EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was sent to the parliamentary leader of the All Peoples Congress (APC) on 8th July 2022. It was written by Africanist Press Editorial Department in response to public statements made by a member of the APC party in Parliament providing defense for President Julius Maada Bio against corruption reports published by Africanist Press. We decided to publish the letter because opposition Members of Parliament (MPs), and their parliamentary leader, did not acknowledge receipt of the correspondence. They also refused to respond to the questions raised in the correspondence. However, it is important to state that while Parliamentarians in Sierra Leone would, most times, individually acknowledge the seriousness of the evidence published by the Africanist Press, they collectively refused to officially institute an investigation into the evidence of corruption, including documentary evidence of illegal disbursements by the Finance Ministry, tax evasion, and other financial crimes contained in Africanist Press reports covering the four years of the Maada Bio administration.

On 18th February 2021, for instance, opposition leaders wrote a joint letter to the Speaker of Parliament, cailling for the Ministry of Finance officials to be invited to Parliament. The two leading MPs claimed they want to investigate the scandalous details of illegal budgetary allocations to the Office of the First Lady; a non-statutory institution that the Africanist Press investigation had shown was actively receiving public funds. In the letter, the opposition leaders deliberately failed to mention Africanist Press as the source of the investigation. They instead attributed credit to the BBC, a news organization in London that reported the details of the Africanist Press investigation after interviewing Chernoh Alpha Bah, the lead investigator of the Sierra Leone reports. Although the two leading opposition parliamentarians of the All Peoples Congress (APC) and National Grand Coalition (NGC) wrote the said letter, they nonetheless made no follow-up steps to act on the evidence that warranted them to write the said letter. Thus, it was obvious that the letter itself was a pretentious move by the said MPs to avoid public scrutiny on why they refused to sincerely perform their parliamentary functions, including the duty to exercise the stipulated constitutional powers that allows them the right to oversee and probe into government financial operations.

In the last four months, Africanist Press has been investigating and supervising parliamentary activities in Sierra Leone. We discovered an entrenched alliance between opposition leaders in Parliament and the incumbent President; a relationship that has affected the enforcement of transparency and accountability laws and regulations across all sectors of the government.

The corrupt relationship between Parliament and the Presidency has also affected the proper functioning of democracy and good governance in the country. In the last two months, Africanist Press began highlighting the twin relationship between financial corruption and political corruption, and the multiple ways this has affected the independence of state institutions, including the judiciary, the police department and other similar agencies.

The seriousness of the levels of state capture in Sierra Leone led Africanist Press to recently initiate a weekly public lecture series featuring journalist Chernoh Alpha Bah (Lead Discussant) and Amadu Massally (Moderator). The weekly discussion series, functioning as a public education campaign, helps to raise awareness among Sierra Leoneans and international policy makers on the seriousness of the situation in Sierra Leone.

In the first five weeks, we have discussed sufficiently the relationship between financial corruption and political corruption, and how these typologies of corruption results into state capture. We have also highlighted the impacts of state capture on democracy and multiparty politics; a subject that the Africanist Press investigative series hopes to explore in more greater detail.

We aim to find out how Parliament and the judiciary, for example, have been used to undermine multiparty politics and the wider implications to good governance, accountability and participatory democracy.

It is in this context that the direct and indirect efforts of MPs to help cover-up the corruption of the Bio administration have to be understood.

Our letter to the APC’s parliamentary leader and their refusal to acknowledge receipt of the letter, or respond to its queries illustrates the why Parliament has not perform its constitutional responsibility to protect the public funds and public assets of Sierra Leone from administrative theft and vandalism.

See Africanist Press website for more details: