by Mahmud Tim Kargbo
22 October 2018
The executive acts of President Julius Maada Bio, formed and ordered the release of millions of Leones to the so-called paramilitary unit of the Economic Crime And Anti-fraud Unit (ECAFU), a most amorphous entity unknown to Sierra Leonean law and practice and whose rules of accountability is unknown, is in addition to constituting an act of fiscal irresponsibility and rascality also an impeachable offense. Worse still, the illegal paramilitary unit was operating right in the Office of the President and were paid with state funds.
A combined reading of the provisions of Sections 111 subsection (4) and 155 subsection (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone makes it clear that the Parliament has to legislate for any monies withdrawn by Mr. President from the National purse. Section 155.(2) states “No person shall raise any police force except by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament.” As at the time when the said illegal paramilitary unit was formed and receiving millions from state funds as salaries -Parliament wasn’t even aware of it existence nor did it approve their salaries. From where did Mr. President get the authorisation to raised and giveaway public funds to an entity unknown to our laws?
Was ECAFU a drain pipe? Into whose pocket? How many people were working there and what was the total amount of their salary per month?
Was the formation of ECAFU reflected in any National Budget?
Was the Millions of Leones giveaway accorded ECAFU ever approved by the Parliament of the National Republic as stipulated in the Sierra Leonean Constitution?
Whilst not calling for Mr. President to be impeached now, the “Paopa” Bio regime must watch it! The President must, at all times be reminded that he is presiding over a supposedly democratic arrangement and not an autocratic era where he can wake up and do whatsoever he feels like with national resources. Such mannerisms, as displayed by the reckless throwing around of national funds, are the root causes of corruption and other vices which serve to undermine whatsoever efforts being made to pull our contraption out of the woods.
President Bio, as part of the transitional processes, should be summon in Parliament this time around, to ensure such lapses must never occur again. The Legislative house is enjoined to ensure that such lapses never occur again and that this present misadventure is corrected by chiding the President.