President Julius Maada Bio has on 9 July 2018, ordered the “Financial Secretary to write to the Managing Directors of Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and Rokel Commercial Bank instructing that all unpaid loans owed by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and Financially Exposed Persons (FEPs), as stated in the World Bank Funded Audit of Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and Rokel Commercial Bank, be paid within 30 working days or face litigation”.
On Friday 6th July 2018, President Bio convened an emergency Cabinet meeting wherein the President directed the “Minister of Finance and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to pursue action with respect to Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative (StAR)”.
“It is important to note that, the Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. Additionally, the Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative works with developing countries and financial centers to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and to facilitate more systematic and timely return of stolen assets”.
The President “directed the Secretary to the President to engage the Auditor General, Audit Service Sierra Leone, to immediately consider a Special Audit of all MDAs including the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and Rokel Commercial Bank.”
The update by the president also “directed the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to immediately lead on the establishment of a judge-led Commission of Inquiry as provided for in section 147 of Act No.6 of 1991. The Commission will consist of a Chairman who will be a judge of international repute and another renowned judge of national repute. The names of the judges will be announced shortly. The Commission will be mandated to conduct the necessary Inquiry within a stipulated time”.
And, “with the Cabinet, as the highest decision making body of the Government, has endorsed the Report of the Governance Transition Team, 2018; approved the Recommendations of the Report and authorized the Chief Minister, in consultation with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to lead the implementation of the Recommendations of the Report in a timely manner” the president ordered.