By: Foday Abdulai Kamara
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Monday 31st of August 2020 informed the general public that they have taken actions and steps to address critical issues which arose in the Auditor General’s Audit Reports of Sierra Leone. The aim is to intervene and focus on issues of “possible or alleged” corruption, and “Conduct” inconsistent with Provision(s) in the ACC Act of 2008.
ACC discovered that twenty-one issues attracted the attention of the commission; with the intention to “investigate, Prosecute or recover public funds, public revenue, public property.” In light of this, the Commission has charged two (2) matters to court. There are thirteen (13) which are “ongoing active” investigation; whilst two (2) has been closed. According to the Press release, it was due to “Lack of sufficient evidence.’’ According to the press release, four institutions were under serious investigation for alleged or possible corruption. These institutions include: Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), University of Sierra Leone (USL), National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), and the Emergency Operation Centre (OEC) and National Ebola Response Centre (NERC).
It was revealed that, a certain amount of One billion, Seven Hundred and Fifty-seven million, Three Hundred and Sixty-four thousand, Two hundred and Twenty-four Leones (Le 1,757,364,224) that was transferred to both EDSA and Electricity Generation and Transmission Authority (EGTC) to the Ministry of Energy and Power (MEP) was to settle the liabilities of the National Power Authority (NPA). “MEP submitted variable supporting documents” according to the ACC; as such the investigation was closed. However, the sum of Sixty-two Million (Le 62,000,000) was “dangling” at the Ministry of Energy’s Account, the commission recommended for the amount to be transfer to both EDSA and EGTC.
Also, an amount of Twenty-nine billion, nine hundred and Two million, four hundred and Fifty-nine thousand, Si hundred and thirty-five Leones (Le 29,902,459,635) paid to a certain institution without contractual agreement. Accordingly, there was an overcast amount of Four billion, One hundred and Two million Leones (Le 4,102,000,000) to National Petroleum (NP). It was revealed that the quantity supplied was less that what was paid. ACC has instructed NP to pay back to the State the aforementioned amount.
With respect to University of Sierra Leone (USL), the ACC has obtained the required financial and other documents to be consistent with the statement made by the officials of USL. As for NASSIT, the ACC has found ‘no Ghost’ beneficiaries that was alleged. Whilst for the OEC/NERC, the blanket “No Objection” issued by the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) made it difficult for the Commission to apportion responsibility for “breaking of Procurement rules and Processes, Poor records keeping, etc.”
ACC also notify the public that they have recovered Two Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty-two Million, One Hundred and Eight-five thousand, Three hundred and Four Leones, Sixty-one cents (Le 2,742,185,304.61).