COI implementation…58 appeals filed at Court of Appeal
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Some fifty-eight (58) appeals have so far been filed at the Court of Appeal by persons of interest whose names were captured in the Government White Paper on the Commissions of Inquiry reports.
The Principal Legal Consultant in the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Lahai Momoh Farma made the disclosure on Monday November 9, 2020 during a presser hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The Government White Paper on the COI was made public on September 24, 2020. The COI discovered that billions of leones were misappropriated or embezzled by those who served in the last All Peoples Congress (APC) led administration.
“We have received about 58 appeals. We have already prepared our responses to the various grounds of appeal. As a law firm, we have to provide responses to the appeals aggrieved persons are making,” Mr. Farma said.
According to him, some of the appellants were not even targeted or persons of interest to the COI but they were adjudged to have been collaborators, whose names appeared on documents which by themselves and trade of work, cannot acquire such properties.
He stated that exhibits from the COI are very much necessary for those that have appealed, as well as for the AG’s office in order to guide the process of the appeal.
“We have now about 28 summonses that we have filed in which will allowed the court to order the confiscation, forfeiture and revocation of all transactions relating to assets that individuals unlawfully acquired government money to purchase. We are about 60% done with the directives giving to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice,” he said.
Mr. Farma disclosed that some persons of interest have paid monies they were accused of embezzling by the COI but could not revealed the names nor the total amount paid so far.
The three Commissions of Inquiry were established by Constitutional Instruments Nos. 64, 65 and 67 of 2018 to carry out thorough, independent, fair and impartial investigations into the allegations of corruption and abuse of public office by ministers and other public officials in the past administration.
The three commissions started their work in 2019 and submitted their report, which included findings and recommendations to the president in March 2020.
A total of 126 persons of interest were investigated by the Justice Biobele Commission of Inquiry with eighty-four (84) public officials, including former President Ernest Bai Koroma.