Justice Biobele talks tough
September 5, 2019
By: Frederick V. Kanneh &Dauda Deen Koroma (Intern)
The sole Commissioner of Commissions of Inquiry Room No.64, Justice Biobele Georgewill, has yesterday closed hearings in the almost six months long investigations into the stewardship of the Ernest Bai Koroma led administration of the All Peoples Congress (APC).
Justice Gerogwill talked tough about Persons of Interest who had refused or failed to appear before him, noting that the commission gave them fair hearing, but that they willingly chose to abstain.
“The essence of fear hearing in both our common law and even in our natural societies is not to be emphasized. For those of us who are Christians, I am sure even Muslims would remember the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when Adam went and took the forbidden fruit whatever that may be. God saw him but He immediately asked him to testify whether he (Adam) had eaten the forbidden fruit. Why is God asking Adam for what He saw him do? Why?” he questioned.
The Judge, who was speaking at the close of his almost six months hearing, is one of the three judges contracted by the Government of Sierra Leone to investigate the Ernest Bai Koroma led administration.
He stated that persons that were of interest to the commission, but refused to appear before the tribunal, would have themselves to blame in the future.
He said somebody would only be able to defend him/herself when they made themselves available before the commission to counter or confirm allegations levied against them.
He noted that in the legal world, evidence is very important hence the commission gave everybody a chance to appear and defend themselves.
He added that “God should have just said ‘Adam I saw you, you are condemned’. God said no, Adam come and tell me what has happened. He wants to hear him say something, He wants to hear him responds, He wants to hear him defend.”
Meanwhile, Justice Biobele said he would go through all the evidences he had gathered and write his recommendations to the presidency for further actions.
He said at the convenience of the presidency, a date will be announced soon for fresh investigations of assets acquired by officials of the President Koroma led administration.
He said on 11th September, he would open a session for public opinions on cases he had heard, but that such hearing would be done behind the camera and that it would not affect the evidences he had on record.
However, the Commission of Inquiry was set up as a result of the recommendations made in the Governance Transition Team Report, which called for an institution of a judge-led commission that would have the mandate to ‘recover all stolen or inappropriately converted state funds and other assets presumably stolen by the All Peoples Congress officials’.
In late July, thieves broke into the residence of the Nigerian Judge, Justice Biobele and carted away his personal laptop and hard drive, where he had been recording the proceedings of the commission.
Police arrested both the guards that were on duty and those that were supposed to be on duty on the night of the incident, but none have been charged to court for prosecution.