Sierra Leone government White Paper on corruption – opposition APC fires back

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 September 2020:

Sierra Leone’s main opposition APC party whose members, including its leadership have been indicted by the Commissions of Inquiry into corruption and abuse of office by the former APC government, yesterday published a statement in response to the government’s decision to confiscate their assets and demand repayment of stolen public funds.

It is not clear whether this statement, believed to have come from the APC leadership, is the party’s officially sanctioned response to the government’s White Paper, but this is what the statement says:  

“The All Peoples Congress (APC) notes, with no surprise, findings and recommendations contained in the Government White Paper and Reports of the Commissions of Inquiry (COI). We observe with grave concern that the findings and recommendations are consistent with those contained in the Government Transition Team (GTT), report authored exclusively by members of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

The APC Party had registered its concern that the GTT Report maliciously targeted officials of the past APC government by investigating, indicting, and punishing them, even before the flawed Commissions of Inquiry were established. A case in point is the continued imposition of an unlawful travel ban on and freezing of bank accounts of past APC government officials, without any order of the High Court sanctioning same.

It is therefore discernible that the Commissions of Inquiry are the interpretations of the overt intentions of the GTT report: Members of the SLPP who served on the GTT assumed the roles of investigators, persecutors, interpreters and enforcers of the law. From the outset, the sole aim of the SLPP government was and has always been to unfairly malign and victimize APC stalwarts for political gains.

The APC wishes it to be known that its leadership and members will support any accountability process that is fair, independent and accountable to the Constitution and the people of Sierra Leone.

Given that the Commissions of Inquiry set up by the SLPP government were neither constitutional, fair, independent nor accountable, the APC Party hereby states in the strongest possible terms that the Government White Paper and COI reports are politically motivated, legally flawed and procedurally defective.

A COI process that is unaccountable to the Constitution of Sierra Leone, and deliberately refused to be scrutinized cannot, by the same stretch, scrutinize and hold Persons of Interest (POIs) accountable. The APC, therefore, rejects the findings and recommendations of the Government White Paper and COI reports in their entirety.

Some, among many other reasons which will be addressed in due course that informed the APC’s decision are as follows:

i. That from the inception, Members of Parliament of APC questioned the constitutionality of common paragraphs 6 Constitutional Instruments No. 64, 65 and 67 of 2018, setting up the Commissions of Inquiry on the basis that they are in contravention of section 150 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991 (the Constitution). This objection was discountenanced by both SLPP Members of Parliament and expectedly the Executive Arm.

ii. That prior to the commencement of the COI proceedings, member of the APC whose rights are affected by the above Constitutional Instruments, by an Originating Notice of Motion applied to the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone for an interpretation of, among other provisions, section 150 of the Constitution viz-a-viz common paragraphs 6 of the referred Constitutional Instruments, as provided by law. Joining the Legislative and Executive Arms, the Chief Justice of the Judiciary deliberately but compliantly refused and/or failed to empanel judges and assign the matter for hearing and determination. Similarly, the application filed by the Sierra Leone Bar Association, an apolitical organisation, in respect of the same issue suffered the same fate.

iii. That upon the start of the COI proceedings, lawyers representing Persons of Interest raised the same objection that, the COIs could not start to conduct proceedings without rules governing their practice and procedure made by the Rules of Court Committee as provided for by section 150 of the Constitution. All three Commissioners overruled the objection, and wrongly asserted that they were empowered to make rules regarding the practice and procedure of their respective COI.

iv. That further to the above, lawyers representing Persons of Interest, filed another application to the Supreme Court, seeking a review of the Commissioners’ rulings as provided for by the Constitution by filing an Originating Notice of Motion dated 28th May, 2019. Again, the compliant Chief Justice with the Executive Arm failed, refused and/or neglected to assign the matter for hearing and determination.

v. That the Commissioners of the COI in breach of section 150 of the Constitution and Order 62 rules 1 and 2 of the High Court Rules 2007, which give only the Chief Justice the power to prescribe Practice Directions, issued Practice Directions dated 31st January, 2019, adopting the High Court Rules 2007 in regard proceedings of the COI. This further compounded the unconstitutionality and illegality of the COI and their proceedings.

In view of the facts narrated above, the APC feels compelled to restate that the findings and recommendations in the Government White Paper and COI reports are a product of process marred by unconstitutionality, illegality, procedural corruption, political vindictiveness and malice.

Let it be noted that the APC rejects and shall support Persons of Interest to challenge findings and recommendations of the Government White Paper and COI reports politically, diplomatically and legally at both local and international levels. The APC shall also assist Persons of Interest to address substantive issues contained in the Government White Paper and COI reports in due course, most of which are, from a cursory look, inaccurate, malicious and borne out of a mis-appreciation of facts and law.

