It is believed that around 200 hierarchy officials of the main opposition APC party and 50 officials from the SLPP party, who served under the APC government, are expected to answer questions at the Inquiry.
Reports say the Commission of Inquiry is expected to start in January, 2019 and the scope of the inquiry will cover the period from November 2007 to April 2018, when the last APC government of President Ernest Bai Koroma was in governance.
With the Auditor General’s Office tasked with providing the evidence that would direct the Commissions’ work, persons who served in senior positions in the former Koroma administration would be called upon to give oral or written testimonies about allegations of grand corruption made in the Governance Transition Team (GTT) Report.
The GTT Report has named 52 former government officials, including erstwhile President Ernest Bai Koroma, APC’s March 2018 elections presidential candidate, Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, John Bonoh Sisay, Chief Justice Abdulai Cham, Thomas Koroma, Alimamy Philip Koroma aka Petito, among others.
Speaking to the Parliamentary Press Gallery recently, Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Chernor Abass Bundu pointed out: “The inquiry is good because it enables past government officials to be held accountable. This will serve as a lesson to current government officials and will add to the credibility of the country to the international community that Sierra Leone is ready for the better.”
The report made it abundantly clear that it is not only the APC officials in the former government who will be facing the music. Some SLPP officials who served under the last APC government will also give account if they are suspected of corrupt practices.
Majority of Ministers and Deputies, Permanent Secretaries, Directors, Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Vote Controllers serving in the current SLPP Government under the principle of collective responsibility would be called upon by the Commissions of Inquiry to testify.
However, the Speaker of Parliament noted that the Commission of Inquiry does not mean that the former APC government did not do good for the country which, he said, underlines the fundamental principle of natural justice that a man is presumed innocent until found guilty by law.
Dr. Abass Bundu maintained that the reason why the country has not been developing is because some people have been seeking their own interest and not that of the country, adding that President Bio has said the country needs discipline to develop.