Missing cheque… Minister, Mayor to account for Le 880 M
The sum of Le 880 million offered Sierra Leone government for the construction of a contemporary market for traders in Freetown is reportedly missing; and two officials- the Minister of Works and the Mayor of Freetown are to account. (Photo: l-r Minister of Works Alimamy P Koroma, and Mayor George Herbert Williams)
Milestone Trading Limited, a locally based business entity, in March of 2008, presented a cheque of Le 880 million to President Koroma for onward submission to then Minister of Trades, Alimamy Pepito Koroma, as start up payment consequent to pledge of US$1.5 million it (Milestone) once made for the construction of an ultra modern market for traders in Freetown.
The cheque, our investigation reveals, was forwarded to the Minister of Trades (then), and now the Minister of Works, Alimamy P. Koroma, by President Koroma to enable him first, locate market cite and second, commence construction of the market project unrestraint.
It was understood by the donor (Milestone) that it will be paying the pledge in bits and as work on the construction of the said market progresses.
Facts have it that the presentation of Le 880 million was at the office of the President at State House by the Chief Executive Officer of Milestone Mr. Nissim Ledy.
That, in his words, he said: “Milestone Limited wants the people of Sierra Leone; particularly traders in Freetown enjoy the pleasure of an ultra modern market.”
“My company,” he continued, “will pay in bits, the remaining sum according to the pledged, as the construction work steps forward.”
Even though Alimamy P. Koroma (then Minister of Trades) had told this press that the Le 880 million was in the custody of management of Trades Ministry, up until time he hands over Ministerial responsibility to his successor, David Carew, it is uncertain whether the said amount exists at all.
It was told however that the money was longed handed over to management of the Freetown City Council, who according Trades Ministry sources, insist it is their responsibility to build markets for traders within the municipality of Freetown.
Mayor Herbert Williams, preceding his prosecution for corruption by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), on number of times, was confronted for his comment regarding claims made by the Ministry of Trades that the sum of Le 880 million was long transferred to the Freetown City Council on grounds illustrating job description, but remained ceaselessly unspoken.
Public’s opinions are that the amount has been diverted into private accounts of unscrupulous public officers.
That money must be accounted for by the previous Minister of Trades now Minister of Works, Alimamy P. Koroma, and the suspended Mayor of Freetown, Herbert George Williams.
It is told also that management of Milestone Company are unhappy over government’s uncalled for attitudes with regard the alleged disappearance of the Le 880 million, and therefore want the ACC institute an investigation though.
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