ACC Public Relations Office: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 December 2020:
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wishes to inform the general public that it has presented to His Excellency, President Brig. (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio, a cheque of EIGHT BILLION LEONES (Le 8BN) as part of a total of TWENTY-SIX BILLION EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION LEONES (Le 26.8 BN) recovered since July 2018 from the corrupt as part of its non-conviction based asset recovery. (Photo above: ACC boss – Kaifala hands over cheque to president Bio).
This 8 billion Leones cheque represents the total recovery in cash from the corrupt for the year ending December 2020. The presentation ceremony took place today, Wednesday 30th December, 2020, at State House in Freetown.
Presenting the cheque to President Bio, the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., said a strong anti-corruption effort goes after “the assets” in addition to strategies like prosecution, prevention and public education and not just “the person”.
He stated, “In Africa, we have been a leading example in the way to fight corruption and I am proud to say many other countries are following and learning from us”.
He went further to note that, the cheque is part of undiluted non-conviction-based asset recovery effort only; and does not include monies recovered on behalf of Government agencies, fines imposed by the Courts, and other assets recovered like houses and vehicles.
Receiving the cheque, the President thanked the ACC Commissioner and his Team for “the way they have spearheaded one of the most difficult fights admirably”.
He said most of the problems the country faces today are as a result of acts of corruption and the fact that little or nothing was being done to combat them over the years preceding his tenure.
“We know corruption always fights back, but we should never relent because this is a fight for the poorest of the poor,” the President said.
He said he is happy that the anti-corruption campaign is producing results that have made him proud because of the way other nations make reference to Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption efforts in his presence at high level meetings and in conversations among his peers.
The President reiterated his commitment to building a modern medical diagnostic centre in Sierra Leone from the stolen funds recovered by the ACC, which he said is central to his Human Capital Development agenda.
Reinhard wiecha, thanks for your corrections sir. Noted!! Obviously, I happen to be among those who err in mathematical calculations.
Folks, below is a snippet of what was reported in an article published in this medium back in March of 2020, authored by the renowned investigative journalist team of African Press, regarding the over bloated salaries of top government officials, with the finance department being at the crosshair. “The Ministry of Finance hereby provides the following clarifications: 1) The gross monthly salary of the current Financial Secretary, Mr. Sahr L. Jusu is Le86.9 million. This is the exact monthly salary that was received by the former Financial Secretary , Mr. Edmond Koroma up to 3l51 March 2018. No increase in salary has thus been awarded to the current Financial Secretary beyond what was received by his predecessor.”
Few weeks ago when I was in town, I was mostly getting 1,060,000 Leones per $100. Now, if we are to be conservative and take 1 million Leones for $100, then 86 million per month is equal to $8,500. This will translate to Sahr Jusu making over $100,000 of basic salary annual, which according to the Salary levels set by former EBK regime, the ACC czar happen to receive a salary level among the top 1 percent. So Mr. Fallay, there you have your proof sir.
Now in regards to the recovered money of $80,000 or $800,000 as you have pointed, I hope you read my first few words in the statement “Folks, if my math is correct, 8 billion Leones is equivalent to $80,000 dollars”. Unlike those of you who have sold your souls to political demi-gods, spreading propagandist messages to suit their cravings, and continue to lie your way when caught, I will always own up to my human mistakes. So indeed if my math was wrong, I welcome any corrections. Now if over 2.5 million dollars have been recovered and slated towards the medical diagnostic center, what is the hold up Mr. Fallay? Why for almost 3 years, all we hear is the empty talk? Why not start some physical development with the 2.5 million dollars?
Sorry Mr. Young4na, your math is not correct. 8 billion Leones is about $800.000
8.000.000.000 Leones = $800.000 (0000)
Young4na, with all due respect, in this glorious forum “You are entitled to your personal opinion but not your own facts”. In one of your recent comments, you stated that you just arrived from Sierra Leone were you spent about 7 weeks. And I can categorically tell you that you never exchanged $1 for Le8,000. That statement alone is misleading to readers on this glorious forum; and to further minimize the total Cheque amount handed over to the president is just unfortunate.
Since you have always played the moral role of “FACT CHECKER” I hope you will from now on continue to practice what you preach. I hope and pray that you will provide proof to back up your statements otherwise you owe all the 26,000 readers of this credible newspaper an apology. The least you can do now is to say THANK YOU to our young ACC commissioner Mr. Francis Ben Kaifala (who you claimed is making $80, 000) for retrieving over $800,000 (eight hundred thousand dollars) now and a grand total of over $2.5 million of stolen monies back to the citizens of our beloved country within the past two years six months of the new direction government.
Let’s continue to pray for President Bio to achieve his dream of building a modern health diagnostic center which will definitely help in transforming the lives of our citizens.
I, Michael Ngegbai will always remain to appreciate the Anti Corruption Commission. Greater thanks and appreciation for the job well done.
Folks, if my math is correct, 8 billion Leones is equivalent to $80,000 dollars per current exchange rate in the country. While this amount might sound a lot from a naïve individual, this is peanut for the current elite PAOPA criminal cabals, many of whom if thoroughly investigated, could be found wanting for taking home an excess yearly loot in the range of $150,000 – $200,000; if not more.
