Afsatu vs Lilian – Concocted case file takes one year
Covert conducts of runaway Abdul Tejan Cole and would be Sierra Leone’s Director of Public Prosecution, Glenna Thompson – justifiably – questioned reasons adjoining Anti Corruption’s criminal prosecution of erstwhile Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
Afsatu Ebishola Olayinka Kabba, in March of 2010, was dragged to the High Court on 17 count charges of bribery and other related offences.
Soon after her first court appearance, she was sacked and made to hand over Ministerial responsibilities without a wait.
This was later observed as unpleasantly ridiculous when a man who bags thousands of raw US dollars; the ACC Chief Prosecutor Calvin Mantsembo unreasonably offered ‘no evidence’ on 5 counts and applied to have 12 counts ‘laid-on file.’
Of course, the High Court granted the application, 5 counts were dismissed and 12 set aside (sinedie) if not thrown into the dust bin.
It was exactly March 15th ‘Ides’ or Caesar’s day Sierra Leone’s most outstanding and result making Minister was arraigned before the well of High Ccourt to answer to ‘yet to prove’ bribery allegations by a famous fish agent Lilian Lisk.
Public’s observations accused the ACC of overindulging into issues believed to have the traits of corruption manipulations.
It was the expectations of Sierra Leoneans that the ACC would have submitted fact exposing Afsatu Kabba’s alleged bribery conducts.
Lilian Lisk, in her letter of complaint to the ACC, on number of instances, confirmed giving bribes to Afsatu Kabba but failed to show up at the High Court to prove to Sierra Leoneans all she said against the latter.
It must be noted however that on several occasions, there had been secret meetings in which strategies to hinder Afsatu Kabba were mapped.
Such, it is disclosed, was done in conspiracy with other female Ministers in cabinet of President Koroma, who undoubtedly, never wanted Afsatu Kabba make name in office.
The records, as at date, indicate that Afsatu Kabba is the first and ever Minister to prove to Sierra Leoneans that the Fisheries and Marine Ministry is able to generate revenue to the tune of Le11 or more billions.
A source who asked for his name not to be mentioned said Afsatu Kabba was APC’s result making Minister and was the best in the consideration President Koroma.
Facts have it unconcealed that the ACC never had any description agreeing with Lilian Lisk’s allegations against Afsatu Kabba.
Sources say charges of 17 counts were proffered based upon commands from the high and mightier.
It is also revealed that Lilian Lisk never had anything to show that she ever bribed the erstwhile Minister.
Lilian, who acts as agent for one of Sierra Leone’s biggest fishing company (Okeke Fishing Agency), it is told, has in the past, had easy rides in the avoidance of payment of taxes, but never enjoyed same during occupancy of Afsatu Kabba as Fisheries Minister.
Attempts to attract the erstwhile Fisheries Minister into having her give tax concessions to Lilian’s fishing company failed woefully.
It is believed that the giving in of a letter of complaint to the ACC by Lilian Lisk was stirred because of Afsatu Kabba’s unbending stances to issues of tax avoidance.
The letter which brought about an investigation by the ACC, revealed confessions of Lilian Lisk in relation to monies she allegedly bribed Afsatu Kabba while acting in the capacity as Minister of Fisheries.
The question Sierra Leoneans now asked is ‘why had the ACC indicted and recommended the dismissal of Afsatu Kabba, but up till now cannot not make do material and physical evidences supporting accusations it submitted for judicial hearing.
Doubtful Freetown residents have accused officials of the ACC of violating the human rights of the one-time Fisheries Minister.
Some school of education lays blame on officials of the ACC, accusing them of conspiratorially plotting alongside a businesswoman, to dent the reputation of Afsatu Kabba.
It could be recalled that Afsatu Kabba’s dismissal came owing to Lilian’s allegations in letter of complaint forwarded to the ACC for investigation.
Neither the High Court nor officials of the ACC there attempt to wake up the 12 count charges kept in drawers (lay-on-file) against Afsatu Kabba.
It is seemingly clear that the ACC never had grounds to charge Afsatu Kabba for allegedly taking bribes from Lilian, but did so on grounds best known to them.
Concern Sierra Leoneans is calling on the high court to unconditionally start up the Afsatu Vs Lilian’s case or throw it out of court.
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