March 22, 2017 By Victoria Naomi Saffa
Senior Investigator of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) from the Northern Province, Umaru Sesay, yesterday testified before Justice John Bosco Allieu on the alleged misappropriation of Ebola funds by officials of The Needy Today (TNT).
The ACC has dragged Dauda Ahmid Koroma, Jesse Jim Brima Kpagoi and Alfred Mustapha Bangura to the High Court of Sierra Leone on twenty-four counts of corruption related offences, contrary to the ACC Act of 2008.
Sesay told the High Court that in December, 2015, he received information from Sulaiman Bah, Internal Auditor of GOAL, against the TNT officials in relation to the implementation of a project called ‘Consolidated Action for Protection and Empowerment’ (CAPE) project to be implemented in 13 chiefdoms.
He testified that GOAL allocated the sum of Le346, 450,000 to TNT to target victims of Ebola Virus Disease.
“I asked the Internal Auditor at GOAL for statement and he produced documents including bank statement and bank payment slips. Slips from Rokel Commercial Bank containing names like Magbinti community hospital, Abu Wise Enterprise and Joseph Conteh, among other names, were made available to me,” he said.
The witness said the above documents were also handed over to him by TNT staffs, adding that the said project targeted five thematic areas including Nutrition, child support, psychosocial support, Gender-Based Violence, and the Aged.
He said the TNT was the implementing agency, while GOAL was the funder.
“As a result, 67% of the total sum of the project was deposited into the TNT’s Rokel Commercial Bank account,” he said
According to the ACC, the trio on a date unknown between 25th August, 2015 and 6thJanuary, 2016 in the Northern Region of the Republic of Sierra Leone, being the Executive Director, Programme Manager and Finance Officer of the TNT respectively, dishonestly misappropriated donor funds meant for “Protection of Vulnerable Groups during the Ebola Outbreak Response” project, the sum of three hundred and forty-six million four hundred and fifty thousand Leones (Le346, 450,000).
Meanwhile, the accused persons have been remanded in custody while the matter was adjourned to 27th March, 2017.