October 29, 2021
By: Winstanley. R. Bankole. Johnson
Some two weeks ago Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara the APC 2018 Presidential candidate – and still a mesmerizing influence in pole position for that same title at the next Presidential elections whenever President Bio declares a date for that at his peril – was at the Anti-Corruption Commission again. This time not to have been interviewed directly by the ACC Czar Ben Kelfalla himself (I understand they crossed paths at the entrance much discourteously and without so much as exchanging malicious furtive glances (“Badi-Yai”). Dr. Samura Kamara was allegedly ushered straight to the office of an “Investigator” who believes (unlike his highly learned and more experienced boss) that he has cock-sure evidences to nail him for serious procurement breaches in the Sierra Leone New York Chancery Building sleaze that would not only halt his Presidential ambitions, but that would also ultimately (and as a direct Presidential recompense), pitchfork him as the next substantive ACC Commissioner. The only thing we hear is delaying that wish is his inability to win several of the ACC Moot Court rehearsals to date to convince his boss he could successfully prosecute the matter right unto conviction of a key suspect.
Given my firm convictions in the independence of State institutions under President Bio, I will disagree with pundits here and now that the ACC Commissioner’s absence whilst Dr. Kamara was being interviewed was to research for fresh orders from “above” to still crucify Dr. Samura Kamara whatever betide, even though he finds “….no fault in the man” – Luke. 23:4. What I will agree with them on though is the fact that by contrast, the case of the missing 49,000 (Forty-nine thousand) bags of Chinese Rice against Minister Alpha Timbo would seem to have been handled with much “Kid Gloves” by the ACC until it was subsequently withdrawn from the Courts to allow the Minister to resume work after seven months – without demotion.
In my humble view the delay to charge Dr. Samura Kamara to Court would suggest either a clear absence of a “gravamen” to indict, or weakness on the part of the ACC to bravely discharge him. Thus the protracted investigations into what could well be classified as a “Holy Grail” that began at the desk of the ACC Commissioner is progressively being relegated to subordinates. At a time when the International Community are breathing on the necks of this government to begin practicing political tolerance and inclusivity, and more so that as evidence of their commitment to same they recently launched National Peace and Reconciliations Commission whose members recently passed Parliamentary scrutiny, there is no better opportunity for the ACC to compliment President Bio’s agenda for Peace and Reconciliations than by announcing a “nolle prosequi” against Dr. Samura Kamara. That done, the next logical step will be for President Bio (as the Reigning Father of Democracy) to begin to capacitate leading opposition contenders financially in much the same way former President Koroma capacitated him (Bio) financially during the Ebola crisis, so that all of them can continue to play meaningful roles in the fight against the Covid-19 Virus.
And arguably there can be no two ways about that because as things stand the very ACC would appear to have compromised their own efforts to seriously prosecute this matter in Court as:
- The principal charge of “Conspiracy to defraud” which to me is fundamental to a successful prosecution of the matter is already mitigated by the deliberate disappearance of the Head of Chancery and Vote Controller. Ours is the very first country I know that is signatory to the Anti-Money Laundering & GAIBA Laws (especially as traceable Wire Funds Transfers are involved) and that also recently enacted a Cyber Crime Law, whose accredited Ambassadors can disappear from Foreign Ministry radar without the government alerting the INTERPOL to help trace him. To date, there has been no ACC or Police “WANTED” or “MISSING PERSON” adverts placed countrywide for our missing Head of Chancery as is usual for such serious cases. Yet the ACC say that they are investigating.
- That by the ACC accepting “under-the –table” / “out of Court” settlement arrangements of up to US$200,000 (Two hundred thousand united States Dollars) without the courtesy of informing us who they are working for from whom those funds came and /or in whose names their receipts were issued, they (ACC) are compromising the seriousness of a matter they raised so much alarm about and in which we all as citizens are direct stakeholders. I say so because as the ACC Commissioner is wont to emphasize, “…..government money is the peoples’ money…..”. And if that be so then all ACC cases to retrieve the “peoples’ money” must logically be “the peoples’ cases”. By extension therefore my invasion here is to assist and work with the ACC Commissioner in his avowed commitment to -: “make corruption unfashionable”.
