The Budget Advocacy Network and Partners are calling the government of President Julius Maada Bio to release the report of the Auditor General’s tribunal for public consumption.

In a meeting held at their office, they hosted several stakeholders including the media at a press conference geared towards the release of the report. 

In his statement, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, emphasized their active involvement in advocating for transparency following the suspension of the Auditor General and her Deputy by President Bio in November 2021.

Nasralla stressed SLAJ’s commitment to upholding free speech, press freedom, and the public’s right to information.

He mentioned that SLAJ holds the office of the Auditor General in high esteem because of her long track record of integrity, credibility, and impartiality in promoting transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

Nasralla joined other partners in urging President Bio to prioritize independence, fairness, and transparency by releasing the Tribunal’s report promptly.

The representative from Legal Research and Advocacy for Justice, Mohamed Wurie Bah started by stating that they had raised concerns towards the suspension of the Auditor General to the government. He said that they are concerned because this has to be the cornerstone of democracy because the office of the Auditor General was established by Law to hold the government accountable and if there is any suspension at that office it is a serious concern which was why they joined forces with those other organizations towards the release of the Tribunal Report. 

He went on to state that they have been following the Tribunal set up to investigate the suspension of the Auditor General and now it has finished but the report was not made accessible to them and they cannot talk about it. He said all they are asking for is transparency for democracy to thrive and the cornerstone of the principle of democracy is for the other side to be heard and for that to uphold is for the report be released and they see them. He said that the government has raised concern that legally the report should only be given exclusively to the President based on a Law from the constitution, but they do not believe that and think that the report should be shared to for public consumption as that is the fundamental aspect of democracy. 

The representative from 50-50 Group an organization that advocates for female right in politics and other affairs said that they joined forces with others in this fight to ask questions about the suspension of the Auditor General, Lara Taylor Pearce. 

She said even though that the report has been presented to the President it must also be made public for the people to see and comprehend to know exactly what the charges and rulings in the Tribunal were. She said that she knew that for women to go into leadership position is not easy and the Auditor General had been a role model for many women and such thing to be done to her can scar women to contest to such position. In that light she called on the government to bring the report out now that the rulling was out.