Salone News

Why is the APC Secretary General afraid of disclosure of assets?

21 July 2019 at 20:41 | 1391 views

Commentary

By Kortor Kamara, USA

While president Maada Bio has so far shown an uncanny stern resolve and determination in fighting public corruption, segments of our society, especially in the opposition, remain hell-bent on thwarting government’s efforts, in if not eradicating, but certainly mitigating this cancer.

This weekend’s Voice of America (VOA) interview by the Secretary General of the APC party, Mr. Osman Foday Yansaneh, in which he stated that his corruption exposed party, will be challenging the Commission of Inquiry notice for persons of interest to disclose their assets, must make it glaringly clear to all and sundry that his party is still not interested in fighting corruption.

Such reaction by a political party towards the revelations of unprecedented corruption, embezzlement, theft and criminal negligence by some of their major political leaders, embedded in the international forensic auditors reporting, being now unveiled by evidence adduced at the Commissions of Inquiry, shows the magnitude of the challenge our country faces in this difficult but necessary endeavor.

It is no gainsaying that the unearthing of over a Billion US Dollars in fraud, waste and abuse of public funds detected in just the period under consideration, by the Commissions of Inquiry, warrants an auditing of the entire erstwhile APC government for the period 2007 to 2018, as previously approved by parliamentary statutory regulations.

While the process of educating, especially our opposition APC kinfolks continues, the nation and government must not be deterred or cowed by usual politics, that the crooks, public thieves, suspects and interested parties want this fight to be about.

Criminal conduct and crimes against the state by individuals or collectively as cartels, cannot be equated with the legitimate functioning of political parties. Why the APC party continues supporting people whose culpability is now beyond question deserves answers from unblemished members.

As such, it is totally foolhardy and irresponsible that some well meaning APC party stalwarts and supporters continue to be bamboozled by the APC party Secretary General, Mr. Osman Foday Yansaneh into associating and tacitly supporting identified criminal elements within their party.

Their cavalier and dismissive attitude towards first the Auditor General’s multiple reports of financial malfeasance and corruption, compiled and submitted to the very APC administration since 2008, culminating in last week’s Commission of Inquiry Secretariat’s demand for assets declarations by persons of interest, represents an arrogance and challenge to lawful authority never before seen in political and judicial jurisprudence in Sierra Leone.

The APC party’s open rebellion which has now continued unabated since the election of a new president in 2018, represents a callous insensitivity and remorselessness to the people of Sierra Leone, in their failure to not only admit and condemn such corrupt activities revealed in testimonies at the commissions of inquiry, but glaringly and regrettable shows a recipe for political suicide for the APC.

For the people of Sierra Leone will not take kindly to a party that collectively tries to protect their corrupt members accused of committing such huge fraud against not only them, but their children and grandchildren, yet unborn.

While the next steps to be recommended following the commissions of inquiry are yet to be determined, the SLPP government must realize in no uncertain terms, that recovery of funds alone cannot be made to suffice for the kind of harm these fraudulent and corrupt practices have inflicted on our people and the nation’s development.

The ACC, the police and Attorney General’s office need to redouble their efforts to bring about custodial sentences, especially to those who have admitted, being found guilty and or plea-bargained. The nation is awaiting the deterrence such incarceration of admitted and convicted public officials will send to current and future public officials and politicians.

If it is a war against corruption, let’s all play our respective roles in support of president Bio’s clarion call to fight and slay this corruption cancer once and for all in our body polity.

The retardation of our society cannot be made to continue by our inertia or by half measures - so let’s lock the culprits up and confiscate any ill gotten properties. The magnitude of the theft is truly nauseating and unprecedented.

However, until some of the egregious culprits are incarcerated for long periods in Pademba road and Mafanta prisons with hard labor and disgorged of all their ill gotten wealth their will be no deterrence to corruption. The ball is now in the court of the SLPP government!

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