junior and Secondary School – a centre designated for the examination; and that Mr. Mohamed Kamara was co-opted by Mr. Lahai in coordinating assistance to be given to certain candidates at the aforementioned centre.
“Mr. Kamara received money on behalf of Mr. Lahai so as to make available to the cooperating candidates answers to the exam which were later copied for distribution to those candidates who had paid for assistance with the aim of passing the exam through various acts of malpractices.
“Those candidates were placed in a “special room” (Mr. Lahai’s office) to sit for the said Mathematics exam, as agreed, without there being proper examination conditions applicable. Mr. Lamboi, on the other hand, was arrested and charged for assaulting an Officer who was part of the ACC team on assignment at the School,” the ACC says.
The three indictees are expected to make their first appearance before an Anti-Corruption Judge in the High Court in Freetown today.