Former NASSIT director-general and the board chairman indicted for corruption

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 December 2018:

Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), announced Wednesday 19th December 2018, that it has indicted Mr. Joseph Sedu Mans who is the former Director-General of the country’s National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) for various corruption offences.

Also indicted along with  Joseph Sedu Mans is Ms. Yeabu M.D. Kamara, who served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NASSIT.

Both are indicted on six counts each: Three counts of Conspiracy to Commit a Corruption Offence, Contrary to Section 128 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008; One Count of Misappropriation of Public Funds, Contrary to Section 36 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008; One  Count of Wilfully Failing to Comply with the Law Relating to the Tendering of Contracts, Contrary to Section 48 (2) (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008; and One Count of Engaging in a Project Without Prior Planning, Contrary to Section 48 (2) (c) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008.

According to the particulars of offence, Mr. Mans and Ms. Kamara, on diverse dates between 1st August, 2016 and 31st December, 2017, conspired to misappropriate the sum of Six Billion, Five Hundred and Ten Million, Two Hundred and Ninety Thousand Leones (Le: 6,510,290,000).

The funds were meant for the SISIMI NASSIT Medical Project, a joint venture Special Project Vehicle that was to have provided much needed urgent health care delivery service system by offering access to quality medical and diagnostic services in Sierra Leone.

Hundreds of thousands of people die needlessly every year in Sierra Leone because of poor healthcare, caused largely by rampant corruption in high places and blatant stealing of public funds.

In 2014, $18 million of public funds meant for those dying from the Ebola virus were misappropriated by public officials in the Koroma led APC government.

And just few years prior to this national scandal, senior officials of NASSIT including a cousin of former president Koroma – Mr Edmund Koroma and others, were found guilty of corruption after misappropriating millions of dollars meant for the purchase of seaworthy ferries.

President Julius Maada Bio – the current president, says that he will leave no stone unturned in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone.

Next month will see the start of the long-awaited commission of inquiry into corruption by ministers and officials in the former APC government of president Koroma.

The Anti-Corruption Commission has so far recovered or entered into out of court settlement to pay back stolen funds with former public officials, amounting to millions of dollars.

Many top public officials have in the last eleven years amassed vast personal wealth – estimated at tens of millions of dollars, including investments overseas, palatial mansions and fleet of luxurious cars, at the expense of the poor in Sierra Leone.

Adult life expectancy in Sierra Leone is less than 47 years, with 27% of women dying during pregnancy; and three out of every five children dying before their 5th birthday due to malnutrition and poor healthcare.

Sixty-percent of households in Sierra Leone do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, whilst only 12% have access to electricity.

President Julius Maada Bio says he is determined to change this narrative with his government’s New Direction programme, which includes measures aimed at curbing corruption, mobilise revenue for spending on public services, and investment in education.

4 Comments

  1. Sahr Maturri,it is very gratifying to know that there are people like you with exemplary capacity to agree to disagree on any issue.There is hope for mother Sierra Leone.

    The typical Sierra Leonean has trouble with tolerance when it comes to the political/economic situation in the country.He/she is swift to deploy vulgar language when one disagrees with him/her.

    Audios and videos on social media testify to this fact.

    I take my hat off to you Mr Maturri.You mentioned the name of Sir Milton. In my opinion his passing not too long after independence was the fatal blow which nature dealt us. Had he lived for another five years, Sierra Leone would have taken an upward trajectory, because SLPP would not have splintered,and we most certainly would not have saddled ourselves with Siaka Stevens who initiated the collapse of the country with his one-party state,the execution of political opponents and treating the country as his personal property.

  2. Thank you very much Santhkie. I 100% respect your views. One thing I am very happy with is that you expressed your disagreement with my views by telling me why. I knew very well that people will disagree with me. However, although my comment will be controversial to some people, the debate must go on.

    If both of us were to take decision on a topic like this, I am very sure we will come to a very good compromise and solution. Such examples is what is needed by our politicians in parliament. Disagreeing with someone does not mean enmity or stupidity.

    Majority, minority or whatever, they must all sit down together and solve the pressing needs of the people. If for e.g the SLPP has a good idea on an issue, let them debate and approve it. If on the other hand its the APC, NGC, C4C or whatever has the best idea on an issue, let them implement it. These parliamentarians should now start working together for the good of the country.

