In Sierra Leone – Tribunal established to investigate Auditor General and Deputy swears oath of office

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 December 2021:

Members of a tribunal appointed by President Bio to investigate allegations of unprofessionalism and misconduct by the country’s Auditor General Mrs. Lara Taylor-Pearce and her Deputy – Tamba Momoh, have today Monday 6 December 2021, sworn an oath before commencing their work, in the presence of President Dr Julius Maada Bio.

Chairperson of the tribunal – Justice Nyawo Finda Matturi-Jones, a retired Supreme Court Judge is described by her peers as a professional with unblemished character, who worked across Sierra Leone – first as a magistrate and then a High Court Judge in Kenema where she served for many years before she became a Supreme Court Judge in 2016.

The other members of the tribunal are Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay who has replaced former Judge Advocate Abu King for reasons best known to the president, and Mr. Lahai M. Farma.

Justice Matturi-Jones thanked the President on behalf of her colleagues for appointing them to take part in what she said is a rare occasion to look into the activities of the Auditor General and her deputy, following their suspension recently.

She said that ithe investigation would deepen democracy and improve the credentials of the country, because it will allow and give the two public servants the opportunity to clear their names and in a transparent and credible manner.

She further noted that she and her colleagues on the tribunal are ready, willing, and able to perform the task for which they have been appointed, adding that they are also familiar with the laws and assured that they will use their long years of experience to work diligently in the interest of Sierra Leone.

“We are prepared and willing to listen to whatever evidence that is available. We are ready to analyse the situation and apply the laws justly,” she said.

President Dr Julius Maada Bio thanked the newly sworn-in members of the tribunal for accepting the challenge, adding that the tribunal should do their best to investigate the matter that has been put before them.

“We are in compliance with the Constitution of Sierra Leone. It is now left with you to investigate the matter and get back to us. I wish you all the best and look forward to the outcome. Thank you,” he concluded.

2 Comments

  1. This is sounding more like a Kangaroo court show trial being sworned in to do the bidding of a president that has more things to hide when it comes to corruption, transparency, accountability, and lack of respect of the constitution of Sierra Leone. Justice Matturi – Jones promised the president and the wider public, they will look at the evidence with the eyes of professionals not stooges of Bio and his government, that was scared of the living day lights of the pending audit report, and how much damming information about corruption allegations was about to be laid bare for public consumption and scrutiny. The suspension of Mrs Lara Taylor the Auditor General, and Mr Momoh her deputy for abuse of public office, just weeks before the publication of their audit report about the workings of the Bio government especially in government expenditure, and misuse of public funds for their own private use, is rather rich of Bio of all people to accuse others for failing to honour their public duties, as enshrined in our constitution.

    In his closing remarks, Boi made the point that his government actions was in compliance with the constitution. To me that suggest Bio was not too sure about the legality of his actions in the first place.Maybe since his initial rushed to action, he’d been schooled about his powers as a president and the limits placed on those powers by the 1991 Sierra Leone constitution. In setting up this tribunal, he is not only acting like the prosecutor, but also as the judge and the jury. In his closing remarks to the tribunal members that took the oath in front of him,or to him, his words sounded like a clear instructions given to a jury in this case, members of this newly minted tribunal, to come up with the right verdicts. That Mrs Taylor and her Co-accused are guilty as hell even before the show trial gets underway.

    In Bio’s mind anything less doesn’t bare contemplating. Now in the rare event, both are cleared of wrong doing, what happens next. Are they going to resume their work, and produce a simlar report next year, because we all know corruption and some of Bio’s handpicked ministers are two sides of the same coin.? Will he suspend them again and set up an other tribunal? When will this Bio circus stops and he starts to address the real issues affecting families up and down the country.? This tribunal is a real distraction, from the fight against corruption. Why should Freetown be plunged to electricity power cuts, because our government that have took out more IMF and World Bank loans, failed to pay the bills to a Turkish power company.? This are some of the questions that should be at the forefront of Sierra Leoneans, rather than this charade of show trials. It will not wash with the public, and certainly not with our international financial backers.

  2. So they have to take an oath of loyalty to the president who maliciously and unconstitutionally dismissed the auditor general and her deputy when her report implicated the president himself and his government to be at the centre of corruption and thieving in Sierra Leone. How can we expect the investigation to be fair when the necessity for setting up this committee, in the first place, was to distract , discredit her and her report that specifically highlighted the missing million dollars under the Bio administration.

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