Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 June 2019:
When president Julius Maada Bio took office over a year ago, he promised to take the fight against corruption, where ever the evidence leads. Twelve months on, the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has recovered Billions of Leones from former government officials.
Corruption in high places is costing Sierra Leone Hundreds of Millions of Dollars every year. President Bio has vowed to end the culture of impunity in the country, and instil accountability and discipline across the public sector.
Yesterday, the ACC announced that after thorough investigation, they have uncovered several fraudulent conspiracies, carried out by officials serving in the former government. This is what the statement says:
“The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), wishes to inform the general public that, through intelligence-led investigation exercises, the under-mentioned properties have been confiscated; and are currently in its possession:
“1. Ribar Hotel, situated at No. 3 Sukutamba Street, Koidu City, Kono District. The Former Deputy Minister of Works, Abdul Barrie, who it was believed owned it, has denied ownership. It has therefore been sealed for the past eight (8) months.
“2. One White Unregistered Toyota Land Cruiser Vehicle, which was formerly in the possession of the Former Deputy Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, Madam Kadijatu Olamatu Seisay, which she had claimed was stolen from her driver, has been retrieved by the ACC from the Republic of Guinea.
“Our investigations established that it was sold through a corrupt conspiracy, claiming that the vehicle had been given to her by the Former President – Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, as her end of service benefit. She is currently standing trial for Misappropriation of Public Property.
“3. One White Registered Toyota Land Cruiser Vehicle ANS 219, which was found in the possession of an individual who claims it was hidden in his premises on the instructions of the Former Commissioner-General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), Haja Kalla Kamara.
“These properties are believed to have been corruptly acquired or kept by Public Officers and have now been retrieved by the ACC for the People of Sierra Leone.
“With respect to the Ribar Hotel, no one has laid claim to the property since it was confiscated by the ACC some eight months ago.
“In that regard, the Commission further informs the public that soonest, it will proceed to taking necessary steps to dispose of the said property and the proceeds returned to the State; or otherwise, will hand it over to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for forfeiture to the State.
“The Two White Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles will be handed over to the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, once the necessary administrative processes have been completed for re-allocation within the Public Service.”
The former Commissioner-General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), had entered into out of court settlement with the ACC, agreeing to pay back misappropriated public funds.