Even the basic salary of Ben Kaifala himself surpasses this $80,000 amount being trumpeted as an entire year recovery. So forgive me if I don’t join the bandwagon of the typical regime’s praise singers. There is nothing worth celebrating here folks!!
Totally agree with you my brother Young4na. 8 billion Leones is such a tiny sum. Makes you wonder why they came up with that figure? So far, the 2019 audit report and the missing billons is far greater than this amount that has been dangled in front of our eyes. My fear is Ben Kaifalah, the ACC boss, whose job description states he should be fair and independent minded, has so far fallen far short of what is expected of him. More like he and Bio are working on an agenda, to investigate the people that Bio considers his public enemy number one. And there are no shortage of them and if you are in Bio’s orbit, there is a lot of them.
Now Bio, said he will use this cheque to build a modern diagnostic health centre. To me that centre can wait, or be put on hold. Right now the priority for any responsible government, words you can hardly associate with Bio, and his laid back thinking, is to get their hands on the newly developed covid19 vaccine, before you think of building any new health facilities. What is the point of having this diagnostic health Centre, if covid19 is still in circulation amongst the general population and killing people. Mr president first things first.
Use the 8 billion to get hold of the vaccine, and inculcate the vulnerable population, then extend it out to the general population, especially Freetown and other urban centres like Makeni, Bo, Kabala, Kono, Kenema, Kailahun, Port Loko, Kambia, Magburaka and Tonkolili. From what we know the Pfizer vaccine costs 25 dollars for the two jabs required, for it to be effective or be able to protect you from the corona virus. The AstraZeneca one, cost less than that. Suffice to say how reckless Bio and his team are, when making public procurement.
Hopefully, the purchase of this vaccine does not give licence to corrupt government ministers to enrich themselves on our backs. Once we get the vaccine, it should be made available to the highly concentrated population centres in the country. And as we now know, this virus likes nothing better, than to be circulating and infecting where people are concentrated. May God bless Sierra Leone.
8 billion? Well congrats to Ben Kaifala and his team. At least it answered one part of the question that I posed not long ago, about the whereabout of the recovered missing, or misappropriated funds, from some of our corrupt public officials. And what they were doing with those monies? If this recovered funds had been held in a commercial bank account, on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, how long have those funds been sitting in that public account, and what is the interest rates they have accumulated? Given the snail like pace this corruption probe is taking, is any wonder the ACC is being accused of foot dragging. And why are the names of the people making these payments shrouded in secret? They should be named and shamed, otherwise they will do it again.
We don’t expect Ben and his team having this recovered stolen monies placed under their mattresses until they are ready to hand it to Bio and his cronies. But this 8 billion is just a mere drop in the ocean of missing public funds. The missing funds in 2019 audit alone, is more than the sum of the cheques handed to Bio. I will say twenty times more. We are just in the foot hill trying to scale the mountain of corruption, placed side by side, will dwarfed Bintumani mountains in the Koinadugu district, or the Wara Wara mountains overlooking Kabala. There is lot more to this than meets the eye. The fact that, they have been recovered whether its the threat of court action, or the threat of seizure of asset, or prosecution, or all of the above by uncooperative, crooked, corrupt public officials remains to be seen.
No one should be fooled by the image of Bio receiving a cheque for some of the recovered stolen assets. If this is another public relations exercise to divert the attention of the public from the 2019 audit report, it has not only failed, now it has galvanised the public appetite for more action from Ben. I hope Ben is not playing to the gallery or this public pantomime of public relations exercise that Bio has mastered since taking office.
I am delighted to hear our government is committed to building a modern medical diagnostic centre. It is about time and it is a sine qua non in any nation. I recall my time teaching in COMAHS and caring for patients when we lacked the essential tools of investigation and only the rich can afford to proceed overseas. There are some very bright Sierra Leonean doctors abroad who would welcome this announcement and this may prove an incitement to return home.
ACC hands over 8 billion Leones-huh? I cannot help but laugh. How exactly do we truly know this is unequivocally the correct amounts that were recovered in an unscrupulous dubious process that is arguably totally lacking in fairness and transparency? And who are those vigilant sentries watching over the affairs of the corrupt ACC in order to ensure accountability, equity and credibility are given unbridled pre-eminence over everything else in these critical financial matters? Please don’t tell me these criminals are like neglected toddlers watching over themselves instead of another legitimate independent body. 8 billion Leones, huh?
Gentlemen, if you are very sure of those figures, then be kind enough in the interest of transparency to release all documents, transcripts, bank statements, minutes of meeting,(written records of all that has transpired during your negotiations and intimidations of accused persons held in good faith or under threats, coercion and duress)(lol). You want to blow loud trumpets of achievements? Then you must allow us to scrutinize, inspect and examine closely and thoroughly your every dealing as if you were another rare specimen under a microscope.
8 billion Leones out of hundreds of billions is not something to be proud about – it is a nauseating paltry sum to be thrown into our empty coffers after the tribe that takes no bribes has finished concealing and stashing away millions of dollars inside hidden vaults situated beneath their demonic occultist SLPP shrines.(lol) An old soldier without a mission and an inept ACC without a crystal clear vision – What a sorry sight!