Sierra Leone government Chief Minister David Francis accused of massive corruption

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 February 2021:

US based Africanist Press Media has today published another seriously incriminating report about grand corruption in the Bio-led SLPP government of Sierra Leone, as the country’s anti-graft agency – the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), is accused of waging a selective war on corruption.

The Report – tilted: “Chief Minister’s Office spent over Le34 billion on media consultancies and travel per diem in less than three years”, is authored by the renowned investigative journalists – Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, Matthew Anderson, and Mark Feldman.

According to the damning report, financial records obtained by the Africanist Press show how the Office of the Chief Minister of Sierra Leone spent over Le34.2 billion Leones (more than US$3.4 million) in less than three years, despite the fact that President Maada Bio was elected into office in 2018 under the guise of ending the corrupt practices of his predecessor, as well as promising to close all loopholes and leakages in ministerial and public spending.

The report found that the US$3.4 million was spent on overseas travel per diems (expenses listed do not include airfares) and for procurement of goods and services that did not undergo an official competitive bidding process with open requests.

The Chief Minister’s Office financial records indicate that several wire transfers of hundreds of millions of Leones were sent to foreign media agencies and technology companies in Europe, China, and the United States.

These transfers were purportedly for consultancy services, public relations operations, and information technology products. None of these services or products were ever advertised or put on an open bid.

Records of these large monetary transactions and wire transfer payments reveal that these transactions were non-compliant with Sierra Leone’s public finance laws and the public procurement regulations.

Chief Minister Professor David Francis who until 2018 was a professor at Bradford University in the UK, is on record saying that One-Percent corruption is acceptable. There are now calls for his sacking, pending investigations by the ACC.

Sierra Leone’s public finance laws and public procurement regulations require that all expenditures from the country’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) – the government’s central treasury accounts – must be based on each procuring agency or department’s approved budgetary and procurement plan, as approved by the Parliament for each specific year, says the report.

“Section 18 of the Public Procurement Act of 2016, one of the laws that regulates public procurement in Sierra Leone, specifically provides that all goods and services procured by a ministry or department must be included in the prior approved annual procurement plan for that entity and that a procurement committee must be in charge of a procurement process.”

Evidence obtained by the Africanist Press shows that procurements for goods and services were mostly undertaken on an ad hoc basis and in ways that openly violated public procurement regulations.

These procurements included, for example, a total of Le1,876,061,250 (about US$185,000) that was paid directly during the last quarter of 2018 to Salman Motors in Freetown. These funds included the alleged purchase of three Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vehicles for the newly established Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI).

“Africanist Press found no evidence in the records of the Office of the Chief Minister to indicate that Salman Motors was awarded the said procurement contract from an open bidding process. In fact, the evidence we reviewed shows that an unusually high advance payment (transaction ID FT1833061004) of Le 1,200,000,000 (about US$120,000) – more than 70% of the contract value – was made to Salman Motors on November 26, 2018, ahead of the supply of the three vehicles that were supposedly purchased for DSTI staff.”

Apart from the lack of evidence of a bidding and tender process, there is also no evidence that an advertisement notice inviting other suppliers to compete for this contract was ever made by the Chief Minister’s Office.

Evidence shows that the remaining balance of Le223,878,750 (about US$22,000) (FT1833849422) was paid on December 4, 2018, to Salman Motors to complete the payment of more than Le1.4 billion spent on the purchase of the DSTI Prado vehicles.

“We have found no evidence that the vendor actually delivered all of the three vehicles that were paid for. Moreover, the 1.2 billion Leones in payments to Salman Motors do not include two earlier payments (FT1829170875 and FT1829709495) of Le200,000,000 (about US$20,000) and Le252,182,500 (about US$25,000) made on October 18, 2018, and October 24, 2018, respectively, for unstated purposes. In fact, there is no records to indicate the purposes of the other earlier combined payments totaling Le452,182,500 ($44,288) made to Salman Motors by the Chief Minister’s Office,” say Africanist Press.

“The Chief Minister’s Office financial records show multiple additional wire transfers to similar media and communication companies including Telerivet Inc, Universal Communications, Café Art Science, PC World.Com, and a host of other foreign-based companies. Africanist Press was unable to confirm the ownership, headquarters location, or legitimacy of these companies.

