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Biobele’s Bombshells

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The Commissions of Inquiry (COIs) reports into the management of Sierra Leone’s public affairs by the former APC government of President Ernest Bai Koroma were presented to president Julius Maada Bio on Wednesday 25th March, 2020 at the former Special Court building in Freetown.

Presenting the report to President Julius Maada Bio, this is what Justice Biobele Georgewill said:

“Time and space would not permit an inquiry of this nature to cover every single economic, financial and administrative activity of the immediate past Government of H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma from November 2007 – April 2018 when power was democratically handed over to H.E. Dr. Julius Maada Bio, as President of Sierra Leone.”

The Commissions of Inquiry No. 1, Constitutional Instrument No. 64 of 2018 was duly established by law pursuant to the appointment of the Chairman and Sole Commissioner, Hon. Sir Biobele Abraham Georgewill JCA, DSSRS, KSC, a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Lord Chancellor of the Diocese of Niger Delta, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Pro Chancellor of Southgate University, Windhoek, Nigeria, by the President of Sierra Leone to carry out thorough, independent, fair and impartial investigations into allegations of corruption and abuse of public office and to make relevant findings and proffer appropriate recommendations to the Government of Sierra Leone for its considerations.

A: Final Report on Ministerial Investigations; Findings: The highlights are:

Number of Persons of Interest and Collaborators investigated: 110 Persons of Interest, their alleged Collaborators and or Companies.

Number of Persons of Interest and Collaborators Indicted: 84 Persons of Interest and or Companies.

Number of Persons of Interest and Others Discharged: 26 Persons of Interest and Others.

Amounts of Money involved:

On Ebola Response: Le85, 239, 738, 225. 94 and USD2, 471, 993. 41 were misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for between the EOC/Ministry of Health and Sanitation; NERC, their several Collaborators, BDO and IHPAU. On Unsecured Loans: Le7, 100, 159, 352. 29 is still outstanding as debts due payable to the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank from the unsecured loans to politically exposed persons and or their businesses. On the Youth in Drainage Project: Le19, 812, 340, 478. 00 was misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for and a further sum of Le804, 000, 000. 00 paid by RMFA as administrative cost.

On the National Youth Farm Project: Le1, 599, 533, 000. 000 was misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for. On the Youth in Fisheries Project: Le2, 721, 565, 499. 00 and USD277, 000. 00 were misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for. On the National Youth Village Project: Le2, 207, 818, 212. 10 was misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for. On the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources: Le62, 368, 811, 694. 81 and USD7, 860, 767. 16 were misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for.

On Sierra Rutile SL Ltd: The Government of Sierra Leone owned shares, whether amounting to 7, 085 or 30% or less of the total share capital of Sierra Rutile SL Ltd, arising from payment in lieu of PAYE from 1/4/2005 – 31/12/2011 amounting to USD8, 739, 192. 00 which were converted into shares in the said Sierra Rutile SL Ltd, and which shares were under a shady deal surreptitiously sold in 2012. On the Petroleum Directorate: Le72, 254, 506, 000. 00; and USD15, 413, 821. 00 were misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for. On the Ministry of Trade and Industry: Le16, 008, 534, 574. 00 was misappropriated and or unverified and remained unaccounted for. On the Ministry of Sports: Le5, 009, 027, 502. 00 was misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for.

On the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment: Huge and unquantifiable sums of money payable as revenue on hasty and undervalued sale of some identified Government Quarters without due process and other State lands and leases that have been lost to the Government of Serra Leone, Le270, 581, 888. 00 were misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for. On the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology: Le44, 764, 428, 798. 00, and USD67, 951, 222. 00 were misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for. On the Office of Attorney General and Ministry of Justice: Several assets handed over to the Government of Sierra Leone by the former Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2013/2014 had remained unaccounted for. There was also gross dereliction and professional negligence leading to loss of prestige and damages awarded against the Government of Sierra Leone by the ECOWAS Court. The sum of Le3, 394, 828, 831. 00 and USD270, 000. 00 were misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for.From the findings above, the grand total amount of Le323, 555, 873, 556. 14 and USD94, 217, 803. 30 were misappropriated and or unverified and had remained unaccounted for and lost to corruption in the MDAs between November 2007 and April 2018 as investigated by Commission Number One (Constitutional Instrument No. 64 of 2018).

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