Pinpointing On Evidence Free Judgement
Bio Sets A “Stage–Managed” Commission Of Inquiry
In accordance with the Amended Notice of Private Member Motion, the proposer -Honourable Daniel Brima Koroma, seconded by Honourable Hassan A. Sesay tabled the above motion to the House of Parliament on Thursday 2nd August, 2018 due to their implications on society to be debated by that Honourable House. In treaty with Section 170(7) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, (Act No.6 of 1991) and in tandem with S.O.18 (8), S.O. 25(2), S.O.25 (6) and S.O.28 (3), 1 move that the Constitutional Instrument Numbers 64 and 65 of 2018 entitled:
- The Commission of Inquiry( Examination, Inquiry and Investigation) Notice (1)
- The Commission of Inquiry (Examination, Inquiry and Investigation) Notice (2)
Referencing the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991(Act No.6 of 1991). The topic for discussion amongst most enlightened Sierra Leoneans is the fact that the ruling SLPP government is pinpointing on a ‘no documentary evidence’ when it comes to implementing the set Commission of Inquiry.
Well meaning citizens have therefore referred to the said Commission as a “Stage Managed” one which has been purposefully set up to intimidate members of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC).
Those facet of people elucidated above are saying that setting this Commission of Inquiry is praise worthy but certain issues highlighted are leaving them pondering. They said “we are beginning to suspect that the President and his SLPP government have complete disregard for due process, Justice and fair play. Its baffles us that the President who in many pronouncements has reiterated his determination to promote fairness and Justice is now doing his utmost to avoid legal scrutiny only so his government could easily punish under the cloak of Law, citizens who he does not like, citizens who are not his tribesmen or citizens who do not share his views or political ideology.
We are worried because P6 (2) of the President’s Constitutional instrument stipulates that for the purpose of the instant Commission of Inquiry “the Commission shall not be bound by the Rules of evidence in Civil or criminal proceedings”. We are clearly reiterating this to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice that Rules of Evidence are Rules of Evidence regardless of the type of proceedings referenced.
Perhaps more fundamental gap in this instrument is the President’s complete disregard for the provisions of Section 150 of the 1991 Constitution. That section reads “Subject to the provisions of this chapter the rules of court Committee shall by constitutional instrument make rules regulating the practice and procedure of all Commissions of Inquiry”.
So it is not up to you Mr. President to tell us Citizens which Rules should or should not apply to Commissions of Inquiry you may set up. It is within the purview of the Rules of Court committee, headed by the Chief Justice to do so as delineated by Section 150 of the Constitution.
We have said this in the past and we shall repeat it again that ours is a constitutional Democracy and not a Military regime. Mr. President, your government is on the verge of punishing Citizens, taking away their properties or restricting their liberty without according them due process and fairness”.
On the whole, the people of this nation are emphasizing that they will appreciate the President’s fight against corruption as long as it is done fairly and within the ambit of the Law. They are also recapping on the fact that instead of the court setting the Rules, the purported Commission of Inquiry has decided to set the Rules all by themselves.
By: Allieu Lamin Kamara
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