“We aggregated the expenditure details of the Chief Minister’s Office, and we discovered that in 2019 alone, a total of Le11,324,370,670.62 (over US$1 million) was spent on travel per diems, payments for consultancies, and procurements that were never advertised nor placed on a bidding process. As of 30 December 2019, for example, we discovered that of the Le11,965,770,103.16 (about US$1.2 million) disbursed from the CRF into the Chief Minister’s Imprest Account, only Le697,603,982.82 (about US$68,000) remained unspent by the end of fiscal year 2019.”

“Documents we reviewed also show that a total of Le3,330,412,548.33 (about US$326,000) was spent on travel per diems (amounts listed do not include airfare) between August and December 2018 alone, in the first four months after the appointment of David Francis as the Chief Minister.

“These travel per diems included Le47,011,133.04 (US$5662) paid to David Sengeh (Minister of Basic Education) as per diem allowance to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting on September 21, 2018; another Le72,455,595.25 (US$8,675) (TT1828440049) also paid on October 11, 2018, to David Sengeh and Donald Kopoi for an official travel to the USA to the World Frontier Forum; a Le18,992,162.00 (US$2250) paid to Dr. John Tambi as per diem for participation at the African Infrastructural Conference, a further payment of Le30,089,880 (US$3552) again to David Sengeh, and another payment of Le 44,253,810 (US$5224) (TT1832009428) made on November 16, 2018, to Joe Lahai Somana as travel per diem on official visit to the Hunan Gold and International Investment Limited Company in China. “

“The long list of per diem payments also includes Le57,465,929.71 (US$6751) paid to David Sengeh to attend the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program and Goalkeeper Event in the USA; a further payment of Le25,865,241.45 (US$3,023) made to David Sengeh as per diem allowance to attend the Islamic Development Bank Summit; and a payment of Le159,027,060 (about US$15,000) to Kadie Enterprises to cover air tickets for three officers for an official trip to Estonia, and the sum of Le 174,272,049.00 (US$18,270) as per diem for David Francis and Moinina D. Sengeh for a trip to the UNGA meeting on September 26, 2019. “

For more on this expose – You can visit the Africanist Press Website to read the full report and view the documentary evidence showing the expenditure details of the Office of the Chief Minister:

www.africanistpress.com.

29 Comments

  1. Gentlemen – It seems push has come to shove. I have been duly informed that the criminal SLPP cabal is currently totally down on their luck and they are now vigilantly, actively hiring MASCOTS that will bring them enviable success and good fortune as quickly as possible. Their house is in disarray – the year 2023 is galloping like a king’s horseman fast on its way. (lol) Awwww, What a pity! It seems clear to me all those countless magical devices, tribal amulets, powerful talismans, rabbit feet, lucky dice and Tarot cards have failed the boys in green miserably – they are now like frantic vultures within close range of a hunters rifle. Helter-skelter they are running, desperately grasping at straws in hope to save their thieving selves from a crushing, humiliating defeat that quietly awaits them in a silver platter in the years looming ahead.

    Folks, after the tear 2023, this indomitable nation of ours will be on track to bounce back like a soccer ball thrown against a wall. Prudent, patriotic minds are going to be given the daunting responsibility to draw the line on mediocrity, amateurism and incompetence. Yep, enough is enough! There will be no more inept, Criminal old soldiers, Gold diggers, Tribal Henchmen, Freeloaders and Yes men, SLPP lynch mob, party bigots and harlots or imposters posing as educated Professors in our beautiful, new majestic, progressive Sierra Leone ever again – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  2. We are talking here about huge sums of money (in the context of a poor, struggling nation) being spent on government officials travelling abroad for purposes that no matter what is claimed on the contrary, have so far had little noticeable impact on the day-to-day, concrete realities of life lived by ordinary people in Sierra Leone. It is all well and good to say that high level meetings/conferences/ workshops overseas are quite in keeping with the nature and function of certain job roles in government. Admittedly, such meetings/conferences/workshops are central to acquiring and enhancing the expertise and resources needed to accelerate our country’s all-round development in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world.

    However, one must ask: does our officials’ repeated physical presence at the meetings/conferences/workshops always yield the valuable concrete results expected or, dare I say, trumpeted? More often than not, are the meetings/conferences/workshops anything more than what I woul call talk shops with hardly any demonstrabe bearing on the material well-being of the vast majority of our compatriots living mainly away from the relatively affluent urban centres of say Freetown and Bo? When you consider the thousands of dollars expended by the treasury to cover just the living costs of one globe-trotting government official on duty in New York for a week, you cannot help wondering whether such expenses might not serve a better purpose when diverted to provide basic health and educational services in many a forgotten Sierra Leonean rural setting.

    So why not limit such money gobbling trips to the strict minimum? After all, in an age such as ours characterised by highly sophisticated information and communication technologies, could the meetings/conferences/workshops not be attended remotely, leading to a much needed reduction in government spending on overseas travels. In a poor and developing economy, every dollar counts and must be used wisely and responsibly. Sexy overseas travels are a luxury, not a necessity.

  3. In my personal opinion, I believe that the destructive APC party is most effective as an opposition party in parliament based on the fact that the current minority leader Honorable Chernor Bah aka Cherekoko is doing a wonderful job in holding some government officials accountable. The minority leader should invite the real whistleblower (APC member within the government) who is leaking information to the Africanist Press to face the accounts committee for clarification rather than relying on Adebayor, Cocorioko Newspaper and the Africanist Press as propaganda machines to misinform our citizens.

    The parliament should also collaborate with the Office Of National Security (ONS) to investigate whether government computers have been hacked by the Africanist Press from the USA , which is a breach of our National Security. I hope and pray that the destructive APC party will continue to be the most effective opposition to the SLPP party and hopefully the NGC party for at least 20 years, which will definitely transform our nation to middle income and Human Capital Development country.

  4. “You are absolutely right in saying that this is corruption fighting back. These are the corrupt in the current government, for whom you are serving as a mascot that are now fighting back.”-Abdul Rahman Thomas

    ART (excuse me for using your initials), I don’t think that I am a mascot defending corrupt people. If that is how you understood my post, I am sorry because my post is not defending corruption. My post is about trying to understand the line enquiries that the Africanist press took to allege what they are alleging. Some of us are not schooled into accepting one side of a story just like that. It is well known fact that public officials in Sierra Leone are corrupt and that corruption itself is endemic. However alleging that going on mission is part of some corrupt practices is something that needs a little bit of explanation because going on missions is part of the duties for some office holders and they are entitled to per Diem.

    Therefore, to allege that to receive per Diem is massive corruption is not something you expect every jack and Jill to swallow hook, line and sinker without providing some explanation of evidence to back your allegation. A statement like this is what you do not want someone to question: “Africanist Press found no evidence in the records of the Office of the Chief Minister to indicate that Salman Motors was awarded the said procurement contract from an open bidding process.” This is corruption if it was not done and if the procurement rules were broken. However, I would ask (and I think every reasonable person has the right to ask without been called a mascot for the Accused), did the author examined the documents at the Chief Ministers’ office as claimed? Did the author clarify this information with the vault controller at the chief Minister’s office to ascertain the authenticity of the information he received from his source?

    If he did not and is only relying on Source information which can be doctored, distorted and screwed by the source to justify his/her payment, why would the Editor of the Telegraph whom we all hold in high esteem and who also has Sierra Leone at heart despite having acquired a British citizenship, not do due diligence before assertively making a conclusive headlines like this “Sierra Leone government Chief Minister David Francis accused of massive corruption”?
    We were made to believe before 2018 that the APC had robbed Sierra Leone of everything. We clamoured for investigations and forensic audit. Many of the information then were fed to your papers and other armchair news men who did not bother to investigate before going to press. In the end, the COI have proven that some of that information was not true and that they were only designed to sway voters against the APC. How long are we going to be like this?

    • One thing we all agree on, corruption has become a corrosive disease, in every level of Sierra Leone public services. To president Bio’s credit, acknowledging corruption as the main driver of under development in our country, does not only remind everyone of what is at stake, but that is the reality. You heard it from the president. Until such time we acknowledge it, and try to investigate matters relating to allegations of corruption against individuals, regardless of political position, or patronage, we will never be able to find a solution to this cancer of corruption in our country. It can be argued that it represents a collective failure on all of us to fight this menace. Ben Kaifala the ACC boss is on record to say, he will investigate any allegations against corruption.

      And no one is above the laws of the land, including the former president EBK. Totally agree with that. What is not acceptable, is when allegations are made against serving members of this government, and all hell is let lose, like they are whiter than white. Their response to these allegations, and the barrage of denials and accusations of political bias against those journalists in the Africanist press, make you wonder why all of a sudden our own President seems to aviod the topic of fighting against corruption. Or is it too close to home? I think anyone accused of corruption, including the Chief Minister, should set the record straight by making themselves available to the ACC. It is for them to determine their innocence, or guilt. A man is innocent until proven guilty. So it is for the accused to prove their innocence, or guilt.

