Charles Margai asks president Bio to come clean on cost of commission of inquiry

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 October 2020:

Founder and leader of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) party in Sierra Leone – Charles Francis Margai, has written to president Julius Maada Bio – using the country’s Right to Access Information Act No. 2 of 2013 , asking the president to declare how much his government spent in conducting the Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of the former APC government, led by president Ernest Bai Koroma.

The letter comes as the debate about the hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly stolen or misused by the former government  – reported by the Commission of Inquiry, continues to make the news headlines.

Lawyer Charles Francis Margai is the first Attorney General appointed by President Bio in his first cabinet appointments after winning the 2018 elections , but was sacked by president Bio just weeks after his appointment.

In his letter, Charles Margai is asking the president to provide answers to the following questions:

1. how much money in total was spent on the C.O.I. exercise?

2. how much was spent on the salaries, allowances etc. of each commissioner?

3. how much fees were paid to counsel who represented the state?

4. how much was allocated to Administrative processes?

5. how much of the above was paid in foreign exchange/ local currency?

6. how much in terms of finances does the Government expect to recover from those found culpable?

According to the Right to Access Information Act No. 2 of 2013,  president Bio is by Law,  obliged to  respond to Charles Margai’s request for information.

If President Bio refuses to respond, he can be criminally prosecuted after leaving office and face criminal penalties including prison term of twelve months., as a sitting president cannot be prosecuted.

The Right to Access Information Act No. 2 of 2013, gives president Bio up to fifteen days to comply with Charles Margai’s  request for information.

 

17 Comments

  1. The six questions for president Bio, posed by the Attorney and leader of the PMDC party are fitting and proper. They are not too much to ask the president for an answer. The citizens, better still political stakeholders have the right to demand information and the president must respect the rights of the people, in whose interest the commissions were being carried, to inform the country without any delay regarding the total amount of greens the administration have had to spend in the exercises which lasted for nearly a year. It is a learning experience worthy of sharing, which, if need be, will serve future endeavors to follow in the full spirit of accountability and transparency. Come clean Mr. Pee.

  2. When my older brother from another mother.the “Illustrious” Mr Alimamy Turay
    speaks i have no other choice but to pay close attention and heed his prudent advice;I thank you for your kind encouraging words brother,and i give you my word today that i will not allow anything or anyone on this glorious forum to distract me from the task at hand – safeguarding the interests of our beloved nation as she struggles to unshackle herself from grips of authoritarian rule.
    Now is my finest moment to elevate my game to unreachable heights – Its time to restock and rearrange my stockpiles of cerebral arsenal..Its time to leave the petty stuff behind and reloaded my best analytical weapons in preparation for an all out WAR against totalitarianism in Sierra Leone.Word is bond!

  3. Mr L Colsen thanks for reminding everyone of us to stick to the facts. These are the facts. Our country is rich in mineral resources but have nothing to show for it. We rely on IMF loans and we can’t even produce our own staple food to be self sufficient. I can vouch the only time our country enjoyed a sense of nationhood as one people and heading in the right direction was under the short live leadership of Colonel Andrew Joxon – Smith military government in 1968. Maybe he was too good to be true. The good ones never last for long. Thomas Sankara comes to mind. Whilst the wicked and corrupt always managed to stay on for ever. During his time he succeed where most of both past and present leaders failed us as a nation.

    Colonel Andrew joxon Smith single-handedly froze tribal differences that have since cast a long dark shadow over our country. And these tribal and regional differences are all tied up with the chronic corruption our country has been subjected to over the last forty or fifty years. Corruption is so endemic and entrenched, within our societies, I will even go further to say its structural, cultural – both in our country and across many African countries. You will be forgiven to think we are blessed with natural and human resources but cursed with poor and greedy leadership.

    In all fairness, Corruption didn’t start with the EBK government, if anything as the commission reports showed it was amplified by those who can’t resist the urge to steal from the state. And if you think some of Bio’s Ministers are whiter than white – hold that thought and ask yourself what they have done to advance our country. Some of them are as guilty as the ones they are finger pointing. Bottom line, you cannot divorce our problems from the side effects of corruption. May God bless Sierra Leone

  4. Gentlemen, this is not about Mr Margai. It is about those in the previous administration of Mr Koroma who betrayed the people’s trust. Let’s stick to the subject, ok?

