News Update – Auditor General responds to critics

Lawrence Williams: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 08 January 2021:

Questions are today being asked about the credibility of evidence presented by Sierra Leone’s Covid Response body – NaCOVERC to the country’s auditor’s, whose 2019 Report found massive evidence of misappropriation of public funds.

Many are also questioning the validity of the information published by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Since the publication of the 2019 Audit Report into the management of Sierra Leone’s financial affairs by the government, and the COVID-19 audit report in December 2020, officials and supporters of the Bio government have spared no time and effort in trying to discredit the Auditor General’s findings.

The COVID-19 audit report reveals massive corruption in the handling of the Corona funds by NaCOVERC, the body set up by the government to oversee efforts in tackling the pandemic.

Contracts for the procurement of vehicles, motorbikes and other items were “hugely inflated” to the tune of almost Le5 billion.

Of significant concern has been the disappearance of a 5KVA electricity generator donated by the Chinese government to enable Sierra Leone’s response to the pandemic; 47 laptops procured by NaCOVERC could not also be found; vehicles valued at billions of Leones were over-priced.

These issues, including the State’s loss of $5.5 billion in timber export have generated lots of concerns from within and outside Sierra Leone.

These stunning revelations have so far embarrassed the government, causing their apologists and apparatchiks to engage in acts of calumny, aimed at maliciously discrediting the auditor general’s findings.

Government’s apologists and apparatchiks claim that both audit reports are full of material misstatement or factual errors.

Today, the Audit Service Sierra Leone held a press conference in Freetown, where they responded to criticisms and denials of their audit findings.

Evidence presented by the auditors at the press conference showed that the 50KVA generator is still missing, contrary to what the Anti-Corruption Commission has said.

The auditors also disputed information being peddled about the missing 47 laptops and more.

Many are now worried about the decision of the ACC not to name some of those individuals who are refunding or paying back public funds they have misappropriated. Are there names being withheld because they are ruling SLPP party patrons and supporters? This is what Lamrana Bah – a journalist and commentator said:

“On 4th January, 2021 the Anti-corruption Sierra Leone (ACC) informed the media through a press release of a Le5.2 million recovery of funds used to procure personal high-end gadgets by Ministry of Health Officials that was mentioned in the COVID-19 Audit Report. The Permanent Secretary then at the Ministry of Health, Abdul Rahman Musa Fofanah who refunded the money was named.

“On 7th January, 2021 the ACC again in a press release informed the media of another Le220 million recovery relating to the 47 laptops in the COVID-19 Audit Report paid by a staff at NaCOVERC, the Procurement Officer at IHPAU and a businessman. On this, no one was named.

“Yesterday, NaCOVERC Spokesman, Solomon Jamiru says they are not aware that any of their staff is paying back monies for the 47 laptops.

“We will all agree that the ACC has been very transparent in naming individuals and institutions associated with corruption and we appreciate their unprecedented actions on the Special Audit Report on COVID-19. Now, in the spirit of transparency can the ACC please tell us who these officials are and the businessman and his company? Can we know those who are paying back our money?”

You can watch the Audit Service Sierra Leone holding a press conference yesterday in Freetown with the media:

 

8 Comments

  1. Folks contrary to delusional diehard PAOPA supporters sentiments, many of whom exhibit extreme schizophrenia symptoms, the audit report done on NACOVERC was real time and still ongoing. Based on what we know so far, massive corruption took place in the procurement of 30 SUVs, a huge number of motorbikes, laptops, along with a missing 50KVA generator donated by the Chinese, all running into billions of Leones being unaccounted for, not $22,000 dollar that some delusional PAOPA supporter will have you believe. Above all, remember, the Convid-19 fight is still ongoing, with resources still being poured into the fight.

    The final audit report will comes out when the convid-19 fight is declared over. So no sane individual will buy into a delusional comparison of what was stolen during Ebola and Convid-19.

  2. The reason why late President Kabba of the SLPP formed the Anti Corruption Commission was not to eradicate corruption, but to minimize it to the lowest degree, because the reality is, corruption exists in every country in the world. Regardless which party will be in governance, corruption will be uncovered. In the case of the APC party, it is beyond corruption and it can be best described as LOOTING AND DESTRUCTION.

    Our young and vibrant ACC commissioner Francis Ben Kelfala has succeeded in minimizing corruption within 2 years in office. That is the main reason why our credibility rating rose from 40% to 81%. Few years ago during the Ebola Crisis, the Auditor General Report discovered that $14 million was stolen by the destructive APC party and now they are taking about 47 laptops which were overpriced probably by the contractor and fortunately has been uncovered by the ACC and maybe the contractor has returned the difference of about $480 for each computer which was over-charged based on the model.

    The ACC commissioner has already stated that the 50KV generator is not missing based on their investigation, a mistake was made on the document about the voltage of the generator because the generator is 65KV. For comparative analysis, let us compare $14 million looting to $22,000 over pricing by the contractor who is trying to maximize his profit through corruption. Below is the links about the APC Ebola looting according to the Audit reports:
    https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/sierra-leone-government-has-failed-to-recover-millions-of-stolen-ebola-funds/
    https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/reckless-information-minister-calls-missing-ebola-audit-report-baseless-fallacious-and-a-distraction/

  3. In a true democracy, nobody’s job is secure; and that includes the position of Auditor-General. If the current holder of that post is of no good, we demand her immediate replacement.

    • Goodness gracious! How on this lovely earth did Democracy and Job security become inextricably intertwined in the clouded murky minds of SLPP supporters on this glorious forum? These are two different things completely. Its totally perplexing to me to hear gullible PAOPA Footmen on this forum calling for the resignation and sacking of the Auditor – General because she has exposed their
      corrupt, thieving and shady ways.(lol) Bravo lady for a job well done!

  4. Like Donald Trump supporters in America, diehard PAOPA supporters are mostly delusional, many suffering from deranged mindsets that have rendered them incapable of perceiving reality. Years of political and tribal indoctrination has left many of them lost and confused, with absolutely no iota of integrity, hence going around on cyberspace, spewing countless lies and deceptions, intended to shield their political demi-gods at the detriment of our nation.

    Again, just like Donald Trump supporters and conservative media outlets, these folks have perfected the art of character assassination of patriotic citizens who opposes their demi-god’s devilish actions towards our poor nation. What is more ironic and sad is their seeming fixation on calling the opposition corrupt, despite the overwhelming corroborating audit report evidence, indicating this PAOPA regime being the most corrupt in our nation’s contemporary history.

  5. Sierra Leone has only one way out of the conundrum of having SLPP or APC in power and always faced with the theft of the nation’s resources: Quite simply – dump both of them. Let us forget about the magnitude of their theft. They’re both merciless thieves whose real place of domicile should be prison. There’s hardly any difference between SLPP and APC besides their names, they share the same characteristics.

    The Commissions of Inquiries (COI), revealed how the Earnest Koroma era was one of perverse theft, misplacement and misuse of the country’s resources. One of the jurists was so alarmed by his findings that he described APC as viewing the nation’s bank as a “piggy bank“. They took loans from there and expected them to be declared as bad debts since they had no intention of paying back.

    Now we have SLPP in power. Their level of thieving can wake up the dead. The nation is becoming shock proof over billions of Leones and millions of dollars going missing seemingly every other day. The expose’ of the Auditor-general has left Bio and his outlaws dashing for cover that’s not there. The absence of any cover has thrown the Bio party into an insane dive to recover any remnant of their legitimacy which is in irrecoverable fragments. One of the their tactics is to portray the Auditor- general as not knowing simple book-keeping. No, as far as SLPP are concerned the Auditor-general doesn’t know that for every credit there is a debit and vice versa.

  6. Who do you trust? On the green corner, is Bio, our president, heading a corrupt system of government that cares very little about the interest of the people of the country that elected them in the first place. On the white corner, or neutral corner is, Ms Lara Taylor -Pearce, who suddenly found herself and her team on the receiving end of Bio’s attack dogs, that are good at nothing, but the art of character assassination and spreadiny rumours and gossip. The Auditor General, who has one of the most difficult jobs in Sierra Leone, has been forced to come out to defend her good woork and her sense of duty she owes to no-one, but the Republic of Sierra Leone and its long suffering people.

    Her job description of asking members of our corrupt political classes and public officials to account for every penny of tax payers money spent by this corrupt bunch is not for the fainthearted. This is no easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. When she did find any wrong doing and sought explanation, by asking suspected corrupt officials to produce audit recipients to explain their expenditures, her office is met with denial and on occasion inundated with false statements. This makes her job of finding the truth, even more difficult. It is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Now if that needle is purposely buried, chances are, we will never know how we can collectively end tbis cancer we call corruption in Sierra Leone.

    These corrupt individuals are always one step ahead of the investigating authorities. Ms Pearce your job is secured. No one is jealous of you. I certainly take my hat off for the good job you are doing. Long may it continue. Sierra Leone needs more people like you.

  7. And why would anyone be surprised to see the Criminal SLPP Cabal and their
    corrupt old soldier kicking up dust because they can’t handle the truth?
    Nothing strange at all,men with oxygen sized potbellies have been known to
    be insecure and unsure of themselves – their physical appearances,coupled with
    incompetence won’t allow them a moment of rest – they are known to be jittery at all times except when hovering over a huge bowl of pepper soup,full to the brim with cow entrails pork snout and feet,the Presidents favorite dish.(lol)

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