Sierra Leone lawyers expose gross miscarriage of justice by Biobele Commission of Inquiry

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 October 2020:

As more and more questions are being asked about the professionalism and legal standards with which the Nigerian Judge – Justice Biobele Georgewill presided over one of the Commissions of Inquiry into the conduct of the former Koroma-led APC government, a damning letter was yesterday written by some of the most outstanding lawyers in the country, led by Barrister Yada Hashim Williams, addressed to the President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association.

In the letter, Yada Hashim Williams wrote: “As the torchbearer of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, this letter is addressed to your office with the expectation that the Bar Association would stand behind its own especially in the face of gross injustice and reputational damage and in doing so take a stance for the legal profession as a whole.”

According to the letter, “Justice Biobele Georgewill was appointed to, inter alia, examine the assets and other related matters in respect of persons who were President, Vice President, Ministers, Ministers of State, Deputy Ministers, heads and chairmen of parastatals, departments and agencies within the period from November 2007 to April 2018. In carrying out his mandate, the Judge conducted an investigation into the activities of the office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice over the same period of time. More specifically, he investigated the issue of legal fees paid to lawyers that represented the State in the matter of Alhaji Sam Sumana vs. A-G & Anor (S.C. 4/2015) [2015] SLSC 1203 (09 September 2015).

“Justice Biobele Georgewill’s findings and subsequent recommendation on this particular issue are the following: On page 165 of his full report, he stated that “On 21/4/2015, with the approval of the former President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Government paid the sum of Le. 1,326,547,800.00 to some lawyers to handle the case filed by Sam Sumana, former Vice President against the Attorney General and Victor Foh before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone. The fees were made up as follows: i. USD150, 000. 00 about Le.736,971,000.00 to Ajibola Emmanuel Manly Spain; ii. USD120,000.00 about Le. 589,576,800.00 to Basma and Macaulay. The sum of Le. 727,651,764.00 could not be traced to the bank account and had remained unaccounted for”.

“On page 171 of his full report, he found that “The evidence disclosed and clearly identified the following Persons as being responsible for these acts of corruption, abuse of office, maladministration and lack of accountability: i. Franklyn Bai Kargbo, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice; ii. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice; and iii. Arrow Bockarie, former Deputy Minister of Justice. Other persons mentioned: i. Madam Serray Kallay, Administrator / Registrar General; ii. Miss Marthina Kargbo, former Solicitor General; iii. Hajia Kallah Kamara, former Commissioner General of NRA; iv. Ajibola Emanuel Manly Spain; and v. Basma & Macaulay”.

“On page 173 – 174 of the full report, he stated that “The one – off payment of the huge sum of USD270, 000 about Le1, 326, 547, 800.00 as professional fees for the defense of the case of Sam Sumana V. AG & Victor Foh before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone when the Attorney General, the Chief Law Officer/Consultant to the Government and the Civil Division is primarily charged with the responsibility of prosecuting or defending court cases involving the Government was not only exorbitant but was a subterfuge to launder money belong to the Government”.

“On page 175 of the Report he recommended that: “4. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone two thirds of the sum of USD270, 000 about Le1, 326, 547, 800. 00 laundered under the guise of professional fees for the defense of the case of Sam Sumana V. AG & Victor Foh before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone when the Attorney General is the Chief Law Officer/Consultant to the Government and they should be referred to the Criminal Jurisdiction and or the Anti – Corruption Commission for investigation and likely prosecution, namely: i. Franklyn Bai Kargbo; ii. Ajibola Emmanuel Manly Spain; and iii. Basma & Macaulay”.

Commenting on the finding and recommendations made by Justice Biobele Georgewill, the letter says: “We find these findings and subsequent recommendations to be outrageous, lacking any support in law, unprecedented and simply vile.”

“We spoke to persons in the firm of Basma & Macaulay on the 28th instant and confirmed to us that they were never served with notices to attend hearings, nor informed of any wrongdoing on their parts and neither given an opportunity to inform of their own side of the story, which is unsurprising as notices were only sent out to persons of interest, which they were not.

“However, for the judge to treat them as such and subsequently make adverse findings against them is a clear manifestation of the fact that either Justice Biobele Georgewill did not appreciate the remit of his mandate or deliberately chose to go on a frolic of his own.”