      Sending out surrogates to argue their case in the court of pubice opinion, will not wash with the Sierra Leone public that is sick to the teeth of this unchecked corruption in our country. Regadless of which part of the world you reside, we are Sierra Leoneans just like Bio. We were born and brought up in the country. We have families in the country. Corruption brought us war, and we will not allow politicians that have learnt nothing about the RUF war to plunge our country into another war because of their corrupt ways. The Chief Minister should know better than that. I support Bio’s crusade against corruption. I wonder how many of his ministers are capable of saying the same words. And help him fight it.

  5. Igwe Marrah – You said it all!!! But, NGC and C4C won’t solve our leadership problem either. My take on this is that those with beautiful minds should get involved in our politics and force the change we seek, rather than standing aside and keep blaming these two old political secret societies (APC and SLPP).

  6. As far as my memory goes, fourteen years ago, there was no such title of Chief Minister in any cabinet of any government of Sierra Leone until 2018, when president Bio came to power and created the position, for David Francis. Therefore, extending corruption investigations to cover 14years ago, because of allegations levelled against the current untouchables and holders of the posts, in the current government needing to be investigated, is ludicrous, when the position had ceased to exist in any cabinet since Sir Milton. Definitely, Ben Kelfala can run to the hilt but, we are smarter, he cannot hide.

    All the bum rap spewing against Chernor Bah now, is not unexpected. They are throwing every spooky at him, to denigrate and turn the gentleman to smithereens. These are the same statesmen, women and sympathizers who came to governance in 2018, raising the hopes of even the dead in tombs, vowing to fight corruption, as a national security threat, clenching their fists and gnashing their teeth. But then Chernor knows best, how they had turned around against their pronouncement and plundering the state. While they keep straight faces telling the public and international audiences one story bunch of lies one day, he next day they are scooping whooping cash in and out, fitty, fatta, ratata, and storing it in personal proxy accounts. God help our country.

  7. In today’s Sierra Leone, political polarisation, and the mastering of the art of political deflection away from the real corruption cases highlighted by the investigative journalist of the Africanist press, has become the main occupation for some of our so-called intellectuals, who accidentally found themselves in a position of power that was never meant for them. One can say, it is an occupational hazard they have embraced, and are executing for their own selfish ends. Never mind, the majority of the country’s residents are reduced to economic hardship. Unfortunately, it is all due to the deluge of corruption cases we see and hear every day about this government. They just keep coming. No one seems to take a blind notice of Bio’s anti corruption crusade.

    Some corrupt politicians are just happy the way things are. They will not exchange their lifestyle for any thing else. In their view, long may it continue. Right now, the sun is shining on them. And that is all they care about. Unfortunately, living standards for the ordinary family in our country is getting harder and harder. The elected officials are busy enriching themselves at the back of ordinary Sierra Leoneans. They are literally taking bread and butter from the mouth of babies, that are malnourished with their little pot bellies. Overall, a reflection of how much money you can make from the state, even if you have never been on a campaign soap box or a member of a political party. These people are accountable to no one, but the president. Any attempt to force them to confront their corrupt ways, are met with a unit of Bio’s Kamikaze apologist, primed and ready to shoot down anyone brave enough to ask them to account for their sudden wealth.

    Since he took office in 2018 they have amassed wealth that before, remained a distant dream for them until now. I suppose those accused in this report, have never put their names forward in a ballot paper to put their electability credentials to the voting public for a test. Yet as it stands, they have amassed more wealth than some of our elected representatives, who are there to represent our interests. These deniers of the truth, like to repeat their arguments so much, that truth is very hard to discern from the facts. The end results produce a climate of contentiousness, that render any rational arguments an after thought. Unfortunately, that is where our country is today. We need to move away from this ethnic and political polarisation we find ourselves in.

  8. Chernor Bah is a misguided, self-proclaimed person (not real journmalist) acting for some other misguided and disgruntled politicians. You want to fight for Sierra Leone, come to Sierra Leone. You are only opening up avenues for further investigation of past misdeeeds and corrupt activities.

  9. Ernest Koroma emphatically told us that he would run the country “like a business “ while campaigning to clinch the presidency. What did the Commissions of Inquiry (COI) reveal? Massive corruption. Maada Bio came in with his “new direction “ slogan. It was his way of telling the nation that he and his gangsters (Chief among them being the man he appointed chief minister) had perfected the art of corruption and robbery to surpass the previous APC government. The only thing which sets them apart is APC perform their evil ways in the dark, whereas SLPP conduct business in broad daylight. The consequences on the people of Sierra Leone are the same: extreme poverty and all that goes with it, including early death because of poor medical facilities.

    I said it in the past: When APC are in power, they dislodge the sun from its position of 93 million miles away from earth to scotch and blind us, whilst they engage in their criminality. When SLPP take over they broaden the branches of the palm tree to creat a soothing shade for us to fall asleep. When we open our eyes again, the Treasury and Bank of Sierra Leone are gone and billions of leones go missing at government departments every few seconds.

    The only way we can arrest and stop SLPP and APC from their unconscionable genocide match is to vote in KKY and NGC, if just for the sake of seeing the backs of SLPP and APC – they are a curse.

    • Bringing in KKY will not solve anything if not the same old mentality. NGC is a big branch that fall from the palm tree call SLPP. All the political parties in Sierra Leone are all the same. I wish the change wherein young people will have the right to stand.

  10. It looks as if the Africanist Press has usurped the role of the Auditor General. All of this misappropriation never came up in her report. If the APC have been fishing for revelation to undermine the new regime they are completely lost in their quest. The ACC should investigate and publish 14years of per diem allowances given to previous and present government officials.

  11. Hmmm, let’s do this. If you are suffering from schizophrenia—mentally incapacitated after years of political and tribalistic indoctrination, leaving you virtually unable to think for yourself, or even employ rational common sense in deciphering political events, the following are a few simple facts to rekindle your comatose brain.

    1. Due to poverty and other factors, a good number of our citizens, including our own family members, will always find ways to dupe you whenever you contracted them to manage projects back home on your behalf. Likewise a huge percentage of our political classes on both sides of the spectrum will always engage in corrupt acts to benefits themselves whenever an opportunity arises.

    2. The monies being stolen by these politicians are never meant to benefit you, your village, township, or community. On the contrary, the very poor people that you appear to be advocating for are being shorthanded by these greedy politicians.

    3. The recent COI white papers which many of you resoundingly and wholeheartedly endorsed, arrived to the charges and fines levied to former regime official after going through annual audit reports along with financial bank transaction records spanning the periods in the question. The Africanist press has been providing the same physical evidence in the form of bank transactions and other financial records corroborated by the annual audit reports.

    So in light of the aforementioned, the question now becomes, if you don’t believe on physical evidence in the form of financial bank statements, and those provided by the annual audit reports, does that mean the COI white paper was a HOAX? Secondly, have you ever asked yourself, what exactly has any of these corrupt politicians you are tirelessly defending have done for your area, village, township, community, or chiefdom? If the answer to both of the preceding questions is a resounding NO, can you now see yourself as being one of the most USELESS individual according to these politicians’ perceptions, lacking no common sense?

  12. One thing that is clear from what we have seen is a total disregard for procurement regulations from those whom much is expected with the sole purpose of draining government coffers. The rules around travel allowances are weak and is used by public officials to enrich themselves at the expense of the state. Now we know why the Chief Minister on assuming office started building a massive house at No.2 – something he never did when he was a lecturer in the UK. Yet he had the brazen arrogance to accuse others of corruption when in just a few months in office was spending money like one of the drunken sailors the President referred to.

    I am so disappointed in this Government and like many others who had hoped for a change from the corruption of the previous government. The Country’s economy is on its knees with a huge deficit and increased borrowing yet public officials are having a field day. Where is the fiscal discipline that was promised? May god save Sierra Leone.

  13. There is no smoke without fire. Two reports produced independently, with the same results is too good to be doctored by anyone, let alone by a reputable independent journalistic work ethics that goes to do the job of investigating. It is tiresome and certainly time consuming. Who is fooling who? The 2019 audit reports and now the Pan Africanist journalistic report. The litany of accusations of corruption against the same public officials is striking in similarities.

    The First lady, the chief minister and others. We Sierra Leoneans have the right to know. Recently, a family in Makeni, whose daughter was murdered, can’t afford to what amounts to fifty dollars for the autopsy to be performed. And there are countless families going to bed Hungry everyday in Sierra leone, then you read this. We got some SLPP apologist or our brothers, that have the brass neck to tell us to shut up, and put up with this sort of corruption. If they felt their names have been tarnished, they should take it to the courts. Especially against the Pan Africanist, that are based in the USA. Where libel laws are strongly and jealously enforced against people making allegations with no proof. Until then, no one should tell us to trust Bio, and his government in their fight against corruption.

