Sierra Leone government Hajj scholarships sold to foreigners and the rich

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 August 2017

(Photo: Vice president Victor Foh – head of the Hajj Committee). The people of Sierra Leone have been ordered by president Koroma to observe five days of mourning, in honour of hundreds of their fellow citizens, whose lives were cut short by a massive devastation caused by landslide, after heavy rains in Freetown last week. Hundreds more remain unaccounted for, feared buried underneath the mud.

But whilst the poor people of Sierra Leone are mourning, corrupt senior government officials have been busy lining up their pockets with illegal proceeds from the sale of government scholarships, meant for the poorest in society to go to Mecca on Muslim pilgrimage.

This is a report by Platinum Media:

Platinum Media is currently investigating disturbing allegations of bribery involving some government functionaries over this year’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land of Mecca.

Our usually reliable sources say some intending pilgrims for this year’s Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca have been denied the opportunity because they cannot pay $ 2,500 to have their names included in the list of government scholarship beneficiaries. What is more disturbing is the revelation that this year’s selection criteria was completely ignored despite repeated warnings from State House.

The Hajj Committee, headed by the Vice President, Victor Bockarie Foh and Minister of Mineral Resources, Minkailu Mansaray has been mired in controversy after we also learnt that two individuals given the task to collate the names of beneficiaries have deliberately ignored instructions to have genuine and poor intending Muslim pilgrims benefit from the Hajj Scheme.

Sheka Kamara (Shekito), and former Member of Parliament – Nuru Deen Yillah, both Special Assistants to the President have been heavily linked to the unfolding scandal. There are unconfirmed reports that both men have been arrested by police.

Platinum Media is also very disturbed by the information that the names of Guinean and Malian nationals were through clandestine means included in the list of beneficiaries at the expense of Sierra Leonean pilgrims.

Our sources also say one Amira, a female staff at State House has been the one collecting bribe payments on behalf of the corrupt ring parading as genuine coordinators of the Hajj programme.

We have been approached by individuals that are willing to provide concrete evidence of how a group of greedy people are bent on tarnishing the reputation of a well appreciated Hajj  programme.

We are also calling on the Anti Corruption Commission to quickly intervene on what is turning out to be a very shameful episode in government’s quest to provide religious welfare to its citizens. (End of Platinum’s report).

Latest Development: Hajj thieves Sacked

President Ernest Bai Koroma has sacked, with immediate effect, three leading members of the Hajj Committee in the wake of shocking revelations on how they sold government pilgrimage scholarships meant for poor Muslims.

Special Assistants to the President in charge of Social and Political Affairs respectively, Sheka Kamara (Shekito) and Hon. Nuru Deen Sankoh, and the Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President Alhaji A.M Bah have all been sacked. They will face investigations by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).

Reports have it that these disgraced and sacked government functionaries sold government hajj scholarships to foreign nationals between $2,500 and $8,000 whilst the actual beneficiaries were left stranded in the cold at Youyi Building for several days, unable to travel to Mecca.

Editor’s Note

kindly donate to our Freetown Flood Disaster Emergency Appeal. We’re raising £50000 to Help victims of the massive flooding in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which has taken the lives of hundreds of people, with thousands now homeless.

Please go to our JustGiving Crowdfunding Page and help make it happen:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/freetownflooddisasteremergencyappeal?utm_id=2&utm_term=RP2Xbe26B

4 Comments

  1. I always believe the APC government comprises of a bunch of clowns that must be entertaining people in a circus and they have no business running our country. Most people of Sierra Leone have been reduced to making APC leaders their demi gods – namely late presidents Siaka Stevens, late Joseph Saidu Momoh and now president Earnest Koroma.

    May Almighty God have mercy on us for bringing the APC government back in office after some brave young soldiers sacrificed their lives to free the nation from mental slavery and bondage for almost three decades. I am even tempted to believe that most of the unfortunate incidents that are occurring in our nation is a plague from God to the people of Sierra Leone for bringing the APC government back to power.

    I hope and pray that the nation will eventually learn from this latest disaster that the first commandment clearly states ” Thou shalt have no other gods before me or similar ” as in our case President Koroma. The only recipe for development and prosperity for our nation should be law and order which is not in the DNA of the APC government. Hopefully next year the people of Sierra Leone will do whatever it takes to move these clowns out of office.

  2. President Koroma does not deserve any praise for his action. This is part of his modus operandi. As far as I am concerned he has presided over the looting of our state coffers with impunity.

    The press statement itself is ambiguous and I will not be surprised to see these gentlemen reassigned to other duties like others before them, accused of embezzlement and bribery, such as his current Transportation Minister Logus Koroma; his former Minister of Information Alpha Khan; former Chief of Staff Richard Conteh and a host of many others in his administration.

    The only thing President Koroma has done for our country is to expose our country to unwanted ridicule, and the distinction as the world’s poorest nation.

  3. It makes a mockery of the faith… what about the poor who religiously attend the Mosques… but there again what you expect, APC SLPP … all a bunch of liars, lining their pockets…. useless people…. no compassion for the common man …

  4. Wait a minute! Were these not the three men who were on tape last year as Minister Bylden went after her then Permanent Secretary Mr. Momoh Foh who happen to be the brother of the APC appointed VP Mr. Victor Foh?

    Has the APC appointed VP Mr. Victor Foh come back to hurt these three men for their roles in conniving with Minister Bylden to disgrace his brother and by extension his name?

    By the way, what has become of the case of alleged $3000 checks fraud against Mr. Momoh Foh (this money was also part of the HAFF funds)? Is Mr. Momoh Foh a sacred cow because he is related the number two man in the APC led government of President Koroma?

    Did Mr. Bah in particular who was working with the APC appointed VP not seal his own political fate when he back-stabbed the APC appointed VP Mr. Victor Foh by conspiring with Minister Sylvia Blyden to record secretly and post on social Media a telephone conversation between himself, miss Blyden, Sheka Kamara and the VP’s brother Mr Momoh Foh?

    Salone deep oh!!!

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