Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 November 2019:
In Sierra Leone, the long-awaited inquiry into the assets of former president Koroma and other senior public officials in his APC government, will commence sitting on Monday, 11 November 2019.
The inquiry will look into the financial affairs of former president Ernest Bai Koroma, former vice president Victor Bockarie Foh, former ministers, heads of departments and parastatals.
Since 2007 when former president Ernest Bai Koroma and his government took office, after winning presidential and general elections, and then went on to serve two terms before he and his government were voted out in March 2018, there have been serious allegations of rampant corruption and amassing of unexplained wealth that need to be looked into, once and for all to set the record straight and hold them to account fairly.
Many in Sierra Leone believe that former president Koroma was one of the richest presidents on the African continent, alleged to have illegally accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars, stashed away in off-shore accounts and in real estate in Europe.
There are allegations also that the former president owns dozens of real estate properties across the country, especially in Freetown and Makeni – his hometown.
Other former senior government ministers are also alleged to have misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars from the State.
These allegations will be investigated by the Commission of Inquiry set up last year by president Julius Maada Bio, to look into the running of the country by the former president and his ministers.
Sierra Leone is ranked as one of the poorest nations in the world, despite having massive reserves of natural resources and minerals.
Average daily income per person in Sierra Leone is less than $1.50, while daily cost of living per household is more than $10.
Over 60% of the adult population are unemployed, with an average life expectancy of less than 50 years.
It is estimated that the country loses about $500 million in corruption every year, causing widespread poverty, destitution, illiteracy and poor health among the majority of the population.
A Government Transition Team Committee report published by the Bio-led government last year, said it had found evidence of corruption on a grand scale, estimated at over $2 billion, most of which related to improper public procurement processes, abuse of office, misappropriation of funds, and theft of public property.
What the Commission of Inquiry will seek to do – with the help of the Anti-Corruption Commission is to sift through all the evidence collected by the Transition Team Committee, to match against all allegations of corruption by former government officials.
The Commission will also look into the annual asset declaration forms of former senior government officials, their Bank Account transactions during the period they were in office, in order to identify any mismatch between personal income, expenditure and asset portfolio of each official being investigated.
One thing is certain about this Commission of Inquiry, it may not be liked by the former government officials, but it has set new standards of accountability and probity, for past and present government officials as well as those in the future.
There must be an end to impunity in Sierra Leone. President Bio has started the ball rolling.
The Commission of Inquiry into the activities of former government ministers and head of State is enshrined in the country’s laws, and can only be stopped through an Act of Parliament.
The people of Sierra Leone are waiting to hear the truth about corruption in the country, under the presidency of former president Ernest Bai Koroma.
Are the allegations of billions of dollars stashed away by the former president and his ministers a myth, or is the nation going to be shocked by what the Commission will find?
This is the statement published yesterday by the Commission of Inquiry Secretariat:
The truth solves problems.
I support the decisions of the commission of inquiry 100%. All stolen money must be pay back to the state with 50% interest, I suggest. .
IT’S DIFFICULT TO SOAR WITH EAGLES, WHEN YOU FLY WITH CROWS. ZOMBIES EAT BRAINS. YOU ARE SAFE.
You’ll only reap that which you sow. Pay back time guys with the red cap on.
What’s wrong with this Caterpillar dressed in green? Who is it alive in Sierra Leone, more corrupt, lawless and treasonous than Maada Bio who once overthrew a legitimate government? People steal money,but HE did the unthinkable – Yep ,he did the worst by robbing our people of stability, security, and peace. Is this the kind of person, you want your children to emulate?(lol) Who has ever seen a remorseless coup-plotter anywhere in the world, that has brought his nation peace and prosperity, instead of anarchy? Anyone? Clueless, delusional Caterpillars!(lol)
How many millions did Bio steal before finally handing over power? Does anyone know? Why wont the ACC look into that also? And since we are looking, why not take a glance into the affairs of ministers under the late Tejan Kabbah, for the sake of clarity and transparency? Why only the APC?
Oh wait! I see, you naively believe also, Bio left power as broke as you are? As poor as a Church mouse? (lmao )Funny is it not? observing, how these gullible, delusional, caterpillars dressed in green, remain unflinching in their belief that it is the flowers that are their enemies instead of the thorns (lmao)….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
And here comes the disgruntled, traumatized caterpillar, dressed in green once again (lol). And what is it about me that never ceases to amaze that delusional, faulty mindset of yours? Do you seriously think I am a pretender and deceiver like you? How much is the SLPP paying you as their AGENT for spreading lies and deception in Sierra Leone?
Listen, I figured you out a long time ago; your biased, one sided comments speaks volumes about how out of touch you are with reality. (lmao). And there’s more caterpillar dressed in green, you are not a writer, please refrain from ever calling yourself that! I call you Mr WHATCHAMACALLIT because there are no words that aptly describe what you are.(lol) It seems to me your intelligence, as flimsy and superficial as it is, has been tainted and corrupted by your insatiable thirsts for handouts from the inglorious SLPP.(lol)
Do you really believe you can represent something of substance and great value like me? Sincerely,do you? You – a spineless caterpillar, that doesn’t have the guts to stand up for something? That doesn’t understand the real meanings of Sincerity, Struggle and Loyalty (lmao) Hey man, you can keep on coming at me, but the harder you come, the harder you are going to fall…BETCHA!!
