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ACC Boss Expresses doubt over NRA ruling

Joseph Kamara, Commissioner of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), has expressed doubts over the judgment for the case of Alieu Sesay, former Commissioner General of National Revenue Authority (NRA) who was discharged of all 57 counts’ indictment filed by the ACC.
The Commissioner said having listened to the judgment and gone through some part of the judgment, “I want the public to resonate with the background of this case when a husband gives a wife contract yet the outcome did not reflect conflict”.
“But also is it an issue that all you have to do is declare your interest that my wife has a company and so therefore all contracts have to go to your wife?” He asked.
Mr. Kamara stated that the judgment has been received by the Commission with apprehension, and serious concerns but that in any event “they welcome the judgment because as lawyers they are trained to welcome judgment whether one likes it or not in recognition of the integrity of the process”.
In the same vain, he went on, “the Commission is going to critically examine the judgment, and that they have serious issue with the legal analysis of the judgment,” but under the rules of the Court of Appeal, he said, “the prosecution is obliged to file an appeal on serious issues”.
He added “After reading the judgment, if we find serious issues both in the analysis and application of the law, we will file an appeal, but we are minded under the provisions of the rules of Appeal that it has to be on serious question of law. We are going to read the judgment and where we have issues of doubt in that application and analysis of the interpretation of the law, we will appeal.”
The ACC Commissioner explained that they are not going to file an Appeal because of losing the case, but they are doing it in the interest of justice that the precedence of law must be set straight, as they have observed a dangerous trend.
“To look at the 57 counts of indictment and you let the accused go free in all of those counts. We do not see that it is right when we have seasoned prosecutors including me. We want to see the legal application of that to see that all 57 counts are let out without any conviction passed on any one.”
He went on, “it is this dangerous precedence in the trend that we want to arrest, we are working within the ambit of the law, we will agree when things are fine but we will remain to disagree when we have doubt and in this particular instance, we have doubt so far, because I was very satisfied with the investigations and the evidence even before the indictment was served. ”
The ACC Commissioner said that the fight against corruption is a national fight, so they want the public to understand that they can do all that it takes within the resources available, as they do investigate, prosecute and take matters to court.
From that point onward, it is no longer under their control and in this case they presented their evidence the best way possible.
On the impact of the judgment on the international community, he said that the country is donor-driven and that the National Revenue Authority (NRA) is one such institution that receives support from the international community and with such judgment, it will send different interpretations to the donor communities.
The national impact is that it undermines the credibility of their work, they cannot insist on winning cases but if they lose, they want to know the reason why because a lawyer is as good as his case and this case was a very good one for them.
This judgment, he said, will not daunt their spirit in the fight against corruption and that resignation is not an option for him or any of the prosecution team because of this case.
Tomorrow there will is also be another judgment in the case of Philip Lukulay, former Director of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration which was filed also by the ACC on over 100-count charges.
By Betty Milton

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