The establishment of the Commission of Inquiry seems to have crafted a moment of ecstasy for most Sierra Leonean folks who are now watching the unfolding drama with consternation on one hand and with mirthful joy on the other. Overall, Sierra Leoneans are very enthusiastic about positive change in the country`s narrative of democracy and good governance.
The drama still goes on as the witnesses keep testifying or better still, are being interrogated by both the state and defense counsels in the Commission`s proceedings at the Special Court Complex in Freetown.
However, some Sierra Leoneans are of the opinion that the presentation of exhibits and the cross examination that follows have not only made the entire inquiry extremely transparent, but has transformed it into a platform for legal learning between the counsels and the different presiding Judges of the Inquiry.
In my view, the wit and truth exhibited by our Lawyers is phenomenal, and I must say that they are not doing badly at all. Perhaps, the only concern is that they should portray more dexterity in asking questions to the witnesses or with all due respect, consult some of us, the professional journalists for a little tutorial on investigative journalism, which involves the tactical skills of asking questions in critical thinking and investigative reportage. Nonetheless, the counsels have done exceptionally well so far.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Biobele Georgewill himself, has described the entire legal exercise as a “fact finding mission,” and the public suggests that the lawyers need to take it easy on the witnesses and perceive that the entire Commission of Inquiry is not a court trial, but a platform of fact finding or exhibition of evidence as postulated by the instruments that set it up.
For us members of the Press, we are very impressed by the professional reception rendered to journalists deployed at the different constitutional instruments/ court rooms at the Special Court Complex. Interestingly, it may sound humorous, but have got some critical thoughts on the notion why all court room numbers have “six” as their first digits.
I found it very interesting one day when one compatriots who prefers anonymity, told me that the number, “6” can draw someone`s mind to the sign of the Anti Christ, 666 which may have symbolised the end-time for anyone found guilty of a corrupt practice in the erstwhile government. On the other side of the coin, a JackPot Player believes that six is always a lucky number, and may have been attached to the fortune surrounding the notion of tackling corruption in the country.
But be that as it may, many people are very passionate about the fight against corruption and believe that the current Commission of Inquiry will savage the situation of perpetual corruption in the country.