Rules Of Evidence… APC May Sue Gov’t

 

On the road to the commissions of inquiry, President Bio and his Attorney General and Minister of Justice can be sure that the All People’s Congress (APC) is determined to make it a bumpy uncomfortable ride that the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) government would not enjoy. In fact, APC plans to wreck the vehicle en route to the commissions to ensure that if what they wanted is not done, the commissions of inquiry would not take place.

This has been made clear by a senior member of the party, Barrister at Law, Abu Bakarr Kalokoh who was one of the party’s 2018 presidential flagbearer aspirants. Lawyer Kalokoh whilst commending President Bio for his government’s tough stance against corruption, which he says would set a good precedence for successive administrations, expresses concern that President Bio in setting up the commissions has exceeded his constitutional powers. This, Lawyer Kalokoh said, is very worrying and troubling for him and APC.

He goes straight to the point by drawing President Bio’s attention to what he believes is a serious flaw in the August 1st 2018 constitutional instruments that set up the commissions of inquiry.

Lawyer Kalokoh expresses dismay at the Attorney General and Minister of Justice not having advised President Bio that the instruments cannot be legal without them including rules of evidence. This, he says, leaves him pondering over the intention of President which, he surmises, is to victimize political opponents that do not belong to his party, tribe and who do not share a similar ideology with President Bio in what he calls the president’s so-called crusade against corruption.

Specifically, Lawyer Kalokoh charges President Bio and his Attorney General of what he calls complete disrespect for due process, justice and fair play as the president doing his utmost to victimize APC.

“Fellow citizens, I am worried,” Lawyer Kalokoh says. “Why, because the constitutional instruments state that the commissions of inquiry shall not be bound by rules of evidence in civil and criminal cases.”

He then points a finger at the Attorney General and Minister of being complicit in the drawing up of the instruments and not including in them rules of evidence which Lawyer Kalokoh says Section 150 of the 1991 Constitution clearly states must be included in the setting up of any commission of inquiry. “Rules of evidence are rules of evidence, every trial lawyer should know this,” Lawyer Kalokoh fumes.

“You are attempting to flagrantly disregard the laws for expediency and to serve your political goal,” he rants at President Bio, accusing him of going way beyond the legal limit of his seemingly unfettered authority.”

“Ours is a constitutional democracy, not a military regime,” he fumes at President Bio, accusing him of flagrantly violating fundamental citizens’ rights with edicts, decrees and orders.

“You are under the law and must remain under the law,” Lawyer Kalokoh tells President Bio. Reminding him that due process is part of Sierra Leone’s jurisprudence traced back to the days of the Magna Carta, which clearly spells out the citizens’ freedom from any political and legal suppression, except through law, by the executive arm of government that was signed between the King of Britain and his subjects in the 12th century.

“We support your (President Bio) fight against corruption,” Lawyer Kalokoh says, whilst stating that APC is not against the commissions but warns that President Bio wants to under the cover of the commissions deprive citizens of their rights – specifically, Lawyer Kalokoh says, to wreak vengeance against APC.

If that should be the case, Lawyer Kalokoh says President Bio and his Attorney General and Minister of Justice must expect to meet him and APC at the Appeals Court over the matter of their non-inclusion of rules of evidence in the proceedings of the commissions.