ACC reviews Hajjgate indictment


-additional charges proffered 

August 3, 2018

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala

Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday disclosed that the commission has reviewed the Hajjgate indictment with new charges proffered.

According to Francis Ben Kaifala, the Hajjgate matter, which involved former Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh and erstwhile Mines and Mineral Resources Minister Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, did not come up last Monday (July 30) because lots of things were being done around it.

He was speaking in the conference room of the commission during a presser to update journalists on ongoing corruption investigations.

“The indictment itself has been re-drafted with new charges included and additional people also included. When I came in as commissioner, I met a sea of indictment already but it was not adequate,” he said and added that the previous indictments failed to cover what ought to have been covered.

He assured that former Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh and others would surely be arraigned in the High Court on August 20 to answer to charges brought against them.

Kaifala revealed that investigations into several corruption related activities had been hit by executive orders issued by the former president.

“The problem we are having with our investigations is that we have discovered a systemic reliance on executive orders to do manifestly dubious things,” he stated.

He cited a case involving former Head of the Petroleum Directorate, Raymond Kargbo, who is being investigated by the commission for allegedly paying himself and his team terminal benefits whilst in office.

However, the ACC boss stated that when Mr. Kargbo was arrested and brought to the anti-graft agency offices few days ago, he came brandishing an executive he had allegedly received a year ago from State House authorising that he be paid terminal benefits, although he continued to stay in office.

“We are going to commission a legal opinion into whether executive clearances can be used in this way or in fact their use can absolve somebody who does something which amount to either corruption or corrupt practices from liability,” he said, adding that the executive orders have been problematic as individuals used them to do things that cost the people so much.