On the comportment of Justice Biobele Georgewill during his Inquiry, the letter reads: “You need not have attended more than one session of the proceedings at Commission of Inquiry No. 1 presided over by Justice Biobele Georgewill to conclude that he lacked the demeanour, temperament, professionalism and decorum expected of a judge. He ran proceedings as if it was some circus or comedy show.”

“As his outlandish findings and subsequent recommendations referred to supra show, he was a showman who did not appreciate the remits of his mandate and hardly had time to do the work for which he was paid.”

In concluding, the letter reads: “It should be obvious from the above, that Justice Biobele Georgewill exceeded the bounds of his mandate when he made the impugned findings against A. E. Manly Spaine esq. and Basma & Macauley, both legal practitioners and members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, who were at no point in time placed before him for investigation.”

“Whilst we do not seek to dictate to the Sierra Leone Bar Association what steps should be taken to remedy this depravity, injustice and perversion we however think it nonetheless appropriate that your executive formulates and disseminates a statement condemning this outrageous overreach by Justice Biobele Georgewill. Alternatively, you can summon a meeting of the Sierra Leone Bar Association at which the matters stated herein would be tabled and potential avenues of redress discussed to relieve these two members of the Bar and the legal profession of this profound injustice.”

YOU CAN READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW:

Dear Sir

RE: THE UNWORTHY ATTACK ON THE PERSONS AND INTEGRITY OF SENIOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS IN THE COURSE OF CARRYING OUT THEIR DUTIES

INTRODUCTION

We refer to the above-mentioned matter and write to convey our dismay and dissatisfaction with the findings of Honourable Sir Justice Biobele Georgewill against Ajibola Emmanuel Manly-Spaine esq. and the firm of Basma & Macaulay, legal practitioners and members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, whilst sitting as the Chairman and Sole Commissioner in Commission of Inquiry No. 1 and to call for action against the said findings by the Sierra Leone Bar Association.

ACCOUNTABILITY & THE RULE OF LAW

Diverse occurrences in Sierra Leone confirm with much frequency the reality that accountability has become a lost principle in the nation, to the extent of becoming in the minds of some, a luxury. We therefore recognise, heartily applaud and support all proper and well-minded efforts at achieving accountability and ensuring that this principle becomes a widespread guiding norm in our society.

The setting up of the Commissions of Inquiry was therefore a laudable decision by the current Government. However, we also hold and maintain that such should not involve the subversion of the rule of law or due process and we would not hesitate to express our aversion for the sacrifice of one for the other.

THE SIERRA LEONE BAR ASSOCIATION AND ITS MANDATE

The Sierra Leone Bar Association has since its inception tasked itself with being a watchdog of the legal profession. Specifically, in Clauses 3(a) and (d) of its Memorandum and Articles of Association it is stated that:

“3. The objects for which the Company is established are as follows: (d) To consider and review all matters affecting the interest of the profession, and if necessary, to petition Parliament or promote deputation and to procure change of law or practice, and the promotion of improvements in the administration of the law”.

Echoes of this run throughout the Sierra Leone Bar Association’s website where it is boldly asserted as follows:

“The Bar Association will promote and protect the interest of its members and continues to aspire to be what we truly should become – a beacon of light, hope and excellence in this land that we love”.

Therefore, suffice it to say that the foremost ambition of the Bar Association is to concern itself with the management of the fabric of the legal profession in the best possible form.

In our opinion, the Sierra Leone Bar Association has been presented with an opportunity to live up to its ascribed mandate from the rather startling/puzzling findings in the Commission of Inquiry report against two of its members.

As the torchbearer of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, this letter is addressed to your office with the expectation that the Bar Association would stand behind its own especially in the face of gross injustice and reputational damage and in doing so take a stance for the legal profession as a whole.

BACKGROUND

By Constitutional Instrument No. 64 of 2018 dated 1st August 2018 Justice Biobele Georgewill was appointed to, inter alia, examine the assets and other related matters in respect of persons who were President, Vice President, Ministers, Ministers of State, Deputy Ministers, heads and chairmen of parastatals, departments and agencies within the period from November 2007 to April 2018. In carrying out his mandate, the Judge conducted an investigation into the activities of the office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice over the same period of time.

