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Sierra Leone enquiry commission closes in on opposition grandees

As the hearing in the ongoing Commission of Enquiry in Sierra Leone progresses, evidence is getting closer to the top ranking officials of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC).APA has learnt in Freetown that two top officials in the party were summoned to appear before Nigerian judge Justice Biobele Georgewill of Commission Number One on Monday.

Alhaji Alpha Kanu and Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, bother former Ministers of Mines and Mineral Resources, were requested to appear in front of the judge on Monday, April 8, according to a notice of summon issued by the Commission’s Secretariat and seen by APA.

The two were invited alongside Abdul Ignosis Koroma, former deputy Minister of Mines and Mr. Sahr Wonday, former Director General of National Minerals Agency (NMA).

The statement from the Commissions’ Secretariat noted that the judge was expected to receive testimonies from witnesses, whose testimonies were likely to touch and concern the conduct of the invited officials “as persons of interest” on issues pertaining to the Ministry of Mines and NMA.

 

Justice Georgewill is one of three judges heading three separate commissions set up by President Julius Maada Bio to investigate alleged corruption under his predecessor, Ernest Bai Koroma, who served from 2007 to 2018.

The Mines and Minerals Ministry is one of the most important departments in the country, given its revenue generation ability.  

Between 2011 and 2014, the mines sector dominated the economy and it has been the subject of sustained speculation vis-à-vis corruption.

Mr Kanu, who last served under the Koroma administration as Information and Communication Minister, served in the Mineral Resource ministry in 2009, while Mansaray occupied the Minerals portfolio until the end of term of the administration.

Mansaray is currently the Vice Chairman of the APC, which is the largest party in the country’s parliament.  

The party has opposed the formation of the Commissions, citing the “illegal” procedure followed.

 

It had said its members would not appear before it.

 The trend has continued with the two officials who were also represented by their lawyers on Monday.

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