Afsatu Kabba v ACC’s ‘Lay-on-File’ Matter – Dead?
Public concern questioned Anti Corruption Commission’s (ACC) doubtful ‘lay on file’ of 12 of 17 count charges once slammed against APC’s Afsatu Kabba (in photo).
It must be summed up that erstwhile Fisheries Minister, Afsatu Kabba, in early 2009, was hastily dragged to the high court by officials of the ACC for 17 counts of alleged corruption involvement.
Minutes after Afsatu Kabba’s first court appearance, a release was put out from the office of the President that articulated the termination of the Minister of Fisheries.
Facts, as shown in the 17 count indictments, indicate that Lilian Lisk (agent for Okeke Fishing Company), on diverse dates, bribed Afsatu Kabba, monies to the tune of thousands of US dollars.
At just the second hearing of the case, the assigned ACC Prosecutor, Calvin Mantsembo, applied to have 12 counts ‘lay-on-file’ and later offered no evidence on the remaining 5.
To Sierra Leoneans, the action to have 12 count charges kept in dusty drawers of high court and 5 unreasonably dropped sends a signal of ACC/politicians ploy to have one of Sierra Leone’s popular female politicians sacked from office.
Questions as to ACC’s neutrality on the conduct of its investigation also came up.
Some schools of education accused the runner away ACC Commissioner as having played ‘Dabaroo’ in the investigation of allegation of corruption complained by Lilian Lisk against Afsatu Kabba.
Others say Lilian Lisk’s submission of letter of complaint to President Koroma, admitting bribing a state Minister was all cooked up and conspiratorially designed to dampen the status Afsatu Kabba.
Sources say officials of the ACC overlooked prosecuting Lilian Lisk for bribing a state official owing to reasons unexplainable and completely doubtful.
It was disclosed to this press that Lilian later told the ACC that she will not give any testimony in the well of high court.
Sources say it is upon the foundation of Lilian’s disapproval to testify in court, that the ACC prosecutor, Calvin Mantsembo, smartly formulated withdrawal of 5 counts and ‘lay-on-file’ 12 indefinitely.
Later, fresh charges dissimilar to allegations in the annulled 17 counts were submitted before the high court as offences committed by Afsatu.
It could be recalled that prior to the annulment of 17 count charges against Afsatu, the office of the President had already dismissed the former as Minister of Fisheries on grounds of alleged 17 count prosecution.
Although the office of the President never queried officials of the ACC for prompting President Koroma’s sacking of his Fisheries Minister on the basis of claims made (17 counts allegation) , public’s outcry as at then, calls his action as having the trace of ‘absolute usurpation of the human rights’ of Afsatu.
Surveys recently conducted glaringly call on the high court to compel the ACC prosecute Afsatu on the basis of 12 counts it once ‘lay-on-file’ or dismiss it as the case may be.
The survey also reveals public’s advocation on seeing Lilian Lisk come to the court and give evidence on how she used to bribe the erstwhile Fisheries Minister Afsatu Olayinka Ebishola Kabba.
Sources say ACC’s refusal in the prosecution of Lilian’s bribery revelation were due to pressure from the influential up there.
Sierra Express Media therefore calls on officials of the high court to immediately remove from its dusty drawers, the case file bearing Lilian’s counts of allegation against Afsatu for judicial action.
It must be noted that the likes of Lilian has had smooth rides on issues of tax violations time and again – some 20 or more years.
It has reached this press that Lilian’s letter of complaint against Afsatu came as a result of the latter’s insisting on not paying taxes due her business.
And society must be told that the commencement of an investigation on Lilian’s complaint to President Koroma later saw the swift and unstoppable frog matching of Sierra Leone’s former Fisheries Minister to the high court for corruption offences.
It has reached desks of this press that the ACC which, in the recent times, wrote a letter to the editor of Sierra Express Media, informing him of an investigation concerning exposed corruption of some of it officials, never has instituted such at all.
We want the ACC Chief Prosecutor, Calvin Mantsembo, to come clean of his activities.
Read details next edition.
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