The government of Sierra Leone has officially concluded its case against the suspended Auditor General, Lara Taylor Pearce, and her deputy, Tamba Momoh, in a tribunal that commenced on June 3, 2022.

The charges include professional misconduct, conflict of interest, breach of confidentiality, and third-party confirmation.

The proceedings unfolded with the state presenting seven witnesses to support its case. However, Roland Wright, counsel for the first defendant, expressed surprise at the abrupt conclusion of the state’s case, citing a lack of prior notice regarding the number of witnesses they intended to call. Wright claimed to have been ambushed and pressed the three-member panel for a two-week adjournment to adequately prepare a defense. Despite his request, the tribunal granted an extension until Thursday, November 30, 2023.

During the recent session, Ahmed James Bockarie, the principal state counsel, took center stage by presenting a crucial piece of evidence โ€“ a 186-page attendance register for senior management covering the period 2015-2021. Additionally, a two-page letter allegedly authored by the suspended Auditor General on October 22, 2021, addressed to the secretary to the President was tendered.

On Tuesday, the tribunal heard damning testimony from two senior staff members of the Audit Service Sierra Leone. They claimed that Lara Taylor Pearce had instructed an audit team to abandon a performance auditing exercise focused on the Freetown City Mayor’s Transform Freetown project.

The unfolding developments in this high-profile case continue to capture public attention, with the suspended Auditor General and her deputy facing serious allegations that could have far-reaching implications on their professional careers. As the tribunal progresses, the spotlight remains on the legal maneuverings and revelations that emerge within the hallowed halls of justice.