    Those fellow Sierra Leoneans, that are saying we should hold our fire, before making any criticism, I personally think, they are clinically suffering from what can be only describde as the STOCKHOLM SYNDROME. That is when people start to identify with the causes of their oppressors. They don’t see any fault in their corrupt ways. Rather, in a weird way they see them as liberators. The money involved and the numbers that read like extended telephone mobile numbers, in the case of Sierra Leone, adding the country code it doesn’t even cut through. For the good of our country let’s stop lying to ourselves. It is the least you can do for now.

  14. Brazen thieves at night, after the darkness always comes the light, that reveals, all that have been concealed behind the veils of treachery and effrontery. Brazen, remorseless SLPP thieves at night, that hate the glorious light and all things lovely and bright; Art thou a scholar wearing a collar or a bandit, with a glittering sword hidden out of sight, under his musty armpit? Is it true Professor that you are also an imposter pretending to be someone he is not? Answer – can a leopard ever change its spots? Is it possible for a miserable, wretched caterpillar to become a beautiful majestic butterfly overnight? So why the hurry, and scurry to exploit the defenseless lame poor beggar just to become extremely wealthy overnight in Sierra Leone?

    Have you forgotten so quickly how you struggled and juggled minutes and hours in the freezing, chilling, frightening, unforgiving winter cold just to make ends meet in a land so far away from home? Were you assigned that esteemed position you are holding so that you can honor yourself and favor for only your gullible tribesmen? Professor or should I say Imposter are you not afraid or ashamed to steal from scanty coffers belonging to the wretchedly poor people of Sierra Leone? Is that what your Colonial instructors instilled in that pathetic tribalistic brain of yours when you were busily displaying fawning adoration and flattery just to be able to win their approval and admiration?

    Come on Man – GIVE BACK WHAT YOU STOLE FROM US – no ifs, buts, and whys – GIVE BACK WHAT YOU STOLE…..GIVE IT ALL BACK, there’s a hungry suckling infant desperately in need of milk.(lol)

  15. Forumites, please – this is an appeal to you all. We are receiving far too many comments with grammatical and spelling mistakes that are taking a huge amount of time to correct before they are suitable for publishing. Please ensure that you have checked your comments before hitting the send button.

    We dont mind making one or two corrections to your comments, but when this involves every paragraph or sentence, then we must draw a line. We will no longer be making huge corrections to your posts before publishing. All posts that do not meet the minimum threshold of grammatical and spelling correctness will not be published. Please, let us keep the standards high. Thank you.

    • Yup…Atta boy! Its about damn time we begin to separate the unwanted SLPP chaff from the Legendary APC wheat;(lol) On this glorious forum, standards must always remain very high – Its mandatory – The stakes are just too high for anyone to even consider lowering the bar, even by an inch.(lol)

    • While I applaud the Africanist Press of keeping a tab on government activities, getting it wrong will raise eye brows to the critically minded patriots. For example, of the list of per Diem published, only one is listed as having benefited the Chief Minister, David Francis. The bulk it seems went to David Sengeh when he was head of directorate for IT. And the per Diem he received were for trips made to the USA. For some who have been opotuned to work as international civil servants or NGOs, they would know that per Diem varies according to the country and city. USA, Austria and Switzerland have the highest DSA. It is even higher when it is in New York, Geneva and Vienna. So if Dr. Sengeh received $6000, as stated above, the question is how many days did he spend and which city in the USA was his mission. Failing to educate your readers on this itineraries raises eye brows as to the motive especially when you have an eye catching headline like the one above for this article.

      Between 7 and 12 November 2020, I went on mission to Lusaka Zambia, Windhoek and Odangwa in Namibia. I received about $1840 as per Diem or DSA as it is called by international organizations. The breakdown was as follows: $270 per night in Lusaka Zambia for 3 nights; $170 per night for 3 nights in Windhoek Namibia and $130 per nights for 2 nights in Odangwa Namibia. The total about what they call Terminal Expenses, which is calculated as $47 one way from the airport to your hotel or car hire. So for my journey, I received $47 X2 (to and fro lungi international airport) : $47×2 (to and fro Kenneth Kaunda airport) $47 X2 (to and fro Sam Njuma airport). I got a car hire at Odangwa airport as my final destination was actually Osikangwa on the Namibia Angola border which has no airport.

