NGC questions Ady Macauley’s removal


July 3, 2018

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The National Grand Coalition (NGC) has expressed serious concern over the process used by President Julius Maada Bio to remove the erstwhile Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Ady Macauley, from office.

In a press release dated 29 June, 2018, and singed by its Secretary General, Francis L. Hindowa, the NGC averred that there are bound to be serious implications and consequences for the future of democracy if such ‘blatant disregard for due process and the rule of law were to continue.’

On June 20, Commissioner Macauley was dismissed as ACC boss by President Bio, few days after he was sent on “special leave”. No reason was proffered in the press release from State House.

His removal and the subsequent appointment of Francis Ben Kaifala as his replacement sparked huge debates from the public and civil society organisations, with claims and counter-counter claims that the ACC Act of 2008 accords the commissioner security of tenure.

According to the NGC, which came a distant third in the March 2018 multitier elections, the process grossly violated the ACC Act of 2008 and also undermined the institution’s integrity and independence.

The party’s leader in Parliament, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, refused to participate in the interview of Francis Ben Kaifala and his subsequent approval by the House because of ‘procedural anomalies’.

“We believe that the House of Parliament has allowed itself to be complicit in disregarding due process and the rule of law by approving the appointment of the commissioner’s replacement when viewed against section 4(4) of the ACC Act of 2008 which provides security of tenure by insulating the commissioner from outside influence and pressure,” the party said.

However, another legal school of thought has posited that section 4(4) of the ACC Act should be read together with subsection 5, which gives the President legal authority to remove an errant ACC boss without recourse to a tribunal.

The NGC recalled that while in opposition, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) vehemently condemned the illegal actions of the Ernest Bai Koroma-led administration, and that in some instances its Members in Parliament staged walk-outs.

The party added: “It is highly ironical that now that the same SLPP is the government, it is ready to compromise the very principles it stood for by condoning illegality rather than keeping its promise to the people of upholding the rule of law”.