Trump accused of falsifying hush money payment record – President Bio accused of falsifying hotel receipts and double deeping

Ibrahim Baimba Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 April 2024

On Monday 15 April 2024 the first of four criminal cases against the Republican Candidate for November 2024 US Presidential Election, former President Donald J. Trump commenced.

These four criminal cases include: 1. Falsifying hush money records 2. Georgia election interference 3. His role in the January 6 Capitol riots and 4. Mishandling of federal classified documents.

In New York, Trump is accused of covering up a $130,000 payment his former lawyer Michael Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence before the 2016 election about a sexual encounter she says they had a decade earlier.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and denies any such encounter with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Though some Americans said what Trump did only amounts to being unethical and not illegal, it is still left for the Trial Judge Juan Merchan and his jury to decide.

In Sierra Leone, Maada Bio stands accused of committing a crime involving the falsification of travelling documents.

Audit officials reportedly discovered that the President’s Office had submitted several forged documents, including fake hotel receipts and invoices to the Audit Service as part of the president’s travel expenditures for FY2020.

It is over two years since President Bio ordered an indefinite suspension of the Auditor General, Lara Taylor-Pearce, and her deputy, Tamba Momoh, and a tribunal established to investigate the professional activities of the suspended top audit officials.

Many saw the President’s action as a revenge for the shocking audit revelation against his office.

While section 48(4) of the Sierra Leone Constitution provides immunity from prosecution for the President during his tenure, Bio will likely face trial in a criminal case after his term as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leoneans wait to see the day another Statesman witness his day in court as the law holds no man sacred when he is accused of an offence. From President Bio’s point of view, let the law prove him innocent.

Let’s pray for us all to be alive to witness such landmark case.

About the author

Ibrahim Baimba Koroma is Executive Coordinator Advocacy Network for Community Development (ANCD).

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