Many sober minded and neutral Sierra Leoneans have questioned the credibility of the Governance Transition Team Report produced in July, 2018 under the Chairmanship of Professor David Francis, Chief Minister of the Government of Sierra Leone.
Several people have challenged the report both locally and internationally, including Dr. Julius Spencer. Many other credible and local organizations have been mentioned in the report.
Governance Transition Reports are meant to provide a blueprint for the new Government to carry on with their business of providing the much needed services for their people. In many cases in the sub region, such as Ghana Transition, reports have been used to correct the wrongs in the previous regimes as well as improve on the transparency and accountability in the business of governing the state.
In our case, even though some people have commended the initiation of a GTT report, many have condemned the rhetoric and derogatory comments against almost everybody that had taken up office in the opposition.
During the presentation of the report by the Chairman of the GTT, past officials were branded as thieves, racketeers and a gang of criminals operating a criminal enterprise in the country. Their passports were immediately seized by the lame duck Sierra Leone Police even when the issues raised in the GTT report were mere allegations devoid of evidence.
Officials of the opposition were asked to report at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Sierra Leone Police and were subsequently required to seek authorization from the Attorney General if ever they wanted to leave the country.
The resumption of the Commissions of Enquiry created huge tensions in the country, as the APC had cleary stated that they would not attend the Commissions. The President, on the other hand, had threatened to ensure that all individuals who resist, if ever summoned to the Commissions, will face the full force of the law.
The Commissions of Inquiry started in February and four months down the line we have not seen the GTT REPORT helping or serving as a guiding document to the state counsels at the Commissions of Enquiry.
The state counsels started their case with a presentation of the various Audit Reports from 2007 to 2017. Since then these Audit reports have continued to provide sound evidences for most of the inquiries into various issues as they relate Youths Projects, purchase of fertilizer and Ebola, etc.
The GTT Report, which should be the basis for the Commissions of Inquiry, has failed to stand the test of time. The state counsels have not, at any point in time, made reference to the bogus report to establish their grounds in any of the investigations before the three Commissions.
I am tempted to write this piece because of the manner in which the state is struggling to prove its case in the alleged sale of the 30% shares, which was widely publicized by the GTT Report.
The allegations in the report, as they relate to the 30% shares, were debunked few days after the report was out by senior officers of both Iluka and Sierra Rutile Limited. They have confidently asserted that they conducted due diligence before the takeover and that they are convinced that neither former President Ernest Koroma nor John Bonoh Sesay ever sold any shares belonging to Government as claimed in the report.
The letter, dated 7th July, 2018, was concealed by the Chairman of the GTT mainly because it had not favoured their allegations against the previous Government.
Dr. Samura Kamara and former President Ernest Bai Koroma had also debunked the contents of the report. The former president has referred to the 136 page report as complete nonsense and further stated that there is no iota of credibility in the report.
The former APC flag bearer, Dr Samura Kamara, in an interview with a local radio station just after the presentation of the GTT report, had noted that the Governance Transition Team failed to interview him as the then Minister of Finance on the alleged sale of the shares and cited several offices such as Central Bank, the National Authorizing Office and the European Union Office in Sierra Leone where relevant information could be obtained about the transactions between the Government of Sierra Leone and Sierra Rutile in 2012.
As I speak, the Chairman of the GTT has not come out to challenge the contents of the Iluka/Sierra Rutile letter addressed to him. The two witnesses for the state in the inquiry into the alleged sale of the Government shares have not provided much in terms of evidence to link the Government of Sierra Leone to any sale of 30% shares.