Tribunal set up to investigate Sierra Leone’s Auditor General has stalled – Op ed

Lawrence Williams: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 03 February 2022:

It is now clear that those who orchestrated the suspension of Lara Taylor-Pearce just wanted the independent Auditor General out of the way. It is also crystal clear that those who masterminded her removal from office on grounds of “professional conduct or the lack thereof” are not professionally competent to adjudge Lara’s competence because auditing has its own set standards, ethics and procedures.

And the tribunal set up to investigate Sierra Leone’s Auditor General Lara Taylor-Pearce and and her deputy – Tamba Momoh, has taken longer than necessary to start hearing since it was constituted early December 2021.

Failure by the tribunal to commence hearing, according to political pundits, reinforces public opinion about the ulterior motives behind Lara’s suspension.

The ‘Paopa’ government might be mulling over the constitutional morass it now finds itself, granted that no evidence is yet to be brought forward to indict the Auditor General of any wrongdoing.

We can authoritatively say that lawyers had filed papers to the Supreme Court weeks ago, challenging the unconstitutionality of Lara’s suspension, but the case is yet to be listed for hearing.

We can also assert here that lawyers are not only asking the court to declare the action of the president as ‘void ab initio’ but also order the reinstatement of Mrs. Pearce and her deputy Tamba Momoh.

In the coming days, we shall publish the papers filed to the Supreme Court as this matter cannot be left to die a natural death.

About the editor

Lawrence Williams is the editor of Fritong Post.

4 Comments

  1. Lawrence Williams only reinforces the illegality of the suspension of Lara Taylor-Pearce and her deputy. The behaviour of Maada Bio forces one to ask whether his balance is within normal boundaries or it’s only within acceptable limits when he,his toadies and entourage are about to be netted by irrefutable corruption, as was the case when Auditor-General Pearce was about to publish her report. This is a case of Bio being sensible only when he has to. He had no trouble with reaching a deal with the Chinese to sell Black Johnson Beach last year for $55 million as an example ; national and international outcry, which included Dr Sama Banya ,stopped him in his tracks. What a disaster this man is turning out to be? Sadly the country can’t boast of a competent psychiatric hospital to examine him. He caught the same malady which afflicted Earnest Koroma – only worse. In so many cases Earnest Koroma did not obey the constitution, the sacking of his Vice President shall always stand as an example.

    The nation must remember that Lara Taylor-Pearce was not sacked but suspended . Technically, therefore, she should be receiving her full salary and other benefits until such a time as when she is illegally dismissed, whereupon she should take Bio to court. The lawsuit should include abuse of human rights and emotional torture. If need be the distinguished lady should go international with her case, so that Bio will become an international outlaw, subject to arrest anywhere in the world after leaving office. Germany just prosecuted a Syrian national for committing crimes against humanity in Syria.

    The only case the Bio Government has against Lara Taylor-Pearce is that she was performing her duties professionally. Her report was just about to catch the Government with their trousers down when Bio summoned all his awkward nimbleness to slow down the inferno which threatened to engulf them to confirm the massive corruption which has become the main pillar of the administration. It’s always easy to slow down a fire but never the smoke, and that’s the part that kills.

  2. Thanks Mr Yillah. Bio have wasted four years fighting fruitless battles that he knew he will never win in the court of public opinion. He was elected on the promises he made to us, that he will fight corruption, build a national cohesive and inclusive government, help heal the wounds, bring peoples together and above all else reset the button for national development. Instead he have press the nuclear button and shattered all the hopes and dreams of millions of Sierra Leoneans that invested their hopes and aspirations on his new direction government. His tenure is marked by political vendettas, corruption under his watch is now on rocket boosters, or steroids and political, social and economic miscalculations is now become the benchmark under which our country is tethering on the brink of total melt down.

    Bio has now retreated in his bunker at State House, looking for political enemies that doesn’t exists. Nevertheless as he stated in his address to the nation three days after the unfortunate deaths of unarmed prisoners, there are people who refused to accept his legitimacy, or so he was led to believe by one of his thuggish Minister Hon Abu Abu Residents Minister for Northern province and sone of his so called advisers. . And is friends like that, that created the sigh mentally that Bio, felt he needs to fight and put out fires on all front. Especially as he was led to believe the fires were started by the opposition parties and some disgruntled gutter journalists that needed to be silence by any means available.