More specifically, he investigated the issue of legal fees paid to lawyers that represented the State in the matter of Alhaji Sam Sumana vs. A-G & Anor (S.C. 4/2015) [2015] SLSC 1203 (09 September 2015). Justice Biobele Georgewill’s findings and subsequent recommendation on this particular issue are the following:

On page 165 of his full report, he stated that “On 21/4/2015, with the approval of the former President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Government paid the sum of Le1,326,547,800.00 to some lawyers to handle the case filed by Sam Sumana, former Vice President against the Attorney General and Victor Foh before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.

The fees were made up as follows: i. USD150, 000. 00 about Le. 736,971,000.00 to Ajibola Emmanuel Manly Spain; ii. USD120,000.00 about Le. 589,576,800.00 to Basma and Macaulay. The sum of Le. 727,651,764.00 could not be traced to the bank account and had remained unaccounted for”.

On page 171 of his full report, he found that “The evidence disclosed and clearly identified the following Persons as being responsible for these acts of corruption, abuse of office, maladministration and lack of accountability: i. Franklyn Bai Kargbo, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice; ii. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice; and iii. Arrow Bockarie, former Deputy Minister of Justice. Other persons mentioned: i. Madam Serray Kallay, Administrator / Registrar General; ii. Miss Marthina Kargbo, former Solicitor General; iii. Hajia Kallah Kamara, former Commissioner General of NRA; iv. Ajibola Emanuel Manly Spain; and v. Basma & Macaulay”.

On page 173 – 174 of the full report, he stated that “The one – off payment of the huge sum of USD270, 000 about Le1, 326, 547, 800.00 as professional fees for the defense of the case of Sam Sumana V. AG & Victor Foh before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone when the Attorney General, the Chief Law Officer/Consultant to the Government and the Civil Division is primarily charged with the responsibility of prosecuting or defending court cases involving the Government was not only exorbitant but was a subterfuge to launder money belong to the Government”.

On page 175 of the Report he recommended that: “4. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone two thirds of the sum of USD270, 000 about Le1, 326, 547, 800. 00 laundered under the guise of professional fees for the defense of the case of Sam Sumana V. AG & Victor Foh before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone when the Attorney General is the Chief Law Officer/Consultant to the Government and they should be referred to the Criminal Jurisdiction and or the Anti – Corruption Commission for investigation and likely prosecution, namely: i. Franklyn Bai Kargbo; ii. Ajibola Emmanuel Manly Spain; and iii. Basma & Macaulay”.

ISSUES WITH THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

We find these findings and subsequent recommendations to be outrageous, lacking any support in law, unprecedented and simply vile. Firstly, paragraph 4 of Constitutional Instrument No. 64 of 2018 is as clear as crystal as to persons who could be investigated by this specific Commission and it provides, inter alia, as follows:

“The purposes for which the Commission is appointed are to – (a) Examine the assets and other related matters in respect of i. Persons who were President, Vice President, Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers; and ii. Heads and Chairmen of Boards of parastatals, Departments and Agencies within the period from November 2007 to April 2018. [Emphasis ours] (b) Inquire into and investigate whether assets were acquired lawfully or unlawfully; – (c) Inquire intoi. Persons who were President, Vice President, Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers; and ii. Heads and Chairmen of Boards of parastatals, Departments and Agencies; [Emphasis ours] (e) to inquire into and investigate any persons or matters as may from time to time referred to the Commission by his Excellency the President.”

It was obvious to Justice Biobele Georgewill, to us as members of the legal profession and to the public at large that Ajibola Emmanuel Manly Spaine esq. and Basma & Macaulay were private legal practitioners who did not fall within any of the categories of people to be investigated as per Constitutional Instrument No. 64 of 2018, the document that created the Commission.

Therefore rightly, neither A. E. Manly Spaine esq. nor the firm of Basma & Macauley were under investigation by the State as they were not persons of interest.

Even if they were persons of interest, the rudimentary principle of natural justice – audi alterem partem – was blatantly disregarded by Justice Biobele Georgewill in so far as these two private legal practitioners were concerned.

We spoke to persons in the firm of Basma & Macaulay on the 28th instant and confirmed to us that they were never served with notices to attend hearings, nor informed of any wrongdoing on their parts and neither given an opportunity to inform of their own side of the story, which is unsurprising as notices were only sent out to persons of interest, which they were not.