It remains my view however, that if the ACC had half as much evidence against Dr. Samura Kamara on this New York Chancery sleaze as the Auditor General and the Africanist Press have published against this government in the last three consecutive years, Dr. Samura Kamara would by now have been in tighter and much darker dungeons than the Mafanta Prisons. But the facts as they are unfolding speaks to the contrary and even those who should know better are also thinking contrary-wise. For example because of Dr. Samura Kamara’s relevance in the current political landscape, he has in the last as many weeks been taken into audience by the Heads of Foreign Missions and Key International Organizations. Credible reports on the substance of those discussions say they were not centered on “probabilities” (to wit: IF), but rather on “practicalities” (to wit: WHEN).
Whether or not the other associates to this purported New York Chancery sleaze are going to the ACC incognito or are meeting in “Safe Houses” arranged by the ACC for their interrogations (nocturnally) is unknown, but Dr. Samura Kamara is the only associate in this matter whose visits to the ACC is “sensationalized”. And as was seen on his last visit to the ACC, APC supporters have now decided to be thronging the precincts of the ACC thus implicitly exposing our Diocesan Cathedral assets to existential political risks. And this is what I wish to dwell upon amply, not only as a Christian but also as a Senior Anglican and the Deputy Head of the House of Laity of the Anglican Diocese of Freetown (up to 12th November instant) so that steps could begin to be taken to safeguard them. I shall draw my analogy from the Biblical experiences of the Disciples of Jesus who out of trepidation hibernated in the “Upper Room” in the days immediately following His death for fear of reprisals from agents of the State, but subsequently emerged emboldened after receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit at the Pentecost.
In the days immediately following SLPP ascendancy, die-hard APC supporters were constrained to also hibernate (and understandably so), given clearly manipulated anti-APC sentiments consistently whipped up by documents like the Government Transition Team (GTT) and Technical Audit Reports concocted by the likes of Bai Santos Kamara, in addition to a sustained barrage of media propaganda by their paid-up Civil Society acolytes. Those specious allegations shocked the APC to the marrow and left a good many of their supporters dazed. But with almost four years gone and nothing to show for it, and further as the mysticism of SLPP intellectualism and governance competence dissipates revealing serious governance lapses and unbridled “kleptomania” with impunity (evidenced from historic and sickening revelations by both the Auditor General and the Africanist Press), APC supporters are becoming emboldened by the day.
So APC supporters are aggressively recoiling from that hibernation, and are now ready and willing to confront the consequences (unless against hard evidences of proofs) by following by Dr. Samura Kamara to and from the ACC offices and defiantly chanting our Party Victory song. As far as their conviction in the ACC goes, APC grassroots supporters will not be impressed even if they are to learn that former President Koroma has been charged with Money Laundering. In other words for them, the APC Pentecost has arrived and all fear of SLPP intimidation and harassments is gone, making physical cross-party bone-to-bone confrontations and public fracas anywhere and at any time a palpable possibility. And if that should arise, no one can predict the dimensions it will take directly or collaterally under a Police Force that has committed itself to serving the “government of the day to the latter”.
It is under such a precarious situation that the assets of The St. George’s Cathedral are sitting and being no longer a “State Church”, (with Christianity being so continually endangered), there can be no guarantees of prompt government support in case of need should serious damage occur to those premises arising directly out of inter-political party rivalry at the ACC offices. Accordingly what cannot and should never be overlooked is that in a volatile situation like ours, the letting out of properties (particularly Church properties) to MDAs with clear political inclinations and more particularly whose heads are direct nominees of the incumbent Head of State can prove disingenuous at times.
The Anglican Diocese in Particular – but more particularly the Greater Cathedral Chapter – must pay great heed to these early warning signals of existential threats to our St. George’s Cathedral assets, and proactively encourage the ACC (their tenants) to please consider moving future in-person interrogations of all Persons of Interest with clear and wider political ramifications away from their offices to “Safe Houses” to safeguard our Cathedral assets.
Meantime whether or not the ACC are paying rents promptly is untenable, and the Chapter should immediately consider revising the Stop Loss Insurance Limits over those assets upwards.