24th December is Deadline for Payment of Stolen Public Funds -Legal Consultant States

By Amin Kef Sesay

Barrister Lahai Momoh Farmah, who is the Principal Legal Consultant at office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, has categorically admonished all those indicted by the Government White Paper to repay public funds that were allegedly stolen as indicated by the Commissions of Inquiry against the 24th December, 2020 or face the full force of the law.

He stated that on the 9th November 2020 during a news conference that was held at the Ministry of Information and Communications Conference Room 8th Floor Youyi Building in Freetown.

The Principal Legal Consultant explained that December 24 will be exactly three months since the Government White Paper was disclosed by His Excellency the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, meaning that the grace period of 90 days ends on that day.

He maintained that they will go into full enforcement of the recommendations immediately after the expiration of the grace period, and that those who have not entered into plea bargain or have not started paying back will be forced to comply.

Barrister Farma dilated on the steps taken so far by the Ministry of Justice to ensure implementation of the White Paper recommendations, saying that there are three stages involved and two are already underway.

He revealed that they have received a substantial amount of people and institutions that have already opted to pay back what they stole and they have started paying into a special account set up for that purpose by the Accountant General’s Office.

The Barrister commended the Ministry of Information and Communications for popularising the White Paper nationally and for engaging stakeholders regionally on its findings and recommendations.

He furthered that they have already received 58 appeals from indicted persons and they are presently working on preparing responses to all of them.

He assured that they are working round the clock to ensure that those that have legitimate and genuine appeals get justice while those that owe the Government must pay.

The Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, reiterated that the White Paper recommendations will be implemented to the fullest and nobody will scuttle it, adding that anybody who dares to stand before its implementation will face the full force of the law.

The news conference was moderated by the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Mamadi Gobeh Kamara.


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