The New Direction government of President Bio in its commitment and desire to eradicate corruption, mismanagement and indiscipline in the affairs of the state on Thursday 24th September, 2020 released the White paper, upholding recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry with the exclusion of political ban.
Though the Inquiry recommended 5 years ban from public office for those founding wanting, the government White Paper rejected such recommendation since it will tend to distract from the object of the Commission of Inquiry as government focus is to recover the people’s money.
The document has ordered former officials in ex-President Ernest Bai Koroma APC government found wanting of corruption by the three Commissions of Inquiry to payback monies allegedly swindled from the state amounting to billions of Leones into the Consolidated Revenue Fund within 90 days from the date of publication of the White Paper.
Though dozen of houses and mansons belonging to ex-President Koroma and many other government officials who served in his government have been confiscated to the state, other key APC officials were exonerated.
The misappropriated state resources to be refunded by former President Koroma and some of his ministers and deputies, heads of government institutions found wanting in the COI findings run to billions of Leones, equivalent to hundreds of millions of United States dollars.
Ex-President Koroma, Dr. Kaifala Marah, Dr. Michael Kargbo, Momodu L. Kargbo and Raymond Kargbo shall jointly refund the sum of USD12,263,821.00 that had remained not refunded as monies given out illegally as loan by the Petroleum Directorate through the National Commission for Privatization to Rokel Commercial Bank.
The White Paper also ordered ex-President Koroma together with Momodu L. Kargbo, Raymond Kargbo and SMRT Company Limited to also refund USD3,000,000 that had remained not refunded as monies given out illegally as loan by the Petroleum Directorate through the Ministry of Finance to SMRT Company Limited for supply of Biometrics Machines.
The former President is also indicted to repay the sum of Le70,294,264,523.00 that had remained unaccounted for as monies not transferred to the single treasury account in 2017 and monies paid out illegally as terminal benefits to staff whilst still in the service in the Petroleum Directorate.
Alfred Palo Conteh, Steven Gaojia, Charles Mambu, Miatta Kargbo, Madinah Rahman, Dr. Donald Bash-Taqi and Mohamed Paul Kamara of Kingdom Security and Logistic Limited should also refund over one hundred billion Leones that were misappropriated and or had remained unaccounted for at the National Ebola Response Centre.
Former Ministers of Youth Affairs, Hon. Alimamy Kamara and Bai Mamoud Bangura under both the drainage and youth farm projects are to refund tens of billion of Leones that had remained unaccounted for and unverified in the implementation of the aforementioned projects.
All other former officials especially in the education, agriculture, health and among other sectors highlighted in the government paper should refund alleged stolen funds within 90 days.
Also, Dr Samura Kamara was referred to the Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigation in connection with 31 vehicles he owned disproportionate to his official emolument.