As a way of using credible civil society organizations as leverage to ensure that they extricate themselves from the long arm of the law, the opposition All People Congress (APC) has been accused of lies and misrepresentation.
This came about when the Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA) dissociated and distanced itself from an inflammatory press statement issued by the scribe of the main opposition All People Congress (APC) Osman Foday Yansanneh inaccurately referencing the Association.
The Press Release from the Bar Association dated 29 December states that among other things in the APC press release dated 28 December that they(APC) mentioned that ‘the APC party also notes with keen interest the press releases from the Bar Association and Civil Society Groups categorically stating that the instruments establishing the commission of inquiry are illegal, flawed and clearly unconstitutional, deliberately setting aside the rules of evidence and established legal principles excluding likely culpable SLPP supporters because of their tribal and political leanings…’
The release maintained that the statement of the APC referencing the SLBA does not accurately represent the scope and views of the SLBA and the said statement as far as it relates to the position of the SLBA is erroneous and misleading.
“The SLBA is not and has never been of the opinion that the entire instrument establishing the commission of inquiry are legally flawed and clearly unconstitutional, deliberately setting aside the rules of evidence and established legal principles and excluding likely culpable SLPP supporters because of their tribal and political leanings…” the Bar Association explained.
The Bar Association made it very clear that they welcome the commission of inquiry and at the same time applauds the government’s effort to combat corruption and ensure accountability.
That the commission of Inquiry must fully comply with section 150 of the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone which states , ‘subject to the provision of this chapter, the rules of court committee shall by constitutional instrument, make rules regulating the practice and procedures of all commission of inquiries.
That the commission of Inquiry must be free, fair and independent and that the SLBA has written to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and the erstwhile Chief Justice in his capacity as chair of Rule of Court Committee to urge them to fully comply with the provision of Section 150 of the constitution of Sierra Leone
“The Association urges all to reach out to the association to ascertain its position before putting out statement referring to its stance,” the release emphasized.
Meanwhile the Government of Sierra Leone has reacted to the press release of the APC, stating it is inciting and inflammatory geared towards injecting ethnic and tribal tension in the country for which they have called on the attention of the International Community.