Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 January 2021:
Sierra Leone’s main opposition political party – the All People’s Congress (APC), today published a damning statement, accusing the Bio-led government of “State capture”, after reports of rampant corruption in the government.
The Auditor General’s 2019 report on the government’s management and use of State resources and public funds is replete with evidence of serious mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds, estimated at over One Hundred Million Dollars.
Writing for the APC, this is what Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh, the National Secretary General of the party said today:
For months now, the national social media has been awash with comments on various publications alleging serious instances of corruption in very high places in Sierra Leone.
Of all the publications, none has been viewed with awe than the 2019 Auditor General’s Report and scandalous revelations by the reputable Africanist Press. The article titled “Sierra Leone: President and First Lady Spent over Le10 Billion on Lebanon Holiday” is the latest in the series of such articles by the Africanist Press. Previous articles include:
1. “Sierra Leone: President and First Lady spent Le5.2 Billion on December travel and holiday” (January 5, 2021);
2. “President Bio, Lead way Trading, and Sierra Leone’s Timber Export Devaluation” (November 19, 2020);
3. “Sierra Leone: Le21.3 billion spent on irregular procurement” (November 7, 2020); and
4. “Sierra Leone: Le27.2 billion missing in maritime revenues” (October 30, 2020).
As it is obvious from their titles, all of these articles point an accusatory finger at the President and his wife, the First Lady.
These articles have not only been written by reputable investigative journalists from Sierra Leone, United Kingdom and elsewhere, their allegations are also solidly backed up by documentary evidences obtained from President Bio’s government sources.
Moreover, coming as they do at a time when the country is experiencing its worst economic and financial crisis since independence, these allegations clearly underscore the emergence of a whole new level and type of corruption that verges on the borderline of ‘State Capture’ never seen before in our country.
This new type of corruption, State Capture, is occurring in President Bio’s watch and in cahoots with his ruling ‘Paopa’ elite and powerful businessmen that manipulate policy formation and influence the rules of the game (including laws and financial regulations) to their own advantage and to the utter disadvantage and detriment of the already suffering masses of Sierra Leoneans struggling to meet their daily basic human needs.
In addition, the circulation of such articles in the Social Media and elsewhere directly and unequivocally accusing the President of our country and his Spouse, the First Lady, of withdrawing huge amounts of foreign currency from the Central Bank and Consolidated Revenue Fund does not only send a disturbing signal to our development partners, it also damages and dents the credibility of Sierra Leone as a destination for any type of foreign investment.
Thus, while the country waits the Auditor General’s 2019 Report to go through the necessary statutory processes including Parliamentary scrutiny and review by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the allegations contained in the Africanist Press publication are so serious to the level that we, the All Peoples’ Congress as the largest Opposition Party in the country and our citizens can no longer wait but to raise the alarm and demand that President Bio, his wife and government come clean by assuring the nation, with concrete documentary and credible evidence, that the Africanist press allegations are not true.
Signed: Amb. Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh National Secretary General – APC.