Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray and Alhaji Mohamed Alie Bah walked free from the court when a Freetown High Court Judge, Justice Reginald Sydney Fynn (Jnr.) vindicated them in a jam packed court room on all counts of corruption offences for which they were standing trial after a “no case submission” on their behalf was upheld.
The two discharged officials and others, including the former Vice President, Victor Bockarie Foh were charged to court by the country's anti - graft commission headed by Francis Ben Kaifala with various counts of public fund mismanagement, including the embezzlement of money meant for pilgrims in the 2017 Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj). And investigations into the case started since September 2017.
Meanwhile, the trial against former Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh, former Presidential aide, Alhaji Sheka Kamara, former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Abubakar Carew and a community worker, Ibrahim Fakeh Conteh still continues.
After the verdict, I rang the two vindicated former government functionaries for their reactions to the court's verdict. But all efforts to reach Alhaji Minkailu proved futile.
For Alhaji Alie Bah, he said he was very thankful and grateful to his Creator, Allah (SWT) for vindicating him.
As a scholar from the prestigious Islamic University of Al - Madinah Al Munawarrah, Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Alie Bah quoted Chapter 17, Verse 81 of the Holy Quran which says: "Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish."
He added that: "As a believer, I had always believed that I will be vindicated sooner or later. I knew I was innocent and clean from the allegations and I also believed that the truth shall always prevail."
Alhaji Bah further said: "I am also glad that the High Court presided over by the learned Justice Reginald Fynn has vindicated me. I had always believed in the rule of law and the justice system."
He also thanked his lawyers, his beloved wife, family, those who believed in him and all the foresighted people who stood by him and trusted him.
The former Minister of State who was appointed in 2015 also thanked the former President, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma for elevating and believing in him and the entire APC party and supporters across the country for their support throughout the trial.
Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray and Alhaji Alie Bah were represented by Lawyer Yada Williams and Ms. Stefanie James of the Roland Wright & Co. fame respectively.