An unconstitutional and unaccountable process cannot hold Persons of Interest most of whom are our members accountable. Period!

LONG LIVE THE APC! GOD BLESS SIERRA LEONE!!
 
Signed: AMB DR ALHAJI OSMAN FODAY YANSANEH, NATIONAL SECRETARY GENERAL, APC.”

 

10 Comments

  1. Guys are right on their opinions, but what I believe about the Commission of Inquiry is not for APC government alone but a laid down law that has been in existence since 1991 which I believe was propounded by the then APC (Chapter 9). I strongly believe that after SLPP shall have left office, they are going to be called upon to give account. I see no problem for giving account for something you actually have the right to do. Let it be a precedent. EBK go and prove to the people of Sierra Leone that you and your team actually served the people of this country.

  2. It’s now obvious that the lifetime leader of the APC lied to the citizens that he will retire from politics after the 2018 presidential elections based on his expectation that his “handpicked Stooge” Dr. Samura Kamara will definitely emerge as his successor. He was planning to be the “Remote Control” of not only the APC party but the wishful government of President Samura Kamara, but now he is hiding behind the Party to save his skin.

    Based on the fact that the new SHERIFF in town (President Bio) has caught him breaking the law by ignoring the STOP SIGN against corruption, and suddenly he and his supporters are referring to previous, current and even future lawbreakers. The fact is, he has been caught with his hands in the “Cookie jar” so just deal with it individually rather than dragging the whole APC party members and supporters down the “Rabbit hole”.

    The people of Sierra Leone provided free presidential lodge, statehouse and fleet of motorcycle and Vehicles for his convenience and all they were expecting from him was SERVICE DELIVERY. But since he decided to betray the trust of the citizens, I hope and pray that he will follow the laws of the land rather than transmitting “ RUMORS OF WAR”. Finally, no one should be surprised when thieves became “SPINELESS COWARDS” ,because in Sierra Leone anytime the people shout “Tiffy Tiffy”, people will start spitting, hitting with hands and muddy slippers or shoes without any reaction from the dishonourable thieves because “The guilty are always afraid”.

  3. It was an uphill battle to fend off all the odds stacked against the APC: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary were against the APC; the fringe parties C4C and NGC were working in tandem with the SLPP to discredit the APC; Civil Society Organisations and Journalists were bought by the SLPP to either shut their mouthpiece or offer a blind eye to the political activities of the day; the Police and the Armed Forces were politicized against the APC; the right to peaceful protest was non-existent as the risk of losing one’s life was overtly amplified; and all these happening under the guise of steering the country to the new Promise Land – the ‘New Direction’.

    Nonetheless, after steaming for two and half years, the plot that will take the country to this fairytale land is becoming a far-fetched dream. Now, the ‘new direction’ vessel is stranded in the middle of the ocean, with no destination in sight, amidst a thunderous storm, and only two and half years of fuel left in its tanks. Coupled with this, there is a coronavirus amongst the crew. Rogue Officers are discretely helping themselves with the remaining food on board. The PIRATE Captain is sensing mutiny and somehow, he is now walking with a limp. He hardly comes out his cabin; his only hope now is for an SOS from his international handlers.

    Consequently, there are problems across the political landscape of the main parties. In order to safeguard the peace, the APC had given the SLPP an inch, though the SLPP had taken a yard instead. However, the APC are well renowned in tackling awkward street fighters. And, since the populace are gradually realizing that the SLPP have got a hidden agenda up their sleeves, this has created space for the APC to change tactics in the political arena. All they have to do now is to offer strong support to the leadership of the party. The worst mistake that the APC could indulge in is to attempt to change their hierarchy: it gives the wrong signal.

  4. The legendary APC has now started taking resolute steps to save our fragile Democracy from the clutches of imposters seeking to enrich their contemptible, shabby-looking selves through lies, deception and treachery. We are ready for whatever there is to come; Yep, not moving an inch or a yard, but digging in deeper right where we are standing presently. This President and his conniving henchmen are perpetrators of fraud, and without any doubt, their crimes and shady style of governance are already having a negative, sordid impact on the prosperity, security and productivity of our beloved nation.

    A failed nation that is subservient to terrorist groups in the Middle East is what they are striving for – Traitors aiming and scheming to bring to fruition a tribalistic and nepotistic place called Hell on Earth, that will be vigilantly protected and validated by a totally corrupt judiciary, unscrupulous military and a double-dealing police – That is without any doubt in my mind their ultimate goal and objective. Gentlemen – Stand firm! Hold the line, there’s nothing to fear coming from the hands of raving and ranting lunatics – the whole world will be on our side, watching, and applauding as we continue to resist these Good for nothings.

