The Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA) has raised concerns over Section 6 of the constitutional instruments for the setting up of the Commissions of Inquiry recently approved by Parliament which they claim is inconsistent with the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
SLBA has therefore urged the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Princilla Schwartz, to take the necessary steps to ensure that the rules and practice governing the Commissions of Inquiry are established by the Rules of Court Committee in accordance with section 150 of the 1991 Constitution.
That particular section of constitutional instruments says the Commission of Inquiry shall not be bound by the current rules of evidence and procedures used in the courts of Sierra Leone in civil and criminal matters.
*IN SIERRA LEONE…LAW MAKERS SUPPORT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY…BUT MAINTAINED THAT THE RULES OF EVIDENCE AS PRESCRIBED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF SIERRA LEONE MUST TAKE PRECEDENT*
As the documents for the establishment of a commission of enquiry in a bid to probe into dealings of the erstwhile government was today Monday 22nd October, 2018 tabled in the well of parliament, honourable members present have expressed their respective opinions as to the way forward, thus called for a free, fair and credible process when approved.
According to Hon. Paul Sam of the Coalition 4 Change political party; the would be established commission of enquiry should not reject the rules of evidence as prescribed by the constitution of Sierra Leone which mandates every court to be bound by rules of criminal and civil proceedings. A premise upheld by Hon. Sheka Sama, a member of parliament from an independent ticket who maintains that, in as much as he supports the idea, but emphasized that it should be free of bias and discrimination.
In his part, Hon. Foday Lamin of the All Peoples Congress, (APC) opined that the integrity of the proposed Judge is questionable, adding, his previous rulings have been overturned in his country of origin, thus declared illegal and unwarranted. However, Hon. Daniel Koroma, questioned the essence of debating the aforementioned bill when according to him, midnight of the 21st October, 2018 automatically granted authority to the documents, to which the speaker clarified that annulment is possible as proposed by the APC member of parliament in his opening remarks.
Be it as it may, as members of parliament supports the establishment of the proposed commission of enquiry, they also requested that certain clarifications be made in order to avoid a scenario where certain people will be protected. It is in light of the aforesaid, that other schools of thought have asked that the former Minister of Lands, Dr. Dennis Sandy who was the Secretary to recently launched G.😭 report be included, including Permanent Secretaries and Procurement Officers of the previous administration.
Ironically, the current Permanent Secretary to President, Julius Maada Bio, served under the APC led government whilst the current Permanent Secretary to the Vice President, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands under the erstwhile government.
I rest my case.
©️ *Editayo George Temple 😎 (The Investigative Journalist, Proprietor, Universal Times Newspaper & Popularizer of Breaking News and I Rest My Case fame in Sierra Leone) +23279316750*