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Confiscation of Properties of COI Indictees Ongoing
Juliana Vandy
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Confiscation of Properties of COI Indictees Ongoing

Confiscation of Properties of COI Indictees Ongoing

 

By: Juliana Vandy

Strategic Communications Unit,

Ministry of Information and Communications

 

 The Principal Legal Consultant in the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lahai Momoh Farmah, on Thursday 11th March 2021, updated the media on the status of implementation of the Government White Paper at the weekly government press briefing in the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Mr. Farmah recalled mentioning in his last presentation that they were on the verge of taking 20 of such properties to court for judicial processing, adding that since then they have added another eleven, bringing the total of confiscated properties to thirty-one.

He said that they will be publishing all the thirty-one properties as promised, pointing out that publication cannot be done without writing notices required for each of the properties involved.

All the stages, according to him, have been completed with the process reaching the point where the Attorney General’s office will revert to the Ministry of Information and Communications to facilitate the printing of the document through the Government Printing Department.

He entreated media practitioners to be updating the public on the process because the COI (Commissions of Inquiry) belong to the people and also the monies government is trying to retrieve are public funds.

Speaking on the appeals process, Mr. Farmah stated that there have been filings for stay of execution, saying after all these stages would have been completed his office will require the public to be sensitized on their interest particularly orders relating to eviction including what branch of the court that will be used in the process, security needed to execute the orders and how to control the properties in question at the end of it all.

On monies to be refunded to the state, Mr. Farmah stressed that the right to pay debt does not include the right to publish the names of persons paying the debt. "However if anybody decides to pay and publish his/her payment, the office has no problem with that," he clarified.

He said he could not precisely give the total amount of monies paid so far by persons of interest because it does not fall under their purview as an institution, noting that the recovery account was not opened in the ministry’s name but the Ministry of Finance at the Bank of Sierra Leone.

He further disclosed that the High Court has received up to one hundred and ten appeals on matters regarding the COI, successfully concluding seven which are now reserved for judgment.

The Principal Legal Consultant urged journalists to go and witness the processes in court to enable them accurately inform the public.

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