According to Dr. Gassama Abess who represented CARL (Center for Accountability and Rule of Law), at a press conference held yesterday 9th July, 2018 in Freetown, the issues raised in the GTT Report (GTTR) are important and cannot be swept under the carpet. He went on to say that CARL is in total support on the decision taken by the organizers urging the government to set up of an inclusive, independent Judge-led Commission of Enquiry on the Government Transition Team Report.
He further stated that anything which involves the welfare of the ordinary person is of immense interest and concern to CARL and encouraged the consortium of CSOs to be firm in ensuring that the entire process is monitored and the outcome fair and apolitical.
Reading from the press release which was the climax of the occasion was the National Coordinator and Team Lead, William Sao Lamin. He said among other things that the consortium has met and decided to give the government twenty-one days to set up an international judge-led commission of inquiry for fair-hearing of the defence of former government officials named in the GTT as having corruptly benefitted from state resources which is responsible for the backward state of the nation.
Excerpts of the 21-day ultimatum notice on the government are:
1. As a process of validating the report, we are giving the Government 21 days ultimatum to set up an international judge-led commission of enquiry for fair-hearing of officials of the previous government accused of corruption to be concluded within 90 days.
2. That the Commission be inclusive, independent and have a representation of the inter-religious council and should not reflect any signs of witch-hunt since the validation of the report will serve as a precedent for a credible transition and to foster accountability in public service.
3. That the public be given a time frame for the special audit to be undertaken by the Audit Service Sierra Leone as recommended by the GTTR.
4. That the Sierra Leone Police force and the RSLAF strengthen security at all levels especially at our porous points land and sea landing points.
5. That the Government expedites the surrender of passports and other relevant documents held by persons named in the GTTR to the CID within the next 24 hours.
6. That Government through the Anti Corruption Commission expedites the declaration of the assets of past government officials and to undertake an in-depth review of same over the period of serving in public office as required by the ACC Act 2008.
7. That assets and properties of persons named in the GTTR should until after the investigation.
8. That all payments to local vendors at the threshold recommended by the GTTR of 400 million Leones pending the outcome of the special forensic audit of related contracts entered into by the erstwhile government be frozen until further notice.
9. That the consortium is calling on the international community to fully engage the government and monitor the processes leading to the conduct of fair investigations.
10. That the international community should facilitate and prioritize the financial independence of the ACC and the ASSL in order to consolidate the fight against corruption.
Other speakers including Robert R. Kargbo, Moses M. Mambu and Joseph Sannoh made similar sentiments while David J. Alieu chaired the event.