The long awaited judgment of the suspended Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority, Mr. Alieu Sesay and four others, was received with a jubilant mood when Justice Eku Robert yesterday acquitted and discharges them on the grounds that there is no sufficient evidence provided by the prosecution to convict them
The Court Room at Roxy Building was crowded as there was not enough seating accommodation, as most listeners and press representatives had no option but to stand for about four hours inside the court, whilst other pressmen, listeners and family members of the accused persons were sitting on the steers outside the court, patiently waiting for the pronouncement.
Lawyer Reginald Fynn and Miatta M. Samba represent A.C.C. and Lawyer Tejan Cole, Yaada Williams and Annah Ahmed were for the first, fourth and fifth accused, while Lawyer Manley Spain represented the second and third accused.
The charges proffered against them were as follows: Counts 1-6 wilfully failing to comply with the procedures and guidelines relating to the tendering and awarding of contract, contrary to Sec. 48(2) b of the A.C.C. Act.
Counts 7-9 conspiracy to commit corruption offences, contrary to Sec. 128(1) of the A.C.C. Act.
Counts 10-12 knowingly misleading the A.C.C. contrary to Sec. 127(1) b of the A.C.C. Act.
Counts 13-31 abuse of office in respect of the award of contract, contrary to Sec. 42(1) of the A.C.C. Act
Counts 32-48 abuse of position, contrary to Sec. 43 of the A.C.C. Act
Counts 49-57 offering an advantage and accepting an advantage, contrary to Sec. 28(1) c of the A.C.C. Act
All accused persons pleaded not guilty against the charges; twenty-two witnesses testified in favour of the prosecution during the proceedings, while the accused persons relied on their statements made at the A.C.C.
Mr. Raymond Pratt, one of the accused persons burst into tears as the Judge delivered the ruling that there is not sufficient evidence against all accused persons to find them guilty on all charges.
Mr.Alieu Sesay and other accused persons walked out of the court room proudly as well-wishers and family members celebrated the victory along Walpole Street in central Freetown.
Mr.Sesay then asked his friends and family members to join him in performing the 2 0’clock prayers at the Freetown Central Mosque at Wilberforce Street.