In the Commission of Inquiry’s report presented to President Bio by Justice Biobele Georgewill yesterdayat the Peace Museum at the former Special Court for Sierra Leone Complex, 20 former President Koroma appointed ministers have been indicted for various corruption offences and subsequently banned from holding public office for a period of 5 years.
In total, 84 Persons of Interest were indicted by the Commission, including 2 former bank governors, 3 Members of Parliament and 10 Permanent Secretaries, while 26 were exenorated .
According to the report, about Le 323 billion and USD95 Million were misappropriated and unaccounted for under the former President Koroma led APC regime.
Justice Biobele Georgewill in his assessment of his report into the conduct of former APC government officials highlighted that it was imperative on the part of government to take strong action on the findings and recommendations contained therein in the reports, citing that, the country can only move forward when public officials perform their duties, responsibly and accountably, noting that, there was a high degree of irresponsibility in governance.
Justice Georgewill named the Ministry of Education under the leadership of Dr Minkailu Bah as the most corrupt ministry under Ernest Koroma’s administration as they should account for over USD67million and Le44B respectively. According to the report, the issue of indebtedness of the Government of Sierra Leone to Limkokwing University is a farce as exposed in the findings under Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
He also ruled that the 30 percent shares held by GoSL at Sierra Rutile were surreptitiously sold for USD8 million. All Youth projects administered by the Ministry of Youths were grossly mismanaged and the tens of millions of dollars misappropriated. Ministry of Mines misappropriated over Le62 billion, Ebola monies squandered to the tune of nearly Le90 billion, while Government lands were illegally leased and sold.
The report further states that all amounts recommended to be paid or refunded shall be refunded and paid into the Consolidation Revenue Fund within 30 days from the date of the ratification of the recommendations. In the event of failure, government shall use all lawful means to confiscate all monies standing to the credit of the indicted persons and properties, movable and immovable, including houses, vehicles and stocks for the purpose of selling them to recover the said amount
Justice Atuguba, one of the Commissioners commented on the remarkable level of independence and complete non-interference in their work by the executive arm of government, including President Bio. He remarked that there is nowhere else where he had seen such complete latitude given to judges conducting a public inquiry.
In his response, President Bio noted that corruption has been the enemy of peace, security and development in the country.