Commissions Of Inquiry… Sittings Start Monday

 

After the swearing in of the three commissioners that will serve as chairmen and sole commissioners of the three Commissions of Inquiry past Tuesday morning at State House, the three Commissions, according to report will start sittings on Monday,  February 4th 2019.

The three Judges – Justice Biobele Georgewill from Nigeria, Justice Bankole Thompson (Sierra Leone) and Justice William Annan Atuguba (Ghana) took and subscribed to the oath of office before President Bio ahead of the launching of the Commissions at the Sierra Leone Peace Museum site on Tuesday.

President Bio said his government chose to bring in foreign commissioners because of the difficult nature of the assignment and to ensure that there is fairness in the process. He said he expects them to be impartial and do their job without bias and prejudice.

Giving the keynote address at the launching of the commissions, President Bio stated that they will look at three key issues; namely: governance processes, assets and the outcomes of forensic audits. The forensic audits, he said, tracked fraudulent activities within the entire chains of governance.

The commission on assets, he said, will look closely at disparities between income or means and assets. The one on governance processes will examine inefficiencies and deficits in governance; especially where people deliberately misused public offices or took advantage of state institutions. President Bio added that the investigations are not a witch-hunt. “Nobody is going to be asked whether he or she belongs to a political party or hails from a particular region.”

The purpose of the investigations, he said, is to “act as a deterrent to every Sierra Leonean who are or will be entrusted with the public trust. They will be a reminder that when one serves one’s country, one must serve with honesty, fairness, justice, diligence and compassion”.

However, at a press conference at the APC headquarters in Freetown, the National Secretary General of the party whose former government officials are the subject of the investigations repeated their stance that they will not cooperate with the investigations, nor subject their officials to investigation, until, according to them, the SLPP government accedes to their demand that rules of evidence be included in the proceedings.