State House, Freetown, Tuesday 29 January 2019 – Judges on the Commissions of Inquiry have today subscribed to the Oath of Office before His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio during a ceremony at State House.
The three judges, appointed recently, were Justice Biobele Georgewill from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Justice William Annan Atuguba from the Republic of Ghana and Justice Bankole Thompson, a Sierra Leonean judge.
Shortly after the ceremony, President Bio said he was pleased to welcome the judges to the country and wished them well as they embarked on a very difficult assignment. He said his government had decided to go beyond borders because of the difficult nature of the assignment and to ensure that there was fairness in the process.
He also thanked the judges for consenting to come at a time the nation was in dire need of their services, adding that because of the experiences of the judges, they were expected to be impartial and to do their job without bias and prejudice.
President Bio also assured the judges of his government’s support and asked for their independence during the entire process.
Chief Justice Babatunde Edwards said it was time for justice to be done and in a transparent and open way. He said Sierra Leoneans were looking up to the learned-justices to do an excellent job in bringing justice to Sierra Leone.
He added: “We are not going to tell them what to do in terms of the matters that they have before them, because they are sufficiently equipped in terms of having the right calibre and knowledge to handle what will come before them. They have a lot on their plates but I am sure they are able to navigate through it all and at the end, all of us will know that indeed justice has been done”.
Section 147 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991, provides the President with the powers to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into any matter of public interest. Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, the judges were appointed as Chairmen and Sole Commissioners of the Commissions of Inquiry as established by Constitutional Instrument No.65 of 2018.
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