  5. The Commissions of Inquiry have been dubbed in some quarters as the PEOPLE’S Commissions, so it is right and proper that the people know the TOTAL amount/budget spent on the entire exercise. A complete disclosure of the budget is requested after all it is taxpayers’ money utilised to fund the exercise.

  6. The right to information is all part of our democracy and thanks to Bio appointed commissioner Dr. Sheaga Shaw this Act has been brought to the door step of Sierra Leone. I believe that the government will respond to the requester of this information. So whatever the intention it is something which I am sure the government would respond to.

    Having said that, were the state Counsels paid outside their Normal salaries to represent the state at the COI? And that is where Mr. Margai is trying to shame the government. By publicizing the disparity between the state counsels salaries and the commissioners’ Mr Margai wants to show that the commissioners were paid huge sums while the government lawyers were paid chicken pence.

    Why address this right to information to the president when you have the Minister of information and or Finance?

  7. Since President Bio has made Mr. Charles Margai the shortest serving Attorney General in history of the world which will be recorded in the Guinness Book Of Record, now he should appoint him as the new Auditor General to compensate him for his humiliation . Thanks to Mr. Charles Margai for creating the money monster that has destroyed our country, and I hope the people of Sierra Leone will forgive him, because the compensation he received from the lifetime chairman (after betraying the party that made his late Uncle and Father Prime Ministers) was locking him up at the CID and humiliating all his party members that served under the APC government. Thanks to the SLPP that taught him a lesson that Sierra Leone is not ruled by a Monarchy.

  8. In the interest of transparency I see no reason why anyone should have a problem with this request for us to know the actual cost of this process (COI); and find it bizarre that others have focused on the person making the request rather than the substance of the request. As a country we should be moving towards a more transparent society where the salaries and benefits of every public official from the president right down is made public, and see no reason why tax payers and other stakeholders should be kept in the dark.

  9. Good day Stargazer. I believe we are winning this battle against the inept Bio SLPP kakistocracy. My advice is, let our emotions don’t lead us to making errors and be expelled from this glorious platform. That is exactly what the Bio SLPP kakistocracy supporters and operatives are wishing for. More than 26,000 people are reading the Sierra Leone Telegraph Newspaper every single day.

    The readers are also visiting the forum and trying to see which side to follow. I am very glad and pleased with the way the editor is handling the situation when it comes to bad and damming comments between forumites. Stargazer, you are a star. Continue playing by the rules to let the people of Sierra Leone and the world hear you loud and clear. That is what I do. When I play with the Queen’s language, they say, it’s an insult or big terms. Do they have confidence in the Queen’s language?

    This glorious platform can be hot and challenging. It sometimes makes you think from the New Direction, to the Reverse Direction till the point of No Direction. God bless Mr Abdul Rashid Thomas, Editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph Newspaper and Stargazer.

    • Sincerest thanks, Mr Matturi. I was in the shower taking a hot bath when I heard my girl friend scream; “Oh my God” and I said; “What is it now?” And she replied, “Abdul Thomas is threatening to expel you from HIS forum for violating his rules.” And I laughed and said its the SLPP that wants me outta there – I am too hot for them to handle! (lol) Special Agent Young 4na from now on I will let you address all comments directed at me – I know you are up to the task.

    • My brother, the ‘awesome’ STARGAZER, don’t leave us in this war again. We know you are very effective in the battlefront. Forget about the coward antics of Sly Dumber and Bicol Lowdown. Like you said, leave that job to ‘Special Agent’ Young4na. Adhere to the candid advice of ‘Diplomatic’ Sahr Matturi. It is a battle we MUST win. We should not let this beautiful country go back to the madness of the NPRC junta, that prolonged the senseless civil war. Historians will one day reconcile that NPRC and RUF are one and the same.

  10. What a perfect bombshell for President Bio, the Bio SLPP kakistocracy, the ACC and CARL. Will President Bio and the Bio SLPP kakistocracy answer to the smart and wise request of Mr Charles Margai, leader of the PMDC? Will de ACC open an investigation into the financial operations of the just concluded COI after two weeks? Will CARL ask President Bio to quickly cooperate and reply to Mr Charles Margai’s request? CARL was quick to ask the greatest former Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces ever and the “Peoples Commander” to fully cooperate with the ACC.
    President Bio and the Bio SLPP kakistocracy must take action to fight corruption in their own backyard in real time.

