Sierra Leone’s top female Barrister resigns from Judicial Service Commission over Auditor General suspension row

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 November 2021:

One of Sierra Leone’s most senior female lawyers – Basita Michael, who is also a former President of the country’s Bar Association, has tendered her resignation from the government’s Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC), in response to what she refers to as the unacceptable manner in which President Bio yesterday appointed a Judicial Tribunal to investigate alleged wrongdoing by Auditor General Lara Taylor-Pearce.

In a letter addressed to the Secretary to President Bio, Ms Michael said that in the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing by the Auditor General presented to the JLSC of which she is a member, it was wrong of President Bio to have established a judicial tribunal to carry out investigations without first allowing the JLSC to determine whether there is a valid prima facie case for the Auditor General to answer.

Many in Sierra Leone are describing the Judicial Tribunal set up by president Bio as a kangaroo court ready to dance to the tune of the president.

This is what Ms Michael said: 

 

9 Comments

  1. Sometimes we say, God created enemies for my enemies, if you think like your ideas not matching with your boss’s, so be it you just gat to distance yourself. I hope people question Ms. Basita Michael, what was her stands when the former President, Ernest Bai Koroma sacks and removed Dr. Sylvia in the day light time, just because she criticized him, and unconstitutionally removed Sam Sumana as vice president? Was that lawful? where was Ms. Basita Michael at the time, and what action did she takes?

    May God bless and protect Sierra Leone, we have to practice to say the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. Thank you.

  2. Hahaha, isn’t comical that delusional PAOPA supporters like Bobson Kpaka thinks this intellectual platform is the typical propaganda playing field where lies and deceptions can be spread at wanton? With all the number of years spent in school, political brainwashed and indoctrination have taking so much toll on some of these folks that, common sense, logic, and rationality concepts, all seems foreign to them. Anyway, Mr. Kpaka, contrary to your lies and deceit statements of Ernest Bai Koroma sacking of the previous AG, here are the facts from the ASSL official website.

    “The Audit Service Sierra Leone held a retirement dinner in honour of the former Auditor General, Mrs Anna Caesar, at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex on the 19th May 2011. Mrs Caesar worked for the then Audit Department, Auditor General’s Department and Audit Service Sierra Leone for forty-five years. She retired in March 2011.” … “The Acting Auditor General, Mrs Lara Taylor Pearce, described Mrs Caesar as a woman of excellence who had contributed a lot to the Audit Service. She stated that she had learnt a lot during Mrs Caesar’s tenure of office as Auditor General.”

    https://www.auditservice.gov.sl/audit-service-honours-former-auditor-general/

    “Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce, former Acting Auditor General, was confirmed as the new Auditor General of Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) by Parliament on Tuesday 22nd November 2011.” ….”Mrs Taylor Pearce was appointed by His Excellency the President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, after the previous Auditor General Mrs Anna Caesar retired from the ASSL in May 2011 at the end of her terminal leave.”

    https://www.auditservice.gov.sl/audit-service-gets-new-auditor-general/

    The above are just excerpt, Bobson Kpaka and Umar, you are welcome to click the links and read for yourselves the entire articles. Reading is fundamental folks, do you own research and stop disgracing yourselves in the public. And by the way, Ms. Taylor never went on public radio to apologize about Nacoverc audit report, it’s all lies, cooked up by your political masters that you seem to be so infatuated with.

  3. I am convinced about the resignation of MS Michael for the fact remains she is a strong supporter of the All People’s Congress. To resign now is completely hypocritical. Where was Ms Michael when the Auditor General apologized on 98.1 FM when NaCOVERC exposed the errors in her audit report? Where was Ms Michael when former President Ernest Bai Koroma sacked or removed the Auditor General before Taylor-Pearce? I am aware of her hate for this administration and therefore can’t convince use moral values as an excuse for her resignation. She resigned because she wants to impress her political god-fathers not the majority of Sierra Leoneans.

    Why did she not put up this argument in defense of the previous auditor general before Mrs., Lara Taylor-Pearce. I don’t get it, was it morally correct to sack or remove the auditor general before Mrs. Taylor-Pearce? We all desire probity but if anyone breaches the moral principles guiding their profession, some one ought to check or probe for some standards to be maintained. She argued that there was no primer farcie evidence for which the Judicial and Legal Service Commission to probe. I am not a lawyer but it is not logical neither ethical to have someone in a position while at the same time undergoing probity. Where is the moral reason she has resigned for?

