Assets Declaration Deadline Expires… APC Vs COI

The deadline given by the Secretariat of the Commissions of Inquiry for all former All People’s Congress government political appointees, namely: President, Vice President, Ministers, Ministers of State, Deputy Ministers and Heads and Chairmen of Boards of Parastatals and state Agencies expired on Saturday, 10TH August, 2019.

After the expiration, The Exclusive called the APC National Secretary General, Ambassador Alhaji Foday Osman Yansaneh to get the party’s position on a matter that has drawn severe criticism from the mentioned Persons of Interest that the Commission was violating their rights. In his response, Amb. Yansaneh decried that the former APC officials were been subject to what he called double jeopardy. He explained that all the party’s political appointees had declared their assets to Parliament before taking up office and when they exited office in April 2018.

Therefore, he said there was no need for the Commission of Inquiry to ask them to declare their assets with the threat of sanction attached. This, he said, is unlawful. He accused the party in power of not going by the law. “We are not going anywhere with this,” he lamented.
The Commission had stated that in examining the assets, it would like the public to continue to provide information/intelligence related to assets of ‘Persons of Interest’ to the Commissions’ Secretariat, preferably before August 10, 2019. These assets would include, but not limited to, lands, buildings, shares in companies and bank accounts within or outside Sierra Leone. The COIs’ Secretariat also encouraged people holding these said assets, whether as surrogates or trustees, to make the information available by 10th of August, 2019.

Amb. Yansaneh had stated that the APC Persons of Interest have the right to remain silent, and that the onus of proof in any matter lies not with the defendant but the accuser. As such, he referred the Commission of Inquiry to the Administrator General’s Office. Other than that, he said that when the Persons of Interest or their counsels are before the Commission, the Commissioner could ask them for their assets.