Commissions Of Inquiry… Pat-Sowe, Kholifa, Others To Return Home

 

As the inquiry into the conduct of former ministers and their deputies in the erstwhile President Koroma government continues, reports are that some of them that are currently out of the country will return home to defend themselves against allegations of corruption levied against them by the state or face the consequences of the Commissions of Inquiry passing judgment on them in absentia.

It could be recalled that the National Secretary General of the main opposition All People’s Congress, Alhaji Dr. Osman Yansaneh had said that the party is not afraid of the inquiry but that rules of evidence should be included in the proceeding. He stated that APC will send to all its former government officials that are wanted for questioning by the commissions to return home and defend themselves, adding that APC is a law abiding party.

Those currently residing outside the country on various reasons including leave, medical and escape from the tensed political atmosphere in the country include the former Minister of Trade, Captain Pat-Sowe, former Minister of Works, Kemoh Sesay, former Minister of Social Welfare, Dr. Sylvia Blyden, former Minister of Lands, Diana Konomanyi, former Minister of Transport an Aviation,  Leonard Balogun Koroma, former Deputy Minister of Trade, Ibrahim Mansaray aka Washingai, former Energy Minister, Henry Macauley, former Chief Immigration Officer, Alpha Kholifa Koroma, among others.

With the three judges heading the three commissions having said that they are using rules of evidence as prescribed for the High Court of Sierra Leone 2007, which was a bone of contention between the government and APC, a battery of lawyers represented some former government ministers invited to face the Justice Biobele Georgewill Commission of Inquiry still insist on the inclusion of rules of evidence in the proceedings.

They included former Anti Corruption Commission boss, Ady Macauley and well known constitutional lawyer, Lansana Dumbuya who represented the former Minister of Defense Palo Conteh and former Deputy Minister of Health, Madinatu Rahman.

Meanwhile, Justice Biobele Georgewill has repeated his statement that his commission will not compel anybody who is invited to make an appearance. The right to be heard is the beauty of democracy, he said, adding that in the interest of fairness, it is advisable that whosoever is invited turns up to defend himself or herself. In the person’s absence, he said, if overwhelming evidence of corruption is presented against anybody, he will include it in his report to the President.