A bench warrant has been issued for former Ombudsman Francis Gabbidon, following an application by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) to Justice Mary Sey at the Freetown High Court last Friday.
The application which was made by Lawyer Glenna Thompson on behalf of the ACC stated that, it is alleged the former Ombudsman “Francis A. Gabbidon on dates unknown in 2001 – 2007 being the Ombudsman of the Republic of Sierra Leone misappropriated public funds entrusted to him by falsely representing that certain individuals were employed by the office of the Ombudsman in various capacities spanning over a period of five years.”
“Mr. Gabbidon failed to appear in court and his whereabouts have been unknown since the afternoon of Thursday 10th July 2008” the ACC press release states.
Granting the application, Justice Sey ordered that the former Ombudsman should be arrested any where he is seen by the Sierra Leone Police or the general public, adding that he should be brought before the High Court for the commencement of the matter.
Sources within the ACC revealed that, the former Ombudsman will face a 168 count charge contrary to Section 12 sub section one of the ACC act, of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
The former ombudsman will be the first SLPP government official to be prosecuted by the ACC under the APC government since they came to office last year.
Also the Commission has filed a two count indictment for the offences of “Soliciting and Accepting an Advantage contrary to Section 8(1)(a) and (b) of the Anti Corruption Act 2000 as amended against, Santigie Abu Bai Kalokoh a Public Officer attached to the Public Service Commission of the Government of Sierra Leone as Higher Executive Officer.”
It is alleged that Santigie Abu Bai Kalokoh “solicited and accepted an advantage from two people so that he can assist their relative to secure enrollment into the Government of Sierra Leone Civil Service as a Nursing sister in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.”
Mr Kalokoh who was present in court and faced Justice Sey, “pleaded not guilty to both counts and was remanded on bail to appear before the same court on the 18th July 2008.”