Whether it was a plea-bargain or for political reason Dr. Bundu must explain

Mr. Kalilu .I. Totangi should not have been the right person to defend the Passport Mafia, Dr. Abass Bundu. Whatever syllogism or hypothetical statement he uses or legal loophole to save the skin of his counterpart he would not win. Of course, one would understand why Kalilu .I.Totangi is playing the role of a Defence Attorney on the platform of the “Pious Foray Court” that is appreciated by less than five hundred readers, which does not go beyond Waterloo where Pious Foray has opened another Cookery Shop to attract young girls along the New Freetown-Waterloo Road.

For those who may know the author of that piece ‘Beware The Antics of Yellow Journalists And Their Desperate Political Paymasters” published in the Democrat of 2nd April, 2012 edition on page 6 he is not different from Dr. Abass Bundu in a number of ways. Journalists who went through the funded UNDP Communication Strategy Training to become Information Officers can still recalled how funds provided by UNDP was embezzled, misappropriated and wrongly utilized by Kalilu .I.Totangi when he was in charge of the programme. The unfortunate situation and unpatriotic action of this individual who ran away from the United States of America caused the collapse of such a brilliant and rewarding programme. Those Journalists who should have benefitted from the programme ended up being displaced and unemployed.

This is the Defence Attorney of Dr Abass Bundu, as the saying goes “Anvil of identical plumage converge excessively” Since he was shown the exit doors of the Ministry of Information and Communication during the tenure of Professor Septimus Kaikai, even Hon. I.B.Kargbo has refused to countenance his talent or contribution to any donor funded project for fear that history will repeat itself. “It was the same antics that were applied in 2007, when a notorious blackmail journalist published a lie that the Government of Tejan Kabbah had sold Libyan rice and pocketed the money…” wrote Kalilu I.Totangi the embezzler of donor fund. Perhaps, additional information about the Libyan rice would keep him quiet and come to the realization that “There are Journalists and there are Journalists’ the other shipload of Libyan rice was sold in Ghana and bought by a very wealthy Lebanese Businessman (name withheld), who was a close friend of ex-President Tejan Kabbah. This Lebanese businessman owns huge buildings in Freetown- Sierra Leone and one of it was bought by NASSIT that is currently utilized by the institution as its Head Office.

The Libyan rice is now history, but if Kalilu I.Totangi wants it discussed for the second time it would not be to his advantage or his political party. There are pieces of evidence in the possession of this press, which are very pertinent to the story. Evidence bearing the signature of the former Attorney General, Mr. Fred Carew who forced a retraction to be published with threat of sending the editorial team to jail if the condition is not fulfilled is still available with this press.   Coming to the Dr. Abass Bundu Passport case that is hanging over his head, Kalilu I.Totangi whose new role is a self appointed Defence Attorney has failed to recognize the fact that it is not a hard and fast rule for the action of one government to be complied by the other. If Dr. Abass Bundu was absolved of any wrong doing by the Kabbah-led SLPP government why was he not acquitted and discharged and a certificate issued to him by the Court? At the Criminal Investigation Department(CID) where statement was obtained from him two days back he admitted receiving money from Frank Yiu and claimed that it was a personal donation to his electioneering campaign, which sounds ridiculous and a provocation to the intelligence of Sierra Leoneans.

He told Detectives that he was acquitted in the matter. Acquittal alone is not sufficient to walk the streets of Freetown as a free man or a discharge. Both should be secured in any criminal matter, therefore if Dr. Abass Bundu has confirmed that he was only discharged from court, which means that he could be called upon again when fresh evidence emerges.

A plea-bargain; which Dr. Abass Bundu fully knows about is a guilty verdict.  What it does, is that it prevents the herculean task of going into a full blown trial, but does not exclude the penalty and punishment, because it takes into account time, Judges and Magistrates could be lenient. It is an out of Court arrangement between the Prosecutor and Defence on behalf of a client. Dr. Abass Bundu may have entered into a plea bargain with the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Hon. Solomon Ekuma Berewa, or his lawyers did that on his behalf and agreed to refund monies collected from Frank Yiu. This was done against the background of not going to the open Court to be prosecuted, where evidence would be adduced in Court. It is not known what the line of argument or defence is, by the self appointed Defence Attorney. The action of Government is neither a witch-hunt nor a political victimization, but  a demand to account of his stewardship regarding those Passports he collected monies from the appointed agent that he should refund to the people and Government what rightly belongs to them.

It is absurd for Kalilu I.Totangi to make a “no case submission” on behalf of Dr. Abass Bundu when he knows that there are substantial and circumstantial evidence against him. Regarding the payment of US$105,000 that he argued was honoured by a bank draft. It would surprise him to know that it was not a bank draft but a cheque that should be withdrawn from his London Bank Account. A copy of the Cheque was shown to Journalists at the office of the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice during a Press Conference when Hon. Solomon Berewa told Pressmen that Dr. Bundu has given an indication to pay and produced a copy of the Cheque that he paid to Government. One weighs the argument of Kalilu I.Totangi as fluid and lacks the ingredients of a good Defence Attorney. He will have to hold further consultations with his client, if he is to pursue  the matter, if not he would end up crashing at the wide gates of the Law Court Building when the matter kicks up for hearing.

The letter from the late Fred Carew that Kalilu I.Totangi is waving on the faces of those who are not aufait with the procedures of criminal cases and also which he himself cannot fully comprehend and assimilate did not state that the matter has been nullified. In another words, the letter is not a nolle prosequi, which powers rest in the hands of the Attorney General or the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), even with that; an incoming Government has the power to recommence proceedings if it choose to do so pending the gravity of evidence available.

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