Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 April 2019:
The High Court of Sierra Leone, sitting in Freetown, yesterday Wednesday 24th April 2019, found Mr. Abdul Barrie – a former Deputy Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure in the Koroma led APC government, guilty of corruption.
Passing his judgement, the presiding Judge – Justice Reginald Sydney Fynn Jnr., said that Barrie must serve a total of three years in prison, or pay a fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Million Leones (Le 250,000,000).
The former minister was charged by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) with seven counts of corruption offences in relation to contracts for the refurbishment of various government properties which he awarded to Ribar Enterprise, a business he jointly owns with his wife, without disclosing his interest.
Mr. Abdul Barrie, had initially entered a ‘not-guilty’ plea at his first court appearance, but later changed his plea to ‘guilty’ for the fifth count of ‘Failure to disclose interest to public body’, contrary to Section 45 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No 12 of 2008.
Justice Reginald Fynn Jnr. Found the former Deputy Minister guilty and ordered Barrie to either pay the fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Million Leones (Le 250,000,000) in full within the next thirty days or face three years imprisonment.
The trial continues on the other five counts of offences. The case was adjourned to 20th May, 2019.
Issuing a strong message to those holding public office in Sierra Leone, the ACC said that it “wishes to advise all public officers who are in control of public resources to comply with laid down laws and procedures in the handling and disbursement of those funds”.