However, for the judge to treat them as such and subsequently make adverse findings against them is a clear manifestation of the fact that either Justice Biobele Georgewill did not appreciate the remit of his mandate or deliberately chose to go on a frolic of his own.

In the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone case of ISATU KAMARA V THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SC. MISC. APP. NO. 4 92 [unreported], a matter that emanated from a decision of Justice Nylander sitting as Chairman in a Commission of Inquiry that was set up by the National Provisional Ruling Council (N. P. R. C.) military Government, the Hon. Justice S. M. F. Kutubu (Chief Justice) in his judgment dated 11th August 1992 opined as follows:

“This brings me to the principles of natural justice, the violation of which was a ground of complaint. The applicant complained that the procedure adopted by the Chairman of the Commission in refusing to listen to her before sentencing her to imprisonment was an infringement of the principles of natural justice. Indeed, there are fundamental principles which govern judicial and quasi-judicial inquiries, and one of these is ‘the audi alteram partem’ rule, that is, a party to judicial proceedings should not be condemned unheard. No one who has a case or against whom an unfavourable decision is given will believe he has been fairly treated if in the course of his trial in any quasi-judicial proceedings leading to his conviction and sentencing is refused hearing. We have carefully read the records of the proceedings in this matter, and taking all the circumstances into consideration it seems to us that the procedure, unwittingly no doubt, adopted by Chairman Nylander in refusing to hear applicant before sentence, thereby not making it plain and manifest that justice was done, was bad. A judicial or quasi-judicial decision reached by a tribunal in violation of the rules of natural justice may be quashed on certiorari”.

THE PRACTICE OF GOVERNMENT HIRING PRIVATE PRACTIONERS

It has been a common practice in Sierra Leone spanning decades for successive Governments to outsource legal matters to private practitioners where they deem it necessary. At the very Commissions of Inquiry set up by the current Government, Counsel acting for the State comprised of a host of private legal practitioners – Robert Kowa etc., your good self, Musa Mewa esq. and Oladipo V. Robin-Mason esq. to name a few. Your good self and the many other private legal practitioners were hired by the State to “prosecute” on its behalf and you all were paid, we presume, handsomely from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

We maintain that this decision by the Government should not warrant any adverse claims by anybody against your good self or any of the other private legal practitioners in the future.

It is mystifying that the judge would associate Mr. Manly Spaine esq. and Basma & Macauley with “acts of corruption, abuse of office, maladministration and lack of accountability” for receiving what was contractually agreed would be their legal fees.

In our opinion it is an affront to the said legal practitioners for Justice Biobele Georgewill to have also concluded that receipt of the contractually agreed legal fees paid to the said practitioners were “a subterfuge to launder money belonging to the Government”. We cannot fathom how money received from the Government of Sierra Leone can be “laundered”. If that is the case, then the said judge has in the same breadth indicted the Government of Sierra Leone of crime. What Justice Biobele Georgewill said, more or less, was that the monies paid to the two legal practitioners from the Consolidated Revenue Fund were “proceeds of crime”.

THE COMPORTMENT OF JUSTICE BIOBELE GEORGEWILL

You need not have attended more than one session of the proceedings at Commission of Inquiry No. 1 presided over by Justice Biobele Georgewill to conclude that he lacked the demeanour, temperament, professionalism and decorum expected of a judge. He ran proceedings as if it was some circus or comedy show.

As his outlandish findings and subsequent recommendations referred to supra show, he was a showman who did not appreciate the remits of his mandate and hardly had time to do the work for which he was paid.

CONCLUSION

It should be obvious from the above, that Justice Biobele Georgewill exceeded the bounds of his mandate when he made the impugned findings against A. E. Manly Spaine esq. and Basma & Macauley, both legal practitioners and members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, who were at no point in time placed before him for investigation.

Whilst we do not seek to dictate to the Sierra Leone Bar Association what steps should be taken to remedy this depravity, injustice and perversion we however think it nonetheless appropriate that your executive formulates and disseminates a statement condemning this outrageous overreach by Justice Biobele Georgewill.

Alternatively, you can summon a meeting of the Sierra Leone Bar Association at which the matters stated herein would be tabled and potential avenues of redress discussed to relieve these two members of the Bar and the legal profession of this profound injustice.