    All the Bio apologist needs to ask themselves, Are they and their families better off today than they were four years ago? I certainly will tell you with a straight face, that we are poorer and our living conditions are worst than any other time I can remember growing up in Sierra Leone. The cost of living has gone up. Inflation is on the rise. And the Leone has lost its value to international currencies like the Dollar or the Euro. Our economy has tanked. And families up and down the country are struggling to put food on the table. Malnutrition is the new pandemic hitting our children. Robberies, rapes and murders are the highest since records began to be complied in our country.

  3. You are consistently spot on, Mr Jalloh. The case against Mrs Laura Taylor-Pearce and Mr Momoh is a monumental fabrication – a big, fat, monstrous falsehood, imagined and actualised by Bio and his administration, whose moral and ethical bearings have the solidity of pure wind.

    It has always been clear that revenge is the heart and soul of Bio’s decision to suspend her and her deputy. This is because their professionalism and patriotism are qualities that Bio and his administration cannot and do not cherish. These are virtues they quite simply do not possess, being the inept, corrupt and unpatriotic politicians that they are; politicians who are out to amass as much wealth as they can before their time in office is up.

    Naturally, any public official who works solely in the interest of country is to them an inconvenience, indeed an anathema. Small wonder they will stop at nothing to rid themselves of such a person. That said, the rest of the country is watching. Come 2023, Sierra Leonean voters will have the last laugh, insha’Allah. In the meantime, the Supreme Court should follow both the letter and spirit of our
    laws and do Mrs Taylor-Pearce and Mr Momoh the justice they richly and incontrovertibly deserve.

  4. The Bio government is now becoming a fish bone or an adams apple that you can’t swallow or spit out. The former can’t kill you, but it becomes an irritant, annoying and something you can’t get rid of even if you try. We all know why his government made the decision to suspend Mrs Lara Pearce Taylor the Auditor General and her deputy Mr Momoh, for “professionals Misconduct” . But as we now all know it was a sinister move by the poapa one directionless government of Bio to bury the truth so, the audit report Mrs Taylor and her team have worked so diligently, with forensic minds and managed to assembled an overwhelming trail of evidence and exposed malfeasance practices and corruption within the Bio government was the truth, the whole truth but nothing but the truth. At the time, it was pointed out, that unhinged move by Bio, can’t be anything other than trying to draw the cottons and shut down the truth so the auditors report never see the light of day.

    In some ways his bets paid of. Yet Mrs Taylor and her team managed to find the truth, despite the obstacles they faced from civil servants, and some of Bio’s handpicked corrupt ministers. The stupidity of it all, Mrs Taylor have been consistent in her publication of her audit reports even under the previous government of Ernest Bia Koroma. Which shows Bio lacks the leadership qualities. He has a thin skin and as time had proven he is allergic to criticism of any sort. Investigating corruption and entrenched corrupt practices in Sierra Leone is not for the fainthearted. It is tedious and time consuming work . And requires dedication, and guided by the professional ability to discharge your duties to the public with out fear or favours. And if anyone embodied those characteristics of being independent minded and is armed with the sword of truth is Mrs Lara Pearce Taylor.

    She amongst all our public officials have managed to lift the lid and exposed the lies that Bio and his government are interested in fighting corruption in Sierra Leone. I hope our international aid partners , will now able to draw a line on the sand, and more than anything, demand more transparency and accountability from this corrupt Bio government. As we look at the West African region, in the past eighteen months, from Chad, to Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and last week Guinea Bissau, we have seen members of the military are always waiting in the wings, and crossing their fingers and hoping the civilian governments will messed up their mandates, before they come out of there barracks with all guns blazing and terrorising the unsuspecting civilian population the calmed to represent. And what we’ve grown accustomed to the corrupt civilian governments never fail to disappoint. We don’t want that in our country.

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