WHAT’S THE LEGAL POSITION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ON ISSUE OF SUSPENSION OF AUDITOR GENERAL? ASKS CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY OOR

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November 26, 2021

Section 64 (1) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No 6 of 1991 states “There shall be an Attorney General & Minister of Justice who shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government and a Minister,.

“(2) The Attorney General and Minister of Justice shall  be appointed by the President from among  persons qualified to hold office  as a Justice of the Supreme Court and shall have a seat in the Cabinet.”

The First Attorney General and Minister of Justice in  President Julius Maada Bio’s current SLPP-led Government  after the March 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections was veteran and legal luminary Charles Francis Margai Esq

The current  substantive Attorney General & Minister of Justice is Mr. Anthony Brewah who is the third person to be appointed to the office by President Bio.   The second was Dr. (Mrs) Priscilla Schwartz.

Giving his legal opinion on Mrs. Lara Taylor Pearce saga, Charles Francis Margai Esq, the First  Attorney General & Minister of Justice in the present administration of President Bio, questioned, among other things,  the current Deputy Minister of Justice Umaru Napoleon Koroma  Esq writing the letter dated November 8, 2021 “to the Honourable Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards in his capacity as Chairman, Judicial and Legal Service Commission, as a prelude to commencing  investigations into the conduct of the Auditor General and her Deputy.

“Has the Deputy Minister of Justice, authority to act as he did?   The answer is NO”, states Charles Francis Margai Esq.

The question is, what is the legal position  of the substantive Attorney General & Minister of Justice  Anthony Brewah  Esq , who,  according to the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991 , as quoted above, is “the principal and legal adviser to the Government and a Minister,” in Mrs Lara Taylor Pearce and her Deputy Tamba Momoh saga?   

Did the substantive Attorney General & Minister of Justice delegate his power or function to Umaru Napoleon Koroma Esq. to write such an important letter to the Honourable Chief Justice?   The Attorney General & Minister of Justice is the Titular Head of the Sierra Leone Bar Association and  members of the public have been  hearing and reading in the media  many different  and contradictory legal opinions on this controversial issue.

The latest take on this issue is the letter of resignation by a Member of the  Judicial and Legal Service Commission of which the Honourable Chief Justice is Chairman, Basita Michael Esq, who is a former President of the Sierra Bar Association, last weekend, in which letter she states quote:-

“The last two meetings of the Commission regarding the setting up of the Tribunal to inquire into the alleged misconduct of the Auditor General and one of her Deputies, have made me question the independence of the Commission and my ability to make meaningful contribution in the same.   I am of the firm belief that in the absence of the presentation of any allegations of misconduct to the Commission, it ought not to have agreed to the setting up of the Tribunal.   I was also dissatisfied with the process of the selection of members of the Tribunal.”


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