By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Appeal Court Judges including Justice Ivan Sesay, Justice Momoh Jah Steven and Justice Adrian Fisher have expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) Secretariat to provide transcripts and exhibits for over 45 COI appeal cases.
Speaking in court, Justice Ivan Sesay said the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice should write the COI Secretariat demanding the transcripts and exhibits for the over 45 appeal cases that are currently in court.
He said should the COI Secretariat fails to produce those transcripts, the people responsible should be investigated and charged to court.
According to Justice Adrian Fisher, billions of Leones were spent on the COI process and it is very bad for certain people at the secretariat to just handpick certain cases and provide no transcript for other matters.
After the publication of the White Paper, government decided to establish the three Commissions of Inquiry to inter alia, examine the assets and other related matters in respect of persons who were president, vice presidents, ministers, ministers of state and deputy ministers; and heads and chairmen of boards of parastatals, departments and agencies within the period from November 2007 to April 2018.
For the sake of transparency, it was recommended that all the proceedings of the inquiry should be fully covered and reported by journalists, aired live on television and also be recorded by the secretariat.
According to Lawyer Ade Macauley, who is representing the former president, they have engaged the COI Secretariat severally to see how they could access transcripts of their clients’ COI proceedings, but to no avail.
He said they have also gone to the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, the state broadcaster that provided full time coverage on the proceedings, but that they were still not provided with the recordings.