JFK Blasts! -CIO Vindictive, …A Vendetta

Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, popularly known as JFK, who represented former President Koroma and several former Cabinet Ministers at the Commission of Inquiry (COI) has blasted that the outcome of the COI was vindictive and a vendetta against his clients.

JFK made the statement on BBC radio after the President released the government Whitepaper on the recommendations contained in the Commission’s report past Thursday.

JFK stated that they were taken aback by the Whitepaper’s recommendations as they have not even seen the COI report which, he said, the President did not publish. In deed and action, he said, the Whitepaper sounded high falutin and was outrageous and surprising.

He maintained that whatever adverse findings were made against his clients had no legal implications.

“I represented him, former President Koroma,” he said, adding that the reason why he wanted to see the COI report was that, he believed that there were discrepancies between what transpired at the Inquiry and what is contained in the Whitepaper. He maintained that the findings were vindictive and a vendetta intended to make former President Koroma look bad. “I think it is a witch hunt,” he said; adding emphatically that the Whitepaper was outrageous, disgraceful and shameful.

At the COI that probed his client, JFK maintained that the property at Blue Bell Lane of Spur Road in Wilberforce never belonged to former President Koroma but was owned by someone else, with evidence to the effect presented before the Commission presided over by Justice Bankole Thompson.

The property too at Gbangbayilla at Hill Station purported by the Commission to belong to former President Koroma, he said, was not true. He said he was surprised by the Commission’s opinion that because nobody came forward to claim it, therefore it belonged to former President Koroma.

“Absence of ownership does not mean you should cloak former President Koroma with ownership,” he charged.

In his summation of his client’s defense at the COI, JFK opined that the inquiry into the assets of his client was a fait accompli – that the outcome had been decided even before the evidence was examined.

The property at Mahera in Lungi, he said, his client had long ago bequeathed to somebody else as a deed of gift. The chief who signed the document to the effect, he said, could attest to that.

The same with the property at Jeremiah Drive at Regent alleged to be owned by former President Koroma when, according to him, the actual owner was one Ramatu Kamara who has conveyance to the effect. He said, the investigator told the Commission that it belonged to a member of former President Koroma’s family.

JFK asked what was wrong for a member of former President Koroma’s family to own property.

The Buya Hotel plus three villas attached to it at Port Loko that, he said, the Commission said belonged to former President Koroma was equally not true, as he said, everybody, including himself, knows that the hotel belongs to Alhaji Buya Kamara, a prominent businessman.

Yet, according to him, in the Commission’s aggravated effort to nail former President Koroma, the investigator said it belonged to him without doing any proper investigation.

The renowned, firebrand lawyer agreed that the Commission was about promoting accountability and good governance, to which, they subscribed; that is why, he said, they made themselves available to the Commission.

However, he submitted that for the Commission to state that there was a variance of one billion Leones between what his client earned whilst in office and what he owned was preposterous, stating that as the CEO of a lucrative insurance company and having diverse financial portfolios even before coming to office, the State, he said, failed to prove that former President Koroma maintained a lifestyle above his means and owned assets disproportionate to his official emolument.