    Fighting corruption cannot be only for former government officials, but for present government officials including the President himself. The biggest political spanner has just been thrown into the credibility of the just concluded COI, by the wise and smart PMDC Leader to bring transparency and honesty in the just concluded COI process. What a lovely timing! We hope that President Bio and the Bio SLPP kakistocracy will cooperate and reply to this request as soon as possible. God bless the wise, smart and politically focused PMDC Leader, Mr Charles Margai.

  11. Friends and comrade you have to understand this Mr. Margai is a failed AG from the start. This man can say anything. In 2012 after he was promised by the then former President EBK, he said “if you pass on all your support to my campaign and if I am re elected you’ll become my attorney general, then what happened? You get the answer yourself. It seems to me like when he says something today, he’ll forget it tomorrow if asked. Let me remind you that there are two prominent well educated politicians in this country whom the APC party forever blame for their defeat at the 2018 polls, and they will never like them Charles Margai and KKY). Most of their focus was on KKY, and Margai leans towards SLPP, so be careful. May God protect this country.

  12. I can understand the demands made by Charles Margai to the president. After all it was president Bio and his government that outsourced our legal system, or be it, part of it to Justice Biobele, that came up with the recommendation that indicted majority of the leadership of the APC party , including the former president and its chairman EBK. Now that the genie is out of the bottle, the public will demand total transparency from the government and the ACC that is entrusted to investigate the matters that have been raised in the commissions report. There are three ways to fight corruption. TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY and most importantly adhere to the RULE OF LAW as Written in our statue books.

    Anything short of that is a matter of tick box exercise with no clear answers to the issues raised. Now that the president has taken up the role, or adopted the role of a crusader in chief, leading his troops in the forefront of the fight against corruption, he is now under the spotlight like never before. The real test about how serious he is in fighting this cancer in our society is yet to come. Every action of his and his government ministers will be analysed by a suspicious public that have lost faith in government. This report have just confirmed our worst fears. We knew there is corruption, but this is deeper than we thought. So it will do the president no harm, if he replies to Charles Margai, about the question he puts to him.

    This questions should not be seen as disgruntled former employee of the president who has a score to settle, but as a matter of public concern. After all we are talking about the previous government wasting public money on elephant projects or using the public purse as a piggy bank. The president has to lead by example, by showing the public how their tax payers money is spent. The pandora box the president have opened needs to be expanded to include everybody that have held public office for the past fifteen years. The president has to be seen to be whiter than white. May God bless Sierra Leone.

  13. And i saw fire zipping across the galaxies heading towards earth – over 10 billion watts of lightning bolts of vindication and Illumination descending from the sky at the speed of light – 299,792,458 meters per second. Who would have thought or even guessed that a patriot to whom the SLPP throne of power rightfully belongs will finally become a torchbearer for honesty, truth and Transparency. Stargazer what are these criminals going do now? Well, they started the ball rolling so let it roll my friend; I would advise David Francis and JJ Saffa the Hangman to run like Spartan war horses and hide because we are going to start meticulously scrutinizing their every dealing since these swindlers came into power – Every thing means everything. Answer – Is it right for a band of thieves to unjustifiably attempt to tarnish the hard-earned reputations of men with hands much cleaner than their own? Well, we will soon find out – that day of reckoning is not too far away.

    • Mr Stargazer – please note you are now on warning for violating our mutual respect rules here. I have deleted two of your offending comments aimed at fellow forumites. Any further violation will lead to expulsion. Thank you.

  14. Yeah. Has the shit started hitting the fan? The Bio SLPP kakistocracy intergalactic incompetence, on the reckless handling of the COI, is now on the front pages of the news. As I said earlier, good night to the white paper and the unfair corruption charges against the greatest and gallant former Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces ever and the “Peoples Commander”, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma.

    God bless one of our best politicians, patriot and true son of the soil, Mr Charles Margai for his swift and timely, surgical political intervention, into what I believe is the MOTHER of all corruption cases in Sierra Leone’s history. When men like Mr Charles Margai speaks on matters affecting our beloved country, people must listen. Now, the Bio SLPP kakistocracy has been cornered by the very skilful and super politically minded PMDC Leader, Mr Charles Margai. TBC.

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