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NYC calls for Allieu Sesay’s re-instatement

NYC calls for Allieu Sesay’s re-instatement

President of the National Youth Coalition, Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh (in photo), has called on President Koroma to unconditionally reinstate Allieu Sesay as head of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in line with legal stipulations as in the laws of Sierra Leone on crime exculpation and legal judicial precedent.

He made this statement Monday 11th at a press conference organized by the Coalition of Youth at the organization’s head office at Fort Street, Freetown.

In his path, Al-Sankoh said that the Coalition have been closely following the case of corruption against the suspended NRA Commissioner Mr. Allieu Sesay in the well of the High Court.

It must be noted that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) submitted to the High Court 57 count charges of corruption against Allieu Sesay.

The offences ranging from willfully failing to comply with procedures and guidelines relating to the tendering of contracts contrary to section 48 (2) (b) of the Anti Corruption Act 2008, conspiracy to commit a corruption offence contrary to section 128 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act 2008, knowingly misleading the Anti corruption Commission contrary to section 127 (1) (b) of the Anti Corruption Act 2008, abuse of position contrary to section 42 (1) of the ACC Act 2008, and conflict of interest contrary to section 45 (1) of the ACC Act 2008.

Of the 57 count charges, 36 were for abuse of position, 6 for willfully failing to comply with procedures and guidelines relating to the tendering of contracts, 3 for conspiracy to commit a corruption offence, 3 for knowingly misleading the Anti Corruption Commission, 1 for conflict of interest, 1 for offering an advantage  and 1 for accepting an advantage.

In the ruling by Justice Ademusu which was read by Justice Eku Robert, it is stated that the prosecution should remember that it is not their duty to secure conviction of innocent persons but it’s their duty to behave as Lord Hewart stated in R v Dwyer (1925) 2 KB 799at P 803 CCA: “with exemplary fairness remembering always that the crown in the instant case the state has no interest in securing conviction but has interest only in securing the conviction of the right person.”

To this, lie the failures of ACC prosecutors, who for either ‘incompetence’ or ‘lack of enough evidence’ failed to convince the court that Allieu was guilty as charged.

And it must be noted also that of the 57 count charges, 36 were on just one offence – abuse of position.

According to the ruling, it is made glaring that the ACC have got little or virtually no better evidence substantiating its claims.

Even though Allieu is yet to take back his position as the NRA head, the Youth Coalition President told a cross section of media officers that just after the commencement of criminal proceeding against the forenamed public officials, he was suspended from office by the President Koroma.

He however draws the attention of the President to section 134 (2) of the ACC Act which states among other things that once someone is found not guilty of corruption charges he/she must be instantaneously made to take up office as originally appointed.

Al-Sankoh maintained that after frantic judicial trial by the High Court of Sierra Leone, the court has got no case against Allieu and so therefore acquitted and discharged him on all the 57 count corruption charges.

He overpoweringly referred to the ACC as having ‘weak’ and ‘incompetent’ legal officers that are able and capable of following procedures binding on investigation and prosecution.

“The coalition strongly respects the judgment of the High Court and called on the ACC to use the best practice and try to correct their mistakes, to ensure that ensuing cases of corruption meets the much desired expectations and standards of the commission,” adding that, “the ACC should not allow public opinion and media propaganda overcome their decision especially when proffering indictment (s) against person (s) it has investigated for corruption.”

Reflection must be drawn either to the recent High Court ruling in the case between Philip Lukulay V the ACC.

The accused was charged with 128 counts, but was only convicted on 13 or so counts. Could not it be seen as failure on the part of the ACC?

By Ibrahim Sahid Kamara

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