Explaining the importance of the Commissions of Inquiry, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Solomon Jamiru said, the commission was established to look into the affairs of the past administration from 2007 to 2018.
He recalled that when President Bio was campaigning, he campaigned on the platform of fighting corruption, lawlessness, indiscipline and transformation of the country’s economy.
He maintained that corruption and bad governance were among the factors that led to the 11 years’ civil war in the country, and appealed to Sierra Leoneans to not sit by and allow the country to go down that path.
As a responsible government he said, the President is determined to ensure that all past government officials account for their stewardship through the Commission of Inquiry. He called on all traditional leaders to join the government in the fight against corruption and appealed to them to embrace the commission and serve as ambassadors in popularizing the importance and benefit of the commission.
He revealed that, people should not use the Commission of Inquiry to score political gains or use political means to dodge it.
“All those whose names were mentioned in the Government Transition Report will have to face the commission including other persons of interest. The President is committed to the fight against corruption in the country and he will not be distracted or blackmailed,” he said.
Minister Jamiru emphasized the importance of the commission and the reasons why it was established and the role government is expecting traditional leaders to play in the process, noting that this is not the first commission of inquiry held in Sierra Leone as there had been other commissions of inquiry before now, so people should not see this as a strange process. He expressed his thanks and appreciation to all the paramount chiefs and their leaders for attending the meetings and assured them of government’s continued support in ensuring that the institution of paramount chiefs is always respected.
In his Response, the District Council Chairman Koinadugu District Alex Sorie Conteh, commended the Ministry of information for engaging them on the importance of the Commission of Inquiry and commend the president for initiating it.
He described the commission as not a witch hunt but a means to recover stolen monies taken by rogue politicians. However, he appealed to the government to follow due process of the law, ” Do on to others as you may want them to do on to you,” he said, assuring the government that they will serve as ambassador to educate their people.
Hon. Paramount Chief Bai Sebora Kasanga II of Bombali Shebora Chiefdom Makeni, commended the ministry and the government for introducing the Commission of Inquiry in order to ensure democratic accountability. He revealed that as Paramount Chiefs it’s their duty to ensure that they support government programs. He appealed to his colleagues paramount Chiefs to support the process as corruption should stop once and for all.
Hon. Paramount Chief Balansama Marrah of Sengbeh Chiefdom reiterated his commitment to the government of Sierra Leone of their support in the fight against corruption in the country. He maintained that on behalf of his colleagues chiefs in the district, they will do all they can to popularize the Commission of Inquiry.
Paramount Chief Mohamed KailondoBanya of Luawa Chiefdom Kailahun District called on Sierra Leonean to be law abiding and avoid being instigated by corrupt politicians, noting that people don’t steal monies for their region, tribes, or political parties, they still for themselves and their cronies.
Further statements, comments, questions, and recommendations were made by other stakeholders present in the various meetings.