Samuel Jones: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 November 2021:
First, Francis Gabbidon who has a previous conviction for fraud, and who now masquerades as a legal luminary, was on AYV TV where he declared that the suspension of the Auditor-General is procedurally correct. I dread to think what students of Law at FBC are being taught by him and the implications for the integrity of the Legal profession in years to come.
This afternoon, the Judicial and Legal Service Commission is believed to have met to appoint the tribunal that will investigate the ASSL. According to sources at State House, Chief Justice Edwards was at State House this morning, where he is likely to have received instruction about appointees to the panel.
The panel will send its recommendation to the President. Is Chief Justice Edwards a fit and proper person to chair the tribunal? In fact, Justice Edwards quickly convened a JLSC last Friday to hurriedly set up the tribunal after the suspension announcement in contravention of laid down procedures (as noted by lawyer Bastia Michael who is a member of the JLSC).
Once the tribunal reaches its recommendation, Parliament may be given an opportunity to deliberate the tribunal’s findings.
We are concerned that Parliament is presided by Speaker Abass Bundu, who has had his own running with the law over illegal passport sales and is known to have the habit of ramming decisions through parliament. The approval of Zainab Moseray’s appointment as NEC Commissioner for Western Area, despite a walkout by opposition parties is proof that any Executive decision that is brought before Parliament, is likely to pass, notwithstanding complaints or objections by opposition parties.
This gives President Bio the opportunity to ensure that the 2020 Audit Report is framed in a favourable manner.
For their sins, Lara Taylor-Pearce and Tamba Momoh are accused of trying to embarrass the President, by exposing racketeering and false accounting by very senior officials within government and the Presidency.
Now, why does this happen, you might ask. It happens because the good men and women of Sierra Leone bury their heads in the sand and refuse to stand up and be counted. They refuse to take to the streets in protest and in defiance of the Bio government.
One by one, every good and upright person in Sierra Leone will be taken like a lamb to the abattoir to be slaughtered, while the nation looks the other way, in much the same way as was under the reign of terror under Siaka Stevens.
What was the outcome of our inaction in the 1970s and 80s. Our inaction definitely led to terminal economic decline, breakdown of governance and institutions, rampant corruption and civil war. The price we have paid for our failure to stand and be counted, is much worse than the personal cost we try to mitigate.
Coming back to Justice Edwards, sources at NASSIT confirmed he also previously faced disciplinary proceedings at NASSIT, which was instigated following a report by his line manager at the time, one Sengu Koroma.
I understand that Sengu Koroma who is now a Supreme Court Judge, would be appointed to head the tribunal or excluded from it.