October 1, 2020
All People’s Congress (APC) Member of Parliament,Hon.Mohamed Bangura, has told Concord Times that he will file an appeal in the Appeals Court come Monday, October 5th,to challenge recommendations accepted by government in the just released White Paper that, he should refund to the State, a colossal sum of money he allegedly fraudulently received while serving as Minister of Information and Communications.
Recommendations were proffered by the Justice Bankole Thompson’s Commission of Inquiry for the former Minister of Information and Communications to refund to the state, within the period of ninety days, the sum of one hundred and ninety-four thousand, three hundred and sixty-three United States Dollars (194,363.12) as money he personally received from the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) for his personal benefit.
The COI’s findings on Hon. Mohamed Bangura indicate that his conduct during the inquiry, among other things, were deceitful and fraudulent and that payment due and owing to the ministry by NATCOM to the tune of USD 194,363.12 were made to the aforementioned Minister under the guise of attending ICT conference in overseas.
The report continued that the Commission did not find Hon. Mohamed Bangura’s testimony credible in rebutting the testimonies of the state witnesses and therefore culpable for unjust enrichment.
“Government accepts this recommendation and directs that the sum recommended to be refunded to the state shall be done within ninety days from the date of publication of the report together with this White Paper.”
However, Bangura has boasted that: “I will win the appeal without blinking my eyes.There is no document to ascertain the receipt of that money from the permanent secretary.
He charged that the judge only believes in the verbal allegation of the permanent secretary, which was not backed by any documentary evidence.
“The allegation has no merit because it has leg to stand on and I will challenge it in the Appeals Court