  5. Mr Abraham Jalloh needs to find out the real meaning of what a ‘Spineless coward’ truly is before throwing such misguided words like unwanted rotten eggs on the legendary APC – Be watchful, and very careful of such utterances Sir or risk being subjected and entangled in an all out war – a fusillade of mind-blowing questions, puzzling statements and troubling opinions that will eventually reduce you into a muted, nickel and dime, tawdry commentator on this glorious forum.

    Now please be kind enough to explain, and cite examples of acts cowardice that the APC has been putting on display since the SLPP criminal Cabal assumed the reins of power – And refrain from being ridiculous by erroneously concluding that patriotic passivity, and acquiescent are the same thing as spineless cowardice. Again, are you familiar with the inner workings of APC? Answer – what kinds of financial and emotional support was Paolo Conteh provided behind the scenes?

    “Armchair Conjecturing Critic” this is your finest moment – enlighten us, open our eyes to reality and the facts if you are truly familiar with them. Hey listen get your facts together before trying to sell them to prudent thinking minds that will shrug them off, laugh and not buy them; Speculation in all its forms is unsound, it promotes the principles of mediocrity instead of excellence…elevate your game by advancing the facts monsieur instead of fiction (lol)

  6. The APC leadership have finally woken up from their slumber, like a drunk, and is throwing punches in the dark. Whether they will deliver a knock out blow , an upper cut or punching below the belt of president Bio and his accomplices remains to be seen. It matters not. The horses have already bolted. I think its too late. Where was the leadership of the main opposition party when they were needed most? When one of their own in the names of Major Paolo Conteh and Dr Blyden were dragged to court on false charges, like typical Sierra Leoneans chose to ignore the problem, wishing it away. What they failed to realise, Bio and his team of avengers were just testing the waters. If the APC leadership had behaved like hungry crocodiles and dragged them down the Sewa river, rather than behave like tiny little fish, they won’t be in the position they have found themselves.

    Yes if president Bio can prove through a court of law that these APC stalwarts accused of stealing from the state are guilty as charged, they should be punished. I am all for it. But he has to do it transparently through the courts by giving the accused the right to fair trial. Not a kangaroo court. At the same time the president in his pledged to fight this cancer of corruption, should not turn a blind eye on his ministers that are engaged in the same corrupt activities. Everyone, with a little bit of common sense can see it coming. Bio has an agenda and he was just following the script written by his tribalistic advisers. Its like a train wrecked or a run away train.

    Once they realise the Leadership of the APC are spineless cowards, now they are going for the kill. Since the APC abandoned their role of the official opposition, it is left to brave citizen journalists to fill the vacuum. When you see a bird excrete on your friend’s head, cover your head and help your friend to drive it away. Otherwise it will be your turn next time round. Now for the APC the chickens have truly come home to roost. My only wish is for the Sierra Leone public to wake up for once in their life and vote people that have the interest of our country at heart. May God bless Sierra Leone.

    • You are right sir. The White Paper is a complete lie. All of our comrades are as clean as satin. Why is this government bent on tarnishing the good name of our comrades? Time will tell.

    • Let me just enlighten you, Stargazer. My Father is one of the original members of the APC party after its formation. Those original members will not recognise the APC party as it is today. The leaderships of the APC party right now have abandoned their fighting spirits. They have morphed into spineless cowards. So I will take no lectures from you regarding the APC party, when the APC party was led by men that are not scared of saying things as they see it or standing up for the ordinary man and woman; when we were in the trenches trying to build the APC that you are so proudly supporting today. My contention with the present leadership is why on earth they never raised hell when their elected members were denied taking their seats in Parliament? Why they failed to condemn the arrest and detention of Paolo Conteh, a former defence minister? Why they failed to rise up and challenge Hon Abu Abu; why they failed to condemn the killing of youths in Makeni, Pademba Road and Lunsar.

      I know you are good at expressing yourself in this glorious forum, but with all due respect my brother, you know in your heart of hearts that this party of my father is no more what it used to be. The leadership right now has abandoned their responsibility because they are cowards and can’t stand up to Bio’s dictatorship. I hope they can stand up again and be counted. May God bless my father’s party.

  7. Yeah. The APC fires back with lethal and overwhelming political force and maturity, that has sent the standard political signal and shockwaves through the political spine of the Bio SLPP kakistocracy, increasing the political adrenaline in their ranks to put them in absolute attention.

    I hope they get the message coming out of the indomitable and Legendary APC. The buffoon has been kicked to their courts once more. You don’t mess or ping pong around with the mighty APC. Many Sierra Leoneans including myself, believe that an unconstitutional process should have a null and void verdict. Period. God bless the APC.

Tell us about your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.