This is a dangerous and unprecedented action taken by Justice Biobele Georgewill against our colleagues. Basma & Macaulay, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of our very best in the legal profession in Sierra Leone in terms of ability, integrity and comportment. If this perversion is not condemned by the Sierra Leone Bar Association there will be no protection for you, Robert Kowa esq., and your other colleagues who were briefed and paid by the Government to “prosecute” in the just concluded Commissions of Inquiry.

In the future any errant judge or person presiding in a commission of inquiry could make similar damning and reprehensible conclusions and recommendations against you and the others.

FIAT JUSTITIA RUAT CAELUM!!

Yours faithfully,
Yada Williams & Associates.

C. C. 1. The Attorney-General & Minister of Justice.
2. Sierra Leone Bar Association – members.

LETTER TO PRESIDENT OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION RE JUSTICE BIOBELE GEORGEWILL

14 Comments

  1. Alusine Fallay , you’re a man after the heart of many Sierra Leoneans, myself included. I am not SLPP or APC, I am Sierra Leonean, I tend to sympathise with NGC. I criticise President Bio most of the time. But on this, the issue of corruption, my support for him is to the hilt. He cannot afford to develop cold feet now, he should go all the way. It’s amazing how all the corrupt criminals are now crying foul, including those who refused to appear before any of the Commissions to clear their names.

    President Bio should not care about winning a second term but his place in history. Future generations should say there was a President Bio who took the life out of corruption in our country. When one looks at the sums of money which those in the white paper stole it sends shivers down the spine. How can people, in excellent conscience be so heartless . If President Bio bows to pressure and let them go we’re finished, because the trend will continue to infinity. I hope all those that are to return monies to us have been having sleepless nights.

  2. The Biobele Georgewill Commission of Inquiry was not only seen as a miscarriage of justice, but also a reckless recipe for chaos, anarchy and disaster for our country in my view. This is exactly what you expect when you outsource your justice to a stranger with optical judiciary background. What a painted achievement to convince Sahr Matturi and the world. Bottom line, the Biobele Georgewill Commission of inquiry was a complete mess. See the shambolic results that Sierra Leoneans and the whole world are now witnessing because of his reckless decisions. What a disgrace to our justice system. Sierra Leonean lawyers are the best and second to none. God bless our lawyers.

  3. Now this: “You need not have attended more than one session of the proceedings at Commission of Inquiry No.1 presided over by Justice Biobele Georgewill to conclude that he lacked the demeanour, temperament, professionalism and decorum expected of a Judge. He ran the proceedings as if it was some Circus or comedy show.” WHOOPS there it is! Finally someone with some courage and a good sense of Judgement impressively telling things as they really are. But then again, Who is surprised? Its all a mindless charade, and the Judge was the clown in charge supervising an absurd travesty of Justice.

    Seriously, this whole thing is a big disgrace to our beloved nation. The Judge “JUSTICE-BIO-BELLEH” a man that looks strangely, as round as the President, should be ashamed of himself for allowing a bunch of swindlers to control him like a puppet on a string – plainly and directly from State House. (lol)

  4. Speaking as a layman in politics and law, I personally believe that this letter is just a distraction. This is BONANZA time for the APC lawyers to continue milking themselves from the stolen monies of the lifetime leader and his cohorts. Lawyers responsibility is to defend even a KILLER, that’s why in the USA, people perceived that they are at the bottom of the barrel with used car salesperson who will sell a “LEMON” without any remorse. The most unfortunate reality is that the two former ACC commissioners Mr. Joseph F. Kamara and Mr. Ady Macauley whose responsibility was to control corruption are now defending the thieves.

    The three judges of the COI are people who have spent decades to build their Integrity and credibility, and just because they took their time to expose the facts and made recommendations not JUDGMENTS about how to save our country from
    continuous EMBARRASSMENT of being classified as the least developed, the poorest, least in human capital development, highest mortality rate, most corrupt and third hungriest country in the world. They are also advising us to use our Diamond, Gold, Iron Ore, Bauxite, Rutile, Piassava, Cacao, Coffee, Palm Oil to name but few and our natural beaches to transform the lives of our citizens rather than few corrupt individuals.

