At COI… Veracity Of 30% Sale Of Shares Challenged

Ade Macauley, representing Dr Samura Kamara and other persons of interest in the ongoing Commissions of Inquiry, have challenged the veracity of claims made by the Government Transition Report, produced by the Bio Government in July, 2018, which states that the Ernest Koroma led Government sold 30% shares owned by the Sierra Leone Government at Sierra Rutile for over US$13 million in 2012.
The Commissions of Inquiry, under Justice Biobele Georgewill, is currently looking at the issues, and counsels representing the state are struggling to present evidence to the Commission that will both ascertain the sale and rope the then Minister of Finance and other senior officials of the Government.
Former Secretary to President Ernest Koroma, Osho Robin Coker, and current Financial Secretary, Sahr Jusu, have all appeared before the Commission as witnesses. The former Secretary to the President, like the Financial Secretary, has not provided much to prove the allegation.
Mr. Sahr Jusu presented an email from the Central Bank of Sierra Leone, but could not provide any other documents or evidence to ascertain that Government had indeed sold such shares at Sierra Rutile neither was he able to link any government official.
The witness had stated, during cross examination, that he only came to know about the sales when news went round that Government had sold 30% shares at Sierra Rutile.
Ade Macauley presented excerpts of the GTT report, which alleged that Government had sold the 30% shares and a letter from senior officials of Illuka Sierra Leone and Sierra Rutile Limited addressed to Chief Minister of the Government. The letter states that Iluka did due diligence during the takeover from Sierra Rutile and had in no way found that the Government of Sierra Leone sold shares at Sierra Rutile as alleged by the GTT Report.
The Financial Secretary told the Commission on Monday that he was not aware of the ILLUKA letter; but only came to know about it in the morning hours of Monday 11th June, 2019 when he was to appear before the Commission to testify for the second time.
The defense submitted both documents to the Commission to form part of the records of the Commission and they were accepted and marked as exhibits.
The Government and the Office of the Chief Minister had failed to make the Iluka and Sierra Rutile letter public since it was written in July, 2018 on the 30% allegations except when it was published quite recently by a local newspaper that is critical of the Government.
The defense counsel for Dr Samura Kamara and others, during cross examination, had squeezed the Financial Secretary on his role as Director of Debt Management and also questioned him on what role he played in advising Government towards the negotiation of local as well as international debts in the last 15 years. He responded that, by law, he was supposed to advise Government but it was never the case in some circumstances.
In another development, the state counsel, Oladipo Robin Mason at the Justice Biobele Commission of Enquiry, has closed his case in the Ebola inquiry, which started in February, for the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Miatta Kargbo, represented by Mr. Yada Williams, to make an official response to the allegations made against her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *