Sierra Leone’s former minister of youth affairs – Bai Mahmoud agrees to repay stolen funds

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 June 2019:

Tonight, questions are being asked as to how the former youth affairs minister in the Koroma-led APC government – Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura, can continue to serve in the APC party as Chairman of its National Youth League, following today’s announcement by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that it has entered into settlement agreement with the former minister to repay stolen public funds.

Some APC party grandees are calling for his resignation as National Youth League Chairman, which otherwise will reinforce public’s perception and belief that the APC is inherently corrupt.

In a statement published today, the ACC said that it “wishes to inform the public that it has entered into a settlement agreement with the former Minister and Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Youth Affairs, Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura (Photo) and Mr. Adekalie Samura respectively, and Civil Society Activist and Director of Anti-Violence Movement, Mr. Bernard Conteh, in respect of investigations into funds provided to the Sierra Leone Movie Stars by the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA), for the procurement of media equipment and production of movie showcasing Sierra Leone’s development.

“According to findings of our investigations, the sum of Three Hundred Million Leones (Le 300,000, 000) was received by Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura from RMFA on behalf of the Sierra Leone Movie Stars.

“The money was then disbursed into the Account of the Anti-Violence Movement, as the Sierra Leone Movie Stars did not have a functional Account at the time of the disbursement. Seventy-Five Million Leones (Le75,000,000) of the said money was then requested for by Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura; which the Executive Director of Anti-Violence Movement authorized. No proper account of the said funds was given by the former Minister.

“Mr. Adekalie Samura, as Permanent Secretary, approved these improper financing arrangements when knowing fully well that there are no supporting documents attached.

“Two Hundred and Twenty Million Leones was also misappropriated by the Anti-Violence Movement”.

According to the agreement reached with the ACC, as settlement to repay the missing public funds, Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura has agreed to pay back the total sum of Seventy-Five Million Leones (Le 75,000,000).

Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura the ACC said, has already paid back the sum of Thirty Five Million Leones (Le35,000,000).

Former permanent secretary – Mr. Adekalie Samura, will pay back the total sum of Five Million Leones (Le5,000,000).

Civil Society Activist and Director of Anti-Violence Movement – Mr. Bernard Conteh, has agreed to repay a total sum of Two Hundred and Twenty Million Leones (Le 220,000,000).

This brings the total misappropriated funds stolen and to be paid back to the State to Three Hundred Million Leones (Le300, 000,000).

It now remains to be seen whether Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura will resign his position as chairman of the APC National Youth League; or whether the executive committee of the party will allow him to continue, thus reinforcing the public perception that the opposition APC is not only a corrupt institution, but that it officially encourages corruption and nurtures corrupt young leaders.

7 Comments

  1. Perhaps we are here to defend individual interests not to define the constitution of the land. This one saying, no proper documentation for the said missing amount was presented, and the others saying something else. What a heck? We are aware of the fact that, who is the problem of this country. Sierra Leone does not belong to only one tribe. When your tenure of office is over just go home. I am totally happy for this COI. We want the truth to come out.

  2. Yes MANGA, We do not have an issue with digesting anything here. What I have done is asking LEGITIMATE and FAIR questions to get to the bottom of what happened. Also, there is no need mentioning KONOS to be referred to as fools. DISCUSS/ARGUE. The editor clearly stated that, the information is according to their findings. Do you know the findings of the ACC Mr. Yes MANGA?

    Do you think that, asking questions for clarity is just for asking sake? By the way, you are on a platform where you just do not come and say what you want. There are people who will correct you immediately. One’s credibility on any issue on any platform and in particular this platform is very important. JUST STARTED EH?

    By the way, I am using my GOD giving name on this platform and not an ALIAS which will make people doubt who I am or who would even want to engage with me? Is that not COOL AND COZY?

    My advice to you is, don’t forget to turn off the lights the next time you leave this platform as a well RESPECTED FORUMITE normally says.

    Finally, asking questions is not stupidity/ignorance. However, welcome to this well RESPECTED and CREDIBLE PLATFORM. Yes MANSA there confused about asking questions. GOD BLESS YOU Mr. Yes MANGA.

  3. We know that LE300,000,000 was missing and there were no proper documentation for the said missing amount. What we don’t know is whether there was corruption involved. We need answers to certain questions before we can definitely condemn these individuals.

    First of all, were the equipment supplied? Were the invoices inflated? Was the money just shared among these three men? Is the minister paying the money back because of negligence and trying to accept responsibility under his watch? Until we have very clear answers, I don’t think it will be fair to make judgment at this stage.

    By the way, how is the COI doing?

    • Mansa, Konos have been derogatorily referred to as fools even though we have supplied more leadership to the university of Sierra Leone second only to the Krios. Do I need tell you about Professor Matturi at Njala University College, Professor Kpakima for principal at FBC now Minister of Tertiary education and professor Gbamanja for Counselor of the university of Sierra Leone.

      I am perturbed as a Kono that my kinsman could read an article and his comments reflect someone who did not have time to digest the content of the said article before posting a comment. It is said, if I can repeat, that the then Minister of Youth Mr Bangura requested the sum of seventy five million Leones which was approved by the Executive Secretary,; and that no proper account was given by Minister Bangura; thus he has agreed to repay to avoid going to court.

      How can a reasonable person write what you have just written is beyond my imagination. But like it is said – everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But we Konos are better than what you represent.

  4. THE CASH AGREED TO BE PAID IS AS A RESULT OF THE FACT THAT THEY TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MISSING FUNDS AS A RESULT OF INAPPROPRIATE DOCUMENTATION. BUT THE CASH WAS UTILISED IN SAID PROJECTS. THESE GUYS JUST PAY BACK MONEY THEY DID NOT ACTUALLY PERSONALLY BENEFIT FROM.

    • “THE CASH AGREED TO BE PAID IS AS A RESULT OF THE FACT THAT THEY TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MISSING FUNDS AS A RESULT OF INAPPROPRIATE DOCUMENTATION. BUT THE CASH WAS UTILISED IN SAID PROJECTS. THESE GUYS JUST PAY BACK MONEY THEY DID NOT ACTUALLY PERSONALLY BENEFIT FROM.”-Papanii Kamara

      Mr Kamara, did you read what you wrote? This is amazing. A young and aspiring politician accepting corruption knowing fully well the ramification on his political career. And here we have a citizen, giving such a ridiculous and lame excuse as to why Mr. Bangura et al owned up to a case of corruption for which they are not guilty.

      If the money was invested as was required, I am sure the proceeds from that investment did not evaporate into thin air. But this is Sierra Leone where people see things according to the type of political lens they have on. Shioor!

    • Mrs Aminta Conteh, you’re indeed right. What is becoming more and more evident in these inquiries of our officials that were elected or selected to run the day to day business of our country, are the fundamental lack of administrative skills and the ingnorance of the responsibilities vested in them.

      Accountability in the form of recordings and keeping day to day governmental or institutional transactions or events almost never existed. Incompetence and lack of knowledge in the various institutions and government ministries opened the door wide open for corruption.

      Mr. Papanii Kamara for me it’s a disgrace to my national pride and nothing to be proud of.

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