Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 February 2019:
Justice Ivan Sesay of the High Court of Sierra Leone sitting in Kenema, yesterday Tuesday 12th February 2019, convicted four former public officials for various corruption offences.
Abubakarr Sidique Turay – former Accountant at the Kenema City Council; Edward Kargbo – former Expenditure Clerk at the Kenema City Council; Moses Koroma (alias ‘MO Jah’) – former Transport Officer at the Kenema City Council; and Mathew Amara Sesay – former Social Worker at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Kenema Office, were all convicted on twenty-one counts of abuse of office, and misappropriation of public funds, contrary to Sections 36 and 42 respectively, of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008.
According to statement published today by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) , the four convicted persons misappropriated public funds meant for the operations of the Kenema City Council – amounting to Twenty-Seven Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand Leones (Le 27,519,000) between 22nd of July 2011, and February 2012.
All four persons were sentenced to three years imprisonment to run concurrently by Justice Sesay; or pay a fine of Thirty Million Leones (Le 30,000,000) on each of the twenty-one counts.
The Judge further ordered that all four convicted persons are to make full payments of the fines as a condition for their release from detention.
Lamin Lumeh Mansaray – a Regional Librarian at the Sierra Leone Library Board in Kenema who was also standing trial in the same case, was acquitted.
The ACC was represented by Nigel B. Davies and Adrian B.C. Samuels.
Issuing the statement of the conviction, the ACC says that it “wishes to reassure the public of its commitment to ensuring that public funds are protected, and, where necessary, recovered”.
Many in Sierra Leone are hoping that custodial sentence will not be reserved for the small fish, but also applied to sharks that have infested Sierra Leone’s society.
Too many big guns are getting away with out of court settlements, and even when this privilege is offered to them they choose to abuse that privilege. All must be equal under the law.