July 20, 2020
By Regina Pratt
Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Francis Ben Kaifala, has told Concord Times on Friday, July 17, that offering no evidence in the matter against Alpha Timbo and 4 others, was a tactical withdrawal because the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice had refused to grant them an application for trial by Judge alone.
He said the commission hadn’t wanted trial by judge and jury because they foresaw that the process will jeopardize future corruption cases.
He said when the accused persons made their second appearance on Tuesday,May 19, 2020,a ruling was made by the presiding judge, Justice Cosmotina Jarett for their case to be tried by Judge and Jury, after defense counsels addressed the court on the proceedings of trial by judge and jury, which they had wanted.
The Timbo trial was the first Anti-Corruption matter that was tried by Judge and Jury and the prosecutor, Lawyer Mantesbo, had informed the court that they hadn’t received any certificate by way of a fiat from the Office of the Attorney-General for the case to be tried by Judge alone.
Former Minister of Labour, Alpha Timbo, Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Education Emily Kadiatu Gogra, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Charles Tom Kamanda, Director of Nutrition,School Feeding,MBSSE, Zainab Mamusu Massaquoi and Binta Kamara, businesswoman at Lion Inn, were charged with fifteen counts, but were discharged of all fifteen counts after the ACC offered no evidence against them on Thursday July, 16, 2020.
A certificate of discharge signed by the Master and Registrar of the High Court was handed to all accused persons as an account of the prosecution offering no evidence against all accused persons.