Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 August 2015
As the row between Sierra Leone’s Attorney General Frank kargbo and the leader of the opposition PMDC – lawyer Charles Francis Margai continues, the question now for president Koroma is how long before he gives Frank Kargbo the boot for dereliction of duty and incompetence.
Never before has the occupant of the office of Attorney General in Sierra Leone brought so much ridicule and disrepute to the office, after throwing a barrage of insults and rude invective at lawyer Charles Francis Margai, for questioning his failure to give proper advice to president Koroma.
Such was the inappropriateness of the Attorney General’s letter of reply to Charles Margai that, many in the legal profession are now saying that Frank kargbo is unfit to continue as the country’s Attorney General.
The row erupted last week when president Koroma unilaterally decided to continue some of the Ebola state of emergency restrictions without parliament’s approval.
Another row erupted last month when the government signed a $12 million loan agreement to purchase 100 buses from China without going out to public tender and without parliamentary approval.
Early this year, president Koroma sacked the country’s elected vice president, without recourse to parliament as required by Sierra Leone’s constitution.
Last week, lawyer Charles Margai (Photo) wrote a letter in good faith to the Attorney General, accusing him of failing to provide sound legal advice to president Koroma, so as to save the president from continuing breach of the constitution and embarrassment.
But Attorney General Frank Kargbo did not take too kindly to being pointed out as incompetent.
Rather than responding to the points of law and constitutional irregularities discussed in Margai’s letter, Frank Kargbo’s choice of language has been described as unbecoming of a lawyer.
The use of invective in his reply to Lawyer Margai has not gone down well. There are now calls for the Attorney General’s resignation or sacking.
Not surprisingly however, Charles Margai’s reply to the Attorney General written two days ago – 14th August 2015, appears measured, civil and professional. This is what he told Attorney Frank Kargbo (Photo):
RE: PRESIDENTIAL BROADCAST.
I have with dismay read your letter of 12th August, 2015, which falls short of a reply but rather full of invective.
When I spoke to Mr. President some time ago about your incompetence, his reply was apt. As the conversation between him and I was confidential, I shall refrain from divulging what was said.
What I however find interesting is the fact that you are still in post.
Mr. President’s failure vis-à-vis governance, can no doubt be ascribed to him being surrounded by characters like you, who cannot deliver (aptly described as a square peg in a round hole).
You have always ill-advised him on matters of national importance due to incompetence.
I had held the view before now that the late F.M. Carew was the weakest Attorney-General this nation had produced but your performance or rather non-performance now proves that as Attorney-General, you are weaker than Carew.
Weak as he was, he represented Government in all court matters, the outcome notwithstanding.
You should be ashamed of yourself running away from the courts and instead, electing to brief private practitioners at the tax payer’s expense in disregard of Section 114 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No.6 of 1991, in the ongoing Constitutional cases before the Supreme Court.
Suffice it to say that, I am still awaiting a response to my letter. All you have done is expatriating rudeness at which you are adept.
I shall not comment on the issues sadly raised in your concluding paragraph. I shall let the people decide.
In case you are wondering why I chose to address you personally instead of officially, the reason is that the title Attorney-General & Minister of Justice is meant for deserving holders, of which, you are not one!
C.F. Margai Esq. – Leader of the PMDC
Will president Koroma relieve Frank Kargbo of his duties with immediate effect, so as to protect the good name and respect of the office of Attorney General of Sierra Leone?
Of all the current public figures in the country, Charles Margai is the one that I admire and respect the most. How I wish he had a seat in parliament.
The man is quite simply brutally honest and courageous, and never in the business of taking prisoners – especially if they are fools.
Sierra Leone needs him as a leader. If it were left to me, I would have made him president ten years ago.
Charles Margai is the man who, at the height of the debate into the stolen Ebola funds, demanded to know what parliamentarians had done with the millions of Leones which they were given by the president to help their constituencies.
He made this demand, as the corrupt government parliamentary leader – Ibrahim Bundu, went about like a loose cannon, determined to block any investigation, while the minister of information and communication – Alpha Kanu, in his usual spacial disorientation, called the Audit Report into stolen Ebola funds a fallacy and distraction, thereby, insulting his boss – the President, who had called for the report in the first place.
I have said all the above as a precursor to the point I want to make, that: Mr Margai should see most of the people who surround President Koroma as a waste of space and time. They know nothing, but the President is forced to keep them on – somehow.
Frank Kargbo cannot successfully prosecute a cat, caught with a fish in its mouth, and brought to court.
Is anyone surprised by Frank Kargbo’s behaviour? President Koroma himself will acknowledge to anyone who will listen that Frank Kargbo is incompetent and not to be trusted with legal matters of import.
Frank Kargbo was neither the President’s 1st, 2nd nor 3rd choice for AG. He got the nod only because Berthan Macauley and others who were asked chose not to serve. When the President has a serious matter requiring legal advice, he calls up Berthan Macauley, not the AG.
Frank is without a doubt one of the most corrupt members of the present cabinet. His influence peddling for his own enrichment using his law firm, Tanner, is known to all and sundry.
The lawyers who staff the firm know nothing about the law. Their performance on files is extremely poor and it has been clear for some time that they exist merely to serve as a conduit for Frank’s influence peddling and corruption. They are completely ineffective as lawyers.
Again, President Koroma should explain to the public why he appointed an AG who is clearly incompetent and of questionable moral character, someone who is corrupt and someone who he himself does not trust.
Why retain (at considerable expense) private lawyers for work that the AG’s office should be doing? Is this the best use of taxpayer Leones?
The mind boggles at the President’s poor judgment. But at the end of the day, we all know that the President’s appointees are generally not appointed for their competence and effectiveness but for their personal loyalty to the President and allegedly, their ability to deliver his 10% commission on corrupt deals.
It is clear the president does not trust Frank kargbo as far as he can throw him. In fact he has been rumoured to be out of favour for a long time. The so called Bombali Boys connection is tenuous at best.
Just ask the numerous clients who have retained his law firm of late who have lost cases because of “orders from above”. No ability to deliver. Laughable.
Not a ringing endorsement of the president’s confidence in his AG’s trustworthiness.