    I don’t understand from which point of morality she has argued. Our lawyers these days have further helped to make our situation complex. At one moment, they will approbate and reprobate at another. Let Basita leave us alone. She was a lawyer when former President Koroma illegaly removed or sacked his Vice President, she was a member of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, but we never heard her condemn such unconstitutional breach. Now that it is the SLPP, she can jump at resignation. It is her right to resign and her resignation did not come as a surprise to me.

  4. It’s a pity that her pride has taken control over her sense of reasoning. She should have listened to the advice of her former lecturer Mr. Francis Gabbidon who has lectured in the. F.B.C.law faculty for over 40 years.He is also graduate from the prestigious Cambridge University.
    President Bio gave her the opportunity to express her talent at the Bitumani 3 peace conference and she excelled. She is very smart but unfortunately she need to take off her red contact lenses.

  5. Resignations based on moral and professional principles are very rare in our society. Basita Michael has done the right and decent thing and must be commended. Very few women will express their opinion against controversial issues like this.
    The country awaits the start of the tribunal and the evidence of wrong doing against the AG and Deputy. if the tribunal finds them innocent of the allegations I struggle to see how these professionals can return to their office when their relationship with statehouse has become untenable. If they are removed using dubious means the President risks not only making his Government unpopular but his standing in the international community will take a serious dent.

  6. Let her resign, she knows it will not be in her interest to serve on that committee. She will not have the freeness of words.

  7. Mrs Michael stands as an example of integrity. People tend to forget that democracy is rule by, of, and for the people. Therefore, all it requires is a few good women, pardon my pun, as it seems that the men in Sierra Leone lack “cojones’. If we had a 100 of her in government and administration, S.L would see progress. Alas, we are stuck with Honourable Abu Abu Koroma and Lahai Lima, Deputy Minister for something.

  8. We need more Ms Basita Micheals in Sierra Leone, to rescue Sierra Leone from the Bio quagmire that present itself as a real and present danger to our country’s security and peace building efforts. Bio is becoming a real enemy of the people. And completely devoid of the experiences and realities of every day life for families up and down the country. Under such circumstances, with the country sleep walking to the brink of anarchy , and still engaged in a deadly fight with Covid19, and the economic impacts it has on our societies, with living standards falling, with prices of household goods going up, with a depreciating currency, bringing with it an inflation level we’ve haven’t witnessed for a long period of times, and the door for opportunities for graduates students to enter the job market firmly slammed on their faces, small and medium sizes business struggling to keep their heads above water.

    And if you add into that mixture, a corrupt government unleashing its “Raray boys “to beat up its political opponents for political expediency ,under any of those circumstances, taking a moral high ground standing is not for the fainthearted. What Ms Michael did is commendable. 90%of all right thinking Sierra Leoneans are with her. And now we want our religious leaders, both Muslims and Christians to come out and condemned Bio. Don’t wait till our country reaches the point of no return, before you come out of your religious shells and start preaching to us about how to uphold moral values. Also the Sierra Leone association of journalists should be leading the charge in condemning Bio’s action. Will they? Thats the million dollar question that remains unanswered. In the absence of a strong opposition in the country, the fouth estate is the only credible source of opposition to this out if control government. There comes a time when every man and woman wrestle with their conscience and convictions, and take a stand against this abuse of power by Bio and Mr Napoleon.

    Now the only way they can convince the people of Sierra Leone that their actions is trying to save our country from Mrs Lara Taylor and Mr Momoh’s lack of oversight the way they carry out their duties, is to provide the evidence infront of the public, about any wrong doing they might have committed.put it out there so people can read the evidence and make up their own minds. In the absence of any evidence which is the view held by majority of right thinking Sierra Leoneans, that haven’t benifeted from this corrupt Mafia type cabal, with Bio being the head, or the boss of all boss,setting up a tribunal for some manufactured evidence, and asking members of the tribunal to look for evidence that doesn’t exist, is like shutting up all the arguments, and hopping the issues they raised will go away.Well what is going to happen with the auditors report? Are we going to be treated to an other Bio’s slam dunk pulling the wool out of our eyes. This charade is an other avenue of wasting much needed public monies.Bio lacks what it takes to be the president of Sierra Leone.

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