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.