An interview that was to be given by the former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, to the Anti-Corruption Commission scheduled to take place on the 19th November 2020 at the Anti-Corruption Commission Head Office in Freetown never materialized leaving in its trail discussions in various circles around the country.
The interview was supposed to border around allegations of corrupt practices, by the Former President while he was in office, as mentioned in a Report by a Commission of Inquiry that was set up by the ruling SLPP Government and detailed in the Government White Paper that subsequently followed.
According to the Lead Counsel, representing former President Ernest Bai Koroma, Lawyer Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, the former President could not make it to the Anti-Corruption Commission Head Office for the interview due to the lack of adequate security apparatus to prevent any untoward thing from occurring.
He added that he and other lawyers representing the former Head of State went to the ACC to make a representation and after which to engage the security apparatus in order for them to advice for the safe travelling of the former President maintaining that once the security situation is made clear and there is a corridor of passage for the former President, the latter is willingly ready to come to the ACC for the said interview.
Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara maintained that they don’t have doubts about the preparedness of the State to provide security but lamented that the thin available security force present around the precinct of the ACC was not sufficient, according to their estimation, furthering how they were expecting a bigger State Security force that will enable the former President to come to the ACC.
He further revealed that they are waiting for a convincing security clearance and once they receive it the former President will make himself available at the ACC further emphasizing that the former President wants to come to the ACC but he is waiting on the State to provide the necessary security.
On his part, Director of Public Education and Outreach, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Patrick Sandy, said former President Ernest Bai Koroma has the right to express his concern about his security further revealing how they have discussed it with the security sector.
He said once that is cleared the Former President will come in for the interview underscoring how the ACC is on standby.
Sandy reiterated that the Former President has the right to raise concern about his security but assured that they are determined to conduct the interview with him.
BBC correspondent, Umaru Fofanah, in an earlier report filed in yesterday as the situation was inconclusively unfolding said the Commissioner of the ACC, Francis Ben Kelfala, intimated that he has so far received no reason from the former President or lawyers as to why he, Ernest Koroma, has not shown up at the stipulated time adding that they are still expecting him and if he does not avail himself they will take what he called their next step.
Umaru Fofana said the ACC Commissioner stated that they are considering issuing out a warrant of arrest as an option.
It could be recalled that six weeks ago when the ACC team travelled to Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone, which is the home town of the former President, they were prevented from conducting the said interview due to the mounting of road blocks and other disturbances.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper