Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 June 2021:
Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday said it has filed corruption indictment against Paul Sobba Massaquoi, Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA); Peter Joseph Menjor, Acting Director of Procurement, SLMA; Fodie U.K Dabor, the Acting Director of Finance, SLMA; Hartwell Williams, Quality and Assurance Manager, SLMA; Victor Alpha, Human Resource Manager, SLMA; and Festus Musa, Procurement Supervisor of SLMA.
They have all been charged with five counts of corruption offences including; Conspiracy to Commit a Corruption Offence, contrary to Section 128(1)(a); Failure to Comply with Applicable Procedures and Guidelines, contrary to Section 48(2)(b); and Abuse of Office, contrary to Section 42(1), and Knowingly misleading the Commission, contrary to Section 127 (1)(b) of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 12, of 2008, as amended by the Anti-Corruption Act No.9 of 2019, respectively.
According to the ACC, the charges concern wilful failure to conduct a bidding process as required by Sections 37 and 39 of the Public Procurement Act No.1 of 2016, in regard the rehabilitation of the SLMA Headquarters Building in Freetown, Conspiracy to commit corruption offences, and wilful failure to comply with Applicable Procedures and Guidelines relating to the Procurement of Works, in respect of the same.
In addition, Paul Sobba Massaquoi, Fodie U.K Dabor, Hartwell Williams, and Victor Alpha have been charged with knowingly misleading the Commission by making statements to the Investigators of the ACC, that a procurement process was conducted in respect of the procurement of works for the rehabilitation of the SLMA Headquarters building in Freetown, when in truth and in fact, no procurement process was conducted in respect of the said procurement.
All four accused face jointly – one count of knowingly misleading the Commission.
The ACC said that Peter Joseph Menjor, Acting Director of Procurement, SLMA on the other hand, between 17th February and 18th March, 2021, knowingly misled the Anti-Corruption Commission by making statements that his signatures appended to the documents purporting to be connected with a procurement process were not authored by him, when in truth and in fact, the said signatures were authored by him. He faces separately, one count of knowingly misleading the Commission, contrary to Section 127 (1)(b) of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 12, of 2008 as amended by the Anti-Corruption Act No.9 of 2019.
Paul Sobba Massaquoi, Executive Director of the SLMA, is also charged with Abuse of Office by improperly awarding a contract to rehabilitate the SLMA Headquarters building, without having a bidding process conducted in compliance with the Applicable Procedures and Guidelines relating to the Procurement of Works.
The Six accused are expected to appear in the High Court of Sierra Leone in Freetown on Thursday 3rd June 2021.