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Le880 M scam: Minister incriminates City Council

Le880 M scam: Minister incriminates City Council

A sum totaling Le 880 M offered the Sierra Leone government in March of 2008 by Milestone Trading Limited, for the construction of a market in Freetown, is reportedly embezzled by officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Freetown City Council respectively.

In his words, the Minister of Works (then Minister of Trades), Alimamy Pepito Koroma (in photo) said, “up until the time I handed over Ministerial responsibilities to the appointed Trades Minister then, the Le 880 M was indeed in the custody of the Ministry.”

“I advise you check on management at Freetown City,” he said, “They are likely to tell the whereabouts of the money.”

It could be recalled that prior to Milestone’s gifting of the sum of Le 880 M to government for the construction of an ultra modern market; it promised on an installment basis, to complete its pledge of US$1.5 M as construction exercise progressed.

In March 2008, the Executive Officer of Milestone, Nissim Ledy, at a ceremony held at State House, presented a cheque of Le 880 M to President Koroma and said it is his company’s desire to abidingly fulfill its corporate social task for the people of Sierra Leone.

“This amount formed part of my company’s pledge towards the building of an ultra modern market for traders in the City of Freetown,” Nissim said.

The amount, our findings revealed, was later handed over to the then Minister of Trades, Alimamy P. Koroma, to enable him to accomplish the construction of the ultra modern market project in Freetown.

In spite of promises by management of Milestone that, as the construction exercise progresses, they will surely be making payments to government thereby honouring the company’s US$1.5 M commitments, no work has been observed as done at all.

Leaks are that the Le 880 M has been conspiratorially embezzled by management of the Ministry of Trades and the Freetown City Council.

Unconfirmed reports state that management of Milestone seems unhappy over government’s vehemently refusal to construct an ultra modern market for its people when the funds are available.

Even though Minister Alimamy P. Koroma has told this press that he once included in his handing over note the Le 880 M under query, there is no record showing the whereabouts of the money or how it reached the hands of management of the Freetown City Council.

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