Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 November 2020:
The Principal Legal Consultant in Sierra Leone’s Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice – Barrister Lahai Momoh Farmah, has warned all those indicted by the Commission of Inquiry into abuse of office and corruption in the former government, to repay all stolen funds by the 24th of December 2020, or face the full force of the law.
Speaking at a news conference held at the Ministry of Information and Communications Conference Room in Freetown today, the Principal Legal Consultant explained that December 24 will be exactly three months since the government White Paper was published by president Dr. Julius Maada Bio, giving indictees a grace period of 90 days.
He said that the government’s law officers will start enforcing the recommendations of the White Paper immediately after the expiration of the grace period, and that those who have not entered into plea bargain or have not started paying back will be chased and forced to comply with the recommendations.
He spoke about the steps taken so far by the Ministry of Justice to ensure implementation of the White Paper recommendations, saying that there are three stages involved and two are already underway.
Mr. Farmah said that they have received offers from a good number of people and institutions that have agreed to pay back into a special bank account set up for that purpose by the Accountant General’s Office.
He commended the Ministry of Information and Communications for popularising the White Paper nationally, and for engaging stakeholders regionally on its findings and recommendations.
Mr. Farmah also said that they have already received 58 appeals from indicted persons, and they are presently working on preparing responses to all of them.
He assured that they are working round the clock to ensure that those that have legitimate and genuine appeals get justice.
The Minister of Information and Communications – Mohamed Rahman Swaray, reiterated that the White Paper recommendations will be implemented in full, adding that anyone who gets in the way of its implementation will face the full force of the law.