      The reason I am stating these details, is to let folks know that sponsor for international trips are calculated according to the international civil service rate and it is something that is available on the web for all to see. It only becomes corruption if monies were collected for trips not made or dates not spent on the mission . But I believe that most of Dr Sengeh’s trip when he was director in that IT secretariat were written about including some of the goodies he brought back. Corruption indeed as they would say will fight back and where best to find that ring if not in a country where our analytical skills have been relegated to the Dustin .

      • Mrs / Ms Jones – welcome to the Sierra Leone Telegraph. You are absolutely right in saying that this is corruption fighting back. These are the corrupt in the current government, for whom you are serving as a mascot, that are now fighting back. You are doing a fine job though, but please try and do better in presenting your facts, or in refuting the overwhelming evidence of corruption put before us by the authors of this report. Thank you.

  16. These are mere allegations until they are proven to be true. I have little faith in Journalists whose only target is investigations into financial impropriety and nothing else.

  17. President Bio and the Anti Corruption Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala have already predicted that “Corruption will fight back”. Since the launch of the COI the destructive AYAMPI peoples Congress (APC) party has first used their destructive members in the diaspora like Adebayor in Holland and Gibril Bangura in the USA to incite violence in order to fulfill the wishes of their lifetime chairman and Samura Kamara “To make our country ungovernable”. Fortunately, they failed based on the fact that our gallant security forces quelled most of the uprising orchestrated by the terrorists APC party members and supporters.

    They also used local journalist to tarnish the image of the Chief Minister Professor David Francis but was unsuccessful based on the fact that our ACC commissioner did a wonderful job in investigating that allegation swiftly and many more which brought acclaimed to our nation by scoring 81% credibility rating and for the first time in history, Sierra Leone won the MCC. Now the destructive APC party has switched to a different level by using “Fake News” from the Africanist Press in the USA to counter the White Paper Report in order to avoid paying back our stolen monies or losing their properties.

    Hopefully, the ACC commissioner will speedily conclude the investigation of the Office Of the First Lady for the past 14 years, which will disclose the pattern, process and procedures that have been used to disburse money transactions to that office. Precedent are usually followed as currently in the USA where the Democratic Party has decided to use the method of reconciliation process previously used by the Republican Party to approve budgets. The citizens are anxiously waiting for the implementation of the White Paper and I hope and pray that the Chief Minister won’t fall in this new trap but stay focused on his ACCELERATED DELIVERY PROGRAMS which they promised the Voters that gave the New Direction government 5 years mandate.

    • Wow! This is all you can offer to Sierra Leone. I’m in awe by some of you people’s sense of reason. when will the government bring counter evidence against Africanist press? As a responsible leader they should bring out a press release reassuring the people of Sierra Leone. But no, they can’t because of people like you that make them think they’re not answerable to Sierra Leoneans, as if they do not owe us any explanation. The first lady did not deny to start with, plus if Chernor Bah is lying, why can’t the government sue him? Really Sierra Leoneans? Where are we heading? I’m actually screaming this out. Twwwwwww.

    • Un-africanist huh? How so? Well,I beg to differ !Nothing troubles and ruffles me more that the outlandish antics and attempts of desperate individuals anxious to survive on a meager SLPP payroll who are hopelessly gasping and choking on a pitiful, beggarly SLPP monetary leash that is only upgraded and raised higher inch by inch every time they bark sneeringly and menacingly on those few good people whose utterances come only from genuine concern, sincerity and love of country.

      Geez! Un-africanist huh? Naaaah, me thinks you are holding a grudge against them because you speak with rancor – without any doubt, they are matchless heroes of the raging storm currently destroying our beloved Sierra Leone.(lol)

    • Hahaha, I assume you only trust fake news. The folks at Africanist press have been providing legitimate and physical evidence to back all their publications, yet here you are making a mockery of your integrity.

    • Yeah…so who do you trust? The SLPP Criminal Cabal? Who is going to vigilantly look out for the interests of the abjectly poor masses in Sierra Leone? Who? Well, here’s my take on this; I also do not trust anyone who doesn’t trust those patriotic brave people that perform their duties in good faith in the interests of our Sierra Leone – men and women that deserve to be trusted and revered by the whole of society. (lol) Clear enough!

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