A PEOPLE THAT ELECT CORRUPT POLITICIANS….. ARE NOT VICTIMS…..BUT ACCOMPLICES.
Mr Saidu Conteh, you are getting nervous! The sun has indeed risen and has ignited and will expose the colossal economic crimes committed by Koroma and his band of looters. My friend, no stones will be left unturned. Bio and his administration mean business. This is never about your tribe. In plain English, it is about abuse of power to enrich a few.
You will all explain the instant economic fortunes gained overnight. An insurance agent who became president and became one of the richest African heads of state. Come on! Remember, you can’t hide in this global high tech environment. Mr.Conteh, the APC has been looting the country starting from Siaka Stevens, Momoh and Koroma. Bio is not joking. He means what he says. He is not moved by your cheap shots at him. Sierra Leone will prevail!
APC must pay back our money.
To all the former officials of the APC presently facing a tribalistic Witch hunt, who stand accused of corruption by this fraudulent government now in power, because they are now considered as easy, vulnerable targets, after their devious creation of an insubstantial, superficial, flimsy law, here is a piece of priceless advice: Do not answer any questions or submit any sensitive materials, documents, transcripts, letters, financial statements, audio or video recordings under any kind of duress, threats, coercion, intimidation, flattery or cajolement, without first soliciting and seeking the advice and expertise of a group of competent, legal minds.
Let your lawyers do the incessant talking for you – consider them gentlemen, as your Armor Bearers, protecting you against treachery; against this hideous, repulsive, travesty of Justice, that was craftily hatched in the malevolent bosoms of the SLPP, against you.
Prepare yourselves for rough times ahead, be courageous, gird your loins, unafraid like men…Let your daily mantra become the words…Que Sera Sera – meaning, whatever will be, will be…And remember always the struggling masses of the APC are on your side…Rising Sun Will Rise Again – FOR SURE!!
Don’t worry sir, those transactions can be accessed easily and unbeknown to you. We must end this endemic and pathetic corruption and begin to build Sierra Leone into a healthy nation for the benefit of all.
“Do not answer any questions or submit any sensitive materials, documents, transcripts, letters, financial statements, audio or video recordings under any kind of duress, threats, coercion, intimidation, flattery or cajolement, without first soliciting and seeking the advice and expertise of a group of competent, legal minds.” Saidu Conteh
Hahaha. The guilty are afraid. APC thieves do not need to provide any documents or transcripts. The state has piles of documents in its possession implicating APC thieves in the looting of public funds.
Remember, the APC Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Ady Macauley, was sent on leave last year and barred from returning to his office? Unfortunately for the APC a trove of important documents were left behind in the ACC office. Thus, no slick or tongue-swagging lawyer will be able to protect crimes against the state by defending a bunch of unpatriotic and tribalistic plunderers. Indeed, the falling sun will never rise again. Hahahahaha!!!
Saidu conteh never fails to amuse. Whenever you write, I notice a hint of intelligence, but your reasoning power defies all logic. Sometimes, it is better for someone to remain silent, and for others to assume that one is a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. Fools multiply because the wise remain silent.
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorises it, and a moral code that glorifies it.
The scriptures clearly states: “YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW”. This is time for the former APC government leaders who were elected by our people because they were trusted, but if they betrayed the trust of the citizens, now is the time to account for their stewardship. LONTA!
Only a sleeping doofus will not know that this whole thing was not actually about fighting corruption but rather,its a devious ploy,a shady,despicable scam,designed to target former leaders of the. APC.(lmao) It won’t work amigos! How the hell in this beautiful, green earth, do you create a law purposefully designed to target certain individuals in a particular country? (lol)
Be honest – How authentic is that? And where are the efficient democratic institutions that will ensure transparency and fairness in the whole process. The SLPP must now tread softly – trouble and mayhem now looms in the air, and it is said, he that seeketh trouble shall find it! Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
“The Commission will also look into the annual asset declaration forms of former senior government officials, their Bank Account transactions during the period they were in office, in order to identify any mismatch between personal income, expenditure and asset portfolio of each official being investigated. One thing is certain about this Commission of Inquiry, it may not be liked by the former government officials, but it has set new standards of accountability and probity, for past and present government officials as well as those in the future. There must be an end to impunity in Sierra Leone. President Bio has started the ball rolling.”
Very well said Mr Editor. Let us pray that this government is serious about holding the former president and his ministers to account. If found wanting, they must be prosecuted and asked to pay back every single penny to the tax payer.
It appears the noose is tightening around the necks of the thieves. Very soon we will know how APC robbed our country with impunity. I need to get some popcorn and a good seat to enjoy the show.