    Those days are gone when for e.g Milton Margai wanted a flyover around eastern police station to help with traffic congestion, Siaka Stevens wanted a presidential jet (salone air force one) and a Lodge, Strasser with a head of state helicopter, Ernest Koroma with his airport construction and now Maada Bio with his bridge project without parliamentary debate.

    The projects concerning Milton Margai, Siaka Stevens and Strasser were rumours we use to hear. Whether the rumours were true, god only knows. Siaka Stevens achieved one thing (the kabassa Lodge) at Juba hill. I did not hear anything about Momoh or Tejan Kabbah. May be there were, but I did not pay attention or may be they had no presidential dreams whatsoever. May be I am wrong. Can someone help?

    My own dream although I am not yet president(you never know), is to have an ULTRA MODERN HOSPITAL in the country. All these ideas each of these head of states had in mind are good, but must be subject to parliamentary approval. This is to make sure that there are no other projects that have priority over what they are proposing.

    It’s not only the SLPP, APC or PMDC in parliament. We have more than three political parties to do the job. If they fail again, then who is to blame?

    I was discourteous by not adding Mr. to the names of our beloved heads of states. I believe in the respect for the presidency. No matter what. A bit silly. So, I am very sorry about that. I apologies to them. Finally, the point I want to make is for our politicians to come together and serve the country as one people.

  3. Sahr Matturi, my brother, I strongly urge you not to express any regret again when women are caught in the dragnet of corruption or any shady dealings involving government funds.

    This is the 21st century and most women have become just as capable as men in doing nasty things which in years gone were the exclusive domain of men – including murder.The evidence of this is in the increasing number of women in prison around the world.

    In various armed forces around the world, more and more women are being trained in the the gruesome art of killing – their motherly instinct is slowly but relentlessly being compromised. I know that Africa somewhat lags behind in this so-called advancement, and I hope that it never catches up.

    A partial achievement of this will only be possible if we keep a close eye on non governmental organisations [NGOs]whose aim sometimes is not solely to help but to completely alter the culture of people, especially in what they refer to as sub-Sahara Africa, where the inhabitants are considered not only inferior beings but extremely gullible as well.

    It may seem to you, Mr Matturi, that I have strayed from what propelled me to write this piece but no, I am still arguing the case that women should never be treated differently under the law. A criminal is a criminal, be it a man or a woman. Sierra has been kicked around for far too long by both sexes – we must bring them to their knees.

    “WE FOR MAKE GOVERNMENT CORPOR BITTER NAR ALLMAN MOT.

  4. I hope this commission of inquiry will bring an end to this never ending misappropriation of government funds without regret, fear or remorse. Corruption in whatever form will not be condoned by anyone.

    If all what we hearing (billions of Leones of government money been siphoned into private accounts for personal use) is true, then our country will go bankrupt very soon if not already bankrupt. That will be a disaster. Really disgusting. It’s really scary and every Sierra Leonean must be concerned.

    My only advice to the commission is for the inquiry not be limited to only heads of parastatals or politicians as we are now seeing. Every government department must be screened to make sure all areas of government are thoroughly probed. By doing so will bring credibility to the commission of inquiry.

    I don’t think that the politicians will engage in any form of corruption without working with for e.g. the permanent secretaries and other officials. The commission should look into every government department. It will be a very tedious work. But the job will be finally done.

    Commissions of inquiry especially with regards to corruption is not pleasant for anyone involved. But so be it. If that’s the only way to stamp out the problem and bring accountability and trust with people trusted with government funds, then let the commission go ahead in full force.

    The only thing I regret in this whole exercise is when women are involved. I really feel sorry for them. So, I would like to see the commission not be lenient but consider the way they are treated during their trials. They should be handled with extreme caution and care during their trials. It’s the men around them who influence them to those mess.

    I know some men will disagree with me. But that is my opinion. I don’t condone corruption but only feel sorry for any woman involved. Women are very wonderful people and need to be treated with respect. Come what may. Long live the commission of inquiry and its members.

Tell us about your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.