    Every patriotic Sierra Leonean should listen to these recommendations and support the bold step that our President Julius Maada Bio is implementing now and the future. “Money is a devil” and it takes someone with very strong character to resist it’s temptations. But based on my experience by living in the diaspora for decades, I believe that the average Sierra Leonean at home and the diaspora has excellent work ethic and character in any sector of development, that’s why their remittances are one of the highest in Africa. All we are asking for is for our government to use our natural resources to provide basic amenities like continuous electricity, clean water , good roads, good education and health which will definitely benefit our home based and also motivate most of our citizens to return home.

    • Thank you Sir. You are really a patriotic citizen. God bless our beloved President Bio for his good work and God’s protection upon him.

    • Mr Fallay you cannot build a sustainable nation on pillars and structures of revenge, hatred and tribalism – it will be like trying to build a formidable foundation on quick sands – now that’s a totally, impossible nerve-wrecking feat to accomplish. Agree or not? When will SLPP dummies finally come to the realization that underhanded ways cannot guarantee peace and security in a volatile struggling nation like our own. Two years gone and there’s absolutely nothing to show for it but the Oversized Protruding Pot Belly of your old corrupt, tribalistic soldier.(lol)

      A heartless Military Brass bearing arms against the people, having no qualms bullying the vulnerable and the weak. And who doesn’t know that in Sierra Leone today, the fragile, docile, and senile are all being stalked and hunted as prey and fair game by monstrous predators in the SLPP under the strict command of a menacing military Dictator? Be Rest assured, Sierra Leone ,my only home will eventually be built by the diligent hands of real visionary patriots so that it can stand tall among other nations, outlast and outshine them and continue to last forever.

      And on that glorious day our people will chant songs of freedom..”Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty We are Free From Poverty, Nepotism, Tribalism and Corruption, At Last” Gentlemen, that day is on its way, galloping like a Kings horseman bearing good tidings; Wait for it with courage, hopes high and in a patient disposition – Its not too far away…In a moment, in the twinkle of an eye – and Presto! Its Here!(lol)

  5. This commission of inquiry looking at our former president EBK corruption allegations, led by this commissioner from Nigeria, Justice Biobele Georgewill is calculated by the Bio government for maximum effects. My point is, when ever a sitting Sierra Leonean government wants to do political point scoring, or sometimes worst – like in the case of Francis Minah, Kai Kai and others, they always bring in foreigners to do the dirty work for them. Because a Sierra Leonean judge will consider all the prevailing factors. To prove my point, even Foday Sankoh, the man who committed one of the worst crimes against Sierra Leoneans was at one point during the Lomé peace agreement offered the post of vice president by the Kabbah government. That tells you everything about the temperament of us Sierra Leoneans.

    We know there is a problem, and we know it can be fixed, but we do it our own way. Even at our worst moments we still have room to accommodate our enemies. Yes corruption is evil and destructive. And needs to be eradicated. But we have to fight it through the laws established against it. Not through the whims of a dictatorship. Bio is clearly on a mission. And I don’t think he is doing it because he suddenly discover corruption is wrong but for selfish political reasons. How much those this foreign judges know the history and cultural and tribal differences, we are yet to find out. Looking at the verdicts Biobele arrived at, and his subsequent recommendations to remedy the wrongs against the state, anyone will tell you, he went way out of the powers given to him. That alone renders his judgment, or his subsequent pronouncements invalid.

    Maybe he will enlighten us the public by publishing the instructions and powers given to him when the commission was set up. What was his powers and remit? And if there were any caveats. Clearly no one versed him about the bitter rivalry that exists between the APC and the SLPP. The tribal and regional differences. This is the first time in the history of our country that SLPP party stood up against the APC party. The APC party has always been seen as the no nonsense party. To the point, when the APC party under the Stevens government embarked on turning Sierra Leone to a one party state, prominent members of the SLPP back then, instead of opposing the motion, happily endorsed the Stevens move. Some of them crossed the floor to become Members of the APC. Apart from the corruption white papers, Bio and his tribalistic antics have managed to step on too many APC toes. The genie is out of the bottle and it is hard to see how it is going to be put back. May God grant us peace in Sierra Leone.

  6. Folks, frankly speaking, I started being loathsome towards former president EBK and his government, midrange in his second term, after observing how poorly they handled the Ebola crisis and the massive corruption that ensued. There was also a range of despicable actions instituted by EBK, including the illegal sacking of vice president Sam Sumanna that got me riled up and wanting to see these guys brought to book. In light of this, I was so eager and excited on the announcement of a commission of inquiry by the Bio regime to look into the previous administration’s actions or lack of.

    However, as talks of setting up of the COI made its rounds, my first disappointment set in, when the chief minister purportedly compiled a list of ‘persons of interest’ to be investigated which comprised mainly of APC politicians, leaving out a host of equally culpable ‘SLPP sympathizers’ along with other civil servants who live and feed on corrupt practices. Right away, I knew this COI was nothing but a witch hunt disguised under the covers of fighting corruption. So as I browsed through the white papers, with more and more details of a host of discrepancies, and a lack of thorough, meticulous process being followed; my earlier assertions are largely vindicated.

    In essence, this COI, is nothing but a calculated plot to tarnish the image and potentially annihilate the very fabric of the APC party, while punishing any private citizen that is deemed by the SLPP to have worked in consonant with the former EBK regime. Yes, we have seen corruption investigations instituted in other parts of the world against erstwhile leaders, but never in this manner, with an entire opposition party hierarchy being targeted with a subliminal plan of incapacitating their political participatory strength.

    • Yes Young4na totally agree with you. When president Buhari and his All Progressive Congress “APC ” government, decided to fight systemic corruption in Nigerian society , he knew where to look. He didn’t go after the opposition leadership of the people’s Democratic party “PDP”, by trying to make a name for himself, but went after some of the corrupt officials of the Nigerian National petroleum corporation. Unlike president Bio, Buhari wanted to genuinely fight against entrenched corruption that was so rampant in Nigerian society . He is not there yet, but there are signs of “GREENSHOOTS” in the horizon for his bold efforts . The naysayers said its not possible, but with determination and good leadership, everything is possible under the sun.

      He wasn’t out for political point scoring against the opposition, or God forbid go after Goodluck Jonathan, the former president, by trying to humiliate the opposition leadership. If Bio is really serious, he needs to start from the bottom to the top. He needs to bring a culture of accountability in every sector of government machinery. Justice, security, the way government tenders are allocated, and a paper trail that is worth what is written on it.

      Above all else respect you for the RULE OF LAW. What is lacking in Bio’s fight is the sense of fairness and accountability . In the absence of the two, its difficult to see how we can get rid off this cancer in Sierra Leone society. May God bless Sierra Leone.

  7. The commission of inquiry is not meaningful to the people of Sierra Leone. all I see in this inquiry, is Bio and his followers wanting another war. Believe or leave it – Bio wants war.

  8. I condemn the COI in its set up, in the strongest possible term. It is fake, and it’s a slap on the face of our judicial system.

  9. Say no to corruption. The aforementioned names must not escape this time around. May Allah give you the courage and strength to accomplish this mission.

  10. I don’t understand what Mr Yada Williams is thinking or SAYING as a lawyer who thinks they are unaccountable and untouchable. What He is now saying about the discoveries by the learned Nigerian Judge Justice Biobele’s findings of the previous APC govt rampant corruption, nepotism, abuses etc; about their GROSS WASTAGE / MISAPPROPRIATIONS / MISMANANGEMENT, etc OF VITAL HARD CURRENCIES in the consolidated funds used just as payments to private law firms supporting the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice in their defence against Sam Ansumana, who was kicked out as the duly elected vice president of Sierra Leone.

    Mr Williams is trying to say that when it comes to the legal professions, their services are not capped in monetary terms and should not be scrutinised / evaluated in terms of accountability and transparencies for value for money. Mr William let me conclude by quoting from the Bible of the writings of St Paul who was a Barrister / Solicitor/ Advocate then like you Mr Williams. And Saul before be called Paul take the law into his hands and abuse the power/authorities of his profession then. Which like you Mr Williams you are now advocating the wastage of state’s financial resources for trivial matters like the Sam Ansumana vs Attorney General matter. Saul wrote in one of his epistles that if the human body was just the hands then where is the feet for locomotion and the other body parts such as the heart, head, lungs etc.

    St Paul finally realised that for the human body to function properly then there should be synchronisation and coordination / communication of all the various parts in equal proportion to effect health and human mobility. So to pay hundreds of thousands of hard earned US DOLLARS by the state to private LAWYERS FOR A CASE AGAINST IT, IS gross WASTE OF STATE’S RESOURCES.

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