It is now apparent that past government officials of ex- president Koroma led APC regime who appealed the White Paper recommendations that stemmed from the Commission of Inquiry risk ban from participating in national politics should they lose their appeals.
This was divulged by the Principal Legal Adviser to the country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lahai Momoh Farmah, who was also part of the government’s team on the Judge-led Commissions of Inquiry that probed the financial activities of officials of the past regime.
Since Farmah made the statement, there has been a lot of debate in the country about its implication for APC politicians that want to contest for various national elective positions in the 2023 national elections, including that of the presidential candidate.
Many past government officials including former President Ernest Bai Koroma accused of corruption and whose assets/ properties are also up for forfeiture as recommended by the government White paper have appealed the decisions through their legal counsel in the Appeals Court.
Legal minds who spoke to Satellite are of the opinion that since the COIs were equivalent to a High Court, and that the COI served indictments against all the Persons of Interest, this implies that if they lose their appeals, they automatically become convicts.
The ban will affect some old national executive officers of the APC like the Chairman and Leader, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, from putting himself up for election.
The revised 2019 ACC Act states that any public official found guilty of corruption should be banned from public life for a period of at least three years.
The import of this has direct bearing on the political ambitions of many of the Persons of Interest, such as Dr Samura Kamara who the COI found wanting on the sale of Sierra Leone’s shares in Sierra Rutile, as well the likes of Dr Kelfala Marah, John Sesay and some others seeking elections in the 2023 national elections.