Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 August 2019:
Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), has today seized a luxurious mansion belonging to the former Minister of Works – Alhaji Kemoh Sesay. According to the ACC, the property, which is located in Aberdeen, Freetown, is subject of investigation by the ACC and the Commissions of Inquiry into alleged corruption and abuse of office by former ministers and senior officials in the previous APC government..
Speaking to Awareness Times newspaper this afternoon, Sesay said that he and his family built the house during the ten years that he served as a cabinet minister, under the Koroma – led APC Government.
“Yes, the house is legally built and all documents are intact – from Conveyance to Building Permit to City Council Rates payments to Guma Valley Water company connection fees to EDSA connections – are all there,” Kemoh Sesay said.
“It will interest you to know that these same documents being requested today for that House had been requested from me several weeks ago by the very same COI through Ministry of Lands, and I had submitted them through my lawyers in Freetown to the COI.
“It will further interest the public to know that I was then sent signed letters acknowledging receipt of these very same documents and actually thanking me for sending the documents to them. Yes, the very same documents the Notice is asking for.
He went on to say that: “It appears the COI is not working in synchrony. Maybe the COI Secretariat is receiving documents and acknowledging them but the COI Investigators are not being informed of this. Whatever the case, this is just sad”.
Last week, the Secretariat of the Commissions of Inquiry issued a public notice calling on all former Ministers and Persons Of Interest to submit affidavits listing down assets acquired by them during the time they served under the Former APC Government, by 10th August 2019 (see below).
Also tonight, the Sierra Leone Telegraph has learnt that the property of the former defence minister – Palo Conteh, has also been seized by the Anti-Corruption Commission in Aberdeen, Freetown. According to the ACC, the property is also subject of investigation by the ACC and the Commissions of Inquiry.
This is Palo Conteh speaking about the COIs decision to seize his property:
In another development, a property known as Ribar Hotel seized by the Anti-Corruption Commission in Kono, was today handed over to the country’s Attorney-General – Dr. Priscilla Schwartz.
Handing over the keys to the property, the Anti-Corruption Commissioner – Francis Ben Kaifala, said that he would like the hotel to be given to the community for use as a children’s hospital.
The hotel has been a subject of ACC investigations for over seven months, and no one has come forward to claim it.
This is exactly the reason why SaLone cannot, and will never move forward, even for an inch. Outright abuse of power – seizing assets and properties without transparent and legitimate reasons, without regard for sensitive, logical and due process.
True, Law is blind in Salone now, and it will always be so, even when the APC assumes power once again. An ever rotating revolving door of scapegoating and witch-hunting it seems will forever be the portion for Mama Salone. Watch your steps you men and women in Power! Silver and gold have I none…Words of caution, I freely give to you.
Are there more property CONFISCATION to come? What happens if a future President handover confiscated properties as goodwill gesture in the name of NATIONAL UNITY to their former owners? What can now be done so that it does not happen?
The good news is, the hotel was not sold to anyone but, will be used as a children’s hospital. Well done ACC for listening to our advice in terms of what to do with the hotel when this problem started. I hope the same will be done to every property confiscated.
While busy chasing properties not sure of claiming, don’t forget to close up our borders as smuggling is taking its toll especially free healthcare drugs, palm oil, gari, etc.
Finally, something is be done in Sierra Leone I hope the new government continues to do what they have started doing; and the old government needs to learn that they serve people of Sierra Leone. Mr. Bio, I have high hopes for him I think he will bring back the country where its supposed to be long time ago.
If Sierra Leone had ever got an efficient ruler so eager to improve the image of Mama Salone, I think Mam should have better place to be proud of.
This is nice, Paolo Conteh really knows the importance of the COI and mandate of the Anti-Corruption Commission. It’s good he came out and defend what is ‘rightly his’; and it’s even more welcoming for him to admit that the tape has been removed and the property in question handed back to him.
For those who think the government is playing a witch-hunt game, it is time to accept the reality on ground and see that accountability is a must: Compliance must be complied with…..Lonta
God Bless Paolo Conteh, God Bless the COI, God Bless the Anti-Corruption Commission, God Bless the Government and the people of Sierra Leone
I really appreciate the effort of the ACC. They have tried a lot to win the fight against corruption, and I may pray that they continue with their good work, for the betterment of mama Salone.
For the first time ever in the history of Sierra Leone. Bravo COI for a job well done.
This can make Sierra Leone a better nation and protect those in office from corruption. Thank you Mr. President for this initiative.
My goodness, this is really brilliant development so far in the country. Now you get ready to work. COI do your job. Well done.