Sack Edmund Koroma, 3 Others Now… So ACC’s Action Relates To Corruption?
Public’s concerns say the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) must be taken to task for providing a safe haven for Sierra Leone’s Financial Secretary and 3 others.
Voices of the commoners of society grumbled of ‘unfairness’ and ‘bias’ over rotten decision of ACC officials.
Reflection must be drawn to a case in which the former Minister of Health was dismissed and taken to the high court to answer corruption charges because he was accused of flouting procurement rules.
Sheku Tejan Koroma, in 2009, was convicted for corruption and made to pay a fine of Le 150 million.
His prosecution came owing to the fact that he disobeyed procurement principles and procedures.
Conversely, Edmund Koroma, then NASSIT Director General and now Sierra Leone’s Financial Secretary, three others, flouted procurement rules woefully.
In 2008, NASSIT as an institution, and under the directives of Edmund Koroma, purchased two rotten ferries for 2.1 million Euros.
He was with 3 others investigated by the ACC and found culpable of violating procurement regulations.
Instead of having all 4 culprits arraigned before high court to answer to charges of corruption, they were rather asked to make a repayment of Le 500 million each.
Sources say Edmund Koroma and cohort never bought the boats for 2.1 million Euros, but much much lesser than that.
According to document in our possession, it is glaring that the ACC, in its findings, say Edmund Koroma and cohorts violated procurement rules; which to the Anti Corruption Act 2008, is a criminal offence.
“NASSIT officials flouted procurement regulations in conducting these transactions in number of respects,” the report states.
It is in that same report that this press mathematically calculated the real cost expended on the purchase of the rotten ferries.
In totality, NASSIT used 2.1 million Euros to purchase the rotten boats – Le 8-9 billion in equivalent.
Facts gathered say Edmund Koroma and others were conscious that there was structural shortfalls on boats Bai Bureh and Masimera (old-fashioned and ancient), but thoughtlessly used public monies to purchase same.
It is wretched though that Edmund Koroma, who, to Sierra Leoneans is partially a criminal, continues to occupy the office of Financial Secretary unrestricted.
Afsatu Kabba, Sheku Tejan Koroma, Adrian Fisher and others, all prominent and high placed civil servants, uncompromisingly reached wells of the high courts to answer to corruption charges.
It must be noted however that persons mentioned above face convictions and were made to pay fines.
None, not even one served imprisonment.
According to public’s view, it was expected that the ACC would have charged Edmund Koroma and cohorts and then leave it all with the court to make a decision.
History has in it records that Afsatu Kabba was found wanting of corruption, fined Le 150 million and asked to make repayment of Le 300.000 to the account of Fisheries Ministry.
Though inconspicuous that Afsatu’s case ignited national pressure, again, it was public’s expectation that the ACC would have applied same to Edmund Koroma, Gibril Saccoh, Ibrahim Bah and Mamoud Idris.
Sierra Express Challenges officials of the ACC that Edmund and cohorts violated procurement regulation and must be treated as criminals.
More details next issue.
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