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NEWS : Politics  

ACC Laws Enacted Under APC is a Smokescreen!
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Aug 21, 2009, 17:18
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The recent enacted ACC Laws are just a smokescreen to cover-up the active corruption of the corrupt entities in the APC regime! Parliamentarians looked at Section 66(4)(a)(b)(c) of the National Constitution which had said, subject to the direction of the Attorney General,

...the Director of Public Prosecutions shall have power in any case in which he considers it is desirable,

66(4)(a). to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court in respect of any offences against the laws of Sierra Leone;

66(4)(b). to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other person or authority; and

66(4)(c). to discontinue at any stage before judgement is delivered

BUT, in their "wisdom", the MPs decided to amend ONLY the 66(4)(a) section so that the portion now read as follows:

...the Director of Public Prosecutions shall have power in any case in which he considers it is desirable,

66(4)(a). to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court in respect of any offences against the laws of Sierra Leone except any offence involving corruption under the Anti-Corruption Act, 2000;

66(4)(b). to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other person or authority; and

66(4)(c). to discontinue at any stage before judgement is delivered

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Serry Kamal, actually employed smoke and mirrors tactics to sell snake oil to a gullible populace that he was no longer involved in prosecution of corruption matters. By the massive publicity of the amendment of 66(4)(a), the APCs Serry Kamal has cleverly left the world into believing that indeed he, as Attorney-General, no longer had the powers to affect any corruption matter that the Anti Corruption Commission might take to the Law Courts. Infact, right at the bottom of the ACC Bill of 2008, Mr. Serry-Kamal cleverly inserted self-serving comments that under the old 2000 Act, "the Anti-Corruption Commission did not have power to prosecute offences under that Act" and that the object of the new ACC 2008 Bill was to "plug the holes in the Anti-Corruption Act 2000".

The reality though is that whilst one hole (instituting the proceedings) might have been plugged, the ruling party and opposition SLPP Parliamentarians deliberately omitted to plug two other adjacent holes (taking over AND/OR discontinuing the proceedings) thus creating loopholes through which the Attorney General (AG) and Justice Minister can still pass, to freely interfere, into any corruption matter. Further, APCs propaganda apparatchik immediately proceeded to massively publicise worldwide that the AG is no longer involved in the institution of corruption matters but however failed to also publicise that the AG can freely take over such instituted matters and discontinue it.

It definitely could not be an oversight that Parliamentarians amended 66(4)(a) but left 66(4)(b) and 66(4)(c) intact. Infact, it is sheer incredulity for anyone to say the MPs could not have realised that they were telling the Attorney General that even though his Law Officers could not institute at his suit, Law Officers still retained the powers to "take over" and "discontinue" anything the Anti-Corruption Commission instituted. Otherwise, why did our noble Parliamentarians not add the phrase, "...except any offence involving corruption under the Anti-Corruption Act, 2000.." to the end of 66(4)(b) and 66(4)(c) like they did to 66(4)(a)? Or better still, why was the phrase not added to the introductory sentence of 64(4) so that it covers (a), (b) and (c)?

All the noise that has been made about ACC being given full prosecutorial powers to carry out to conclusion, corruption matter at the Courts, is misplaced.

The reality is that what Parliament has done, is to pass and amend laws that have created a scenario which simply allow Attorney General Serry Kamal, his Director of Public Prosecutions or any of their designated persons, to walk into the Courts and take over or nolle prosequi any corruption matter that Abdul Tejan Cole brings to the Courts. Additionally, not only did the Parliament allow Serry Kamal to still retain those powers but whilst in their wisdom, they saw it fit to amend the Constitution to allow Abdul Tejan Cole to initiate matters, they did not see it fit to amend the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) to allow Abdul Tejan Cole to make all criminal procedural applications that had hitherto been the sole purview of the Attorney General in criminal prosecutions. So, Abdul Tejan Cole can initiate but, in certain cases, he cannot even proceed with a corruption matter if he does not get the nod from Serry Kamal. A classic example recently was when Tejan Cole was forced to get Serry Kamal to make an application under the CPAs section 144(2) for trial by Judge alone, since he, Tejan Cole was impotent to make the application directly as Parliament forgot to empower him to do so. The Laws are just a corruption smokescreen!


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