COI Report… APC Heading To Court

The National Secretary General of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), Ambassador Alhaji Dr. Osman Foday Yansaneh has said the party will advise its members that were indicted by the Commissions of Inquiry as Persons of Interest to challenge their indictment at the Appeals Court.

Making the statement in response to the summary of Commission of Inquiry No. 64 report made last week, the APC scribe said even before the commissions were set up, they made a constitutional opposition based on Section 150 of the 1991 Constitution which states that the Chief Justice must set up a Rules of Court Committee that would determine the rules and regulations guiding and binding procedures and proceedings. The appeal, he said, was laid before the Supreme Court for interpretation.

He however said the Chief Justice did not empanel judges to look into the matter. The scribe said despite 15 months without the matter being heard by the Supreme Court, the Commissions have issued their reports. “Until the Supreme Court makes a determination, it is not sensible to accept the outcome,” Amb. Yansaneh said.

The Commissions were not, strictly speaking, a court he said. Amb. Yansaneh said the APC frowned on Justice Biobele for openly stating that he has indicted 84 Persons of Interest and even went ahead to prescribe punishments for them. This, he opined, was wrong.

The commissions, the APC scribe said, are to present their reports with reasons supporting their findings and recommendations to the President, who together with cabinet will publish it along with the White Paper on what they think, should be done.

The President, he said, could decide to publish or not publish the report, citing the case of the NPRC that published a White Paper but not the report of their Commissions of Inquiry, adding that where the COI report which is equivalent to judgment by a High Court makes an adverse finding against a subject of interest resulting in penalty, forfeiture or loss of status, the rule of law allows that person to appeal the matter at the Appeals Court.

As such, the APC National Secretary General said the party has instructed the Persons of Interest that “If the findings are adverse against you, go to the Court of Appeals.”