By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The Appeals Court of Sierra Leone has upheld the appeal filed in by former Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone and former Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Kargbo, on the adverse findings and recommendations made against him by the Commissions of Inquiry and by extension the government’s White Paper.
“The adverse findings of the Justice Biobelle contained in the report of the COI relating to the activities of the office of the Petroleum Directorate are against the weight of evidence presented.”
The judges, Justice Michael P.H Mami (J.A), Justice S.O Taylor (J A)and Justice A.K Musa (J) have also granted and upheld the appeal application of the then former Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone, and former Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Kargbo
They stated that the adverse findings against the appellant contained in volume one (1) of the Justice Biobelle Commission of Inquiry and all subsequent proceedings relating to same, were hereby set aside, reversed, quashed and dismissed.
“That the appellant is hereby absolved of all wrongdoings in regards to his employment and reputational damage caused by the adverse findings alleging inter alia that same is responsible for acts of corruption, abuse of office, maladministration, and lack of accountability.”
“Although there was blatant breach of the procedure in obtaining the loan leading to the entire process being irregular, what came out clearly having done a review of the evidence before the commissioner is that notwithstanding such irregularity, there was not established any act of abuse of office, misappropriation, maladministration, and act of corruption by the appellant as stated in the finding of the sole commissioner of commission No.64. Rather, the recapitalistion has helped to save the collapse of a gigantic institution- the Rokel Commercial Bank which was considered ‘too big to fail’ and thus became a growing concern until now,” ruled the judges.
Reading the judgment on behalf of the panel, Justice AK Musa, said the Appellant’s said Justice Biobelle erred in law and acted in violation of Section 150 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991, when he proceeded to conduct the commissions of inquiry without the ‘rules’ prescribed by the Rules of Court Committee, to regulate the practice and procedure’ of all Commissions of Inquiry.
He said the appellant cited Section 150 of the Constitution which provides that subject to the provisions of that chapter, the Rules of Court Committee shall by constitutional instrument, make rules regulating the practice and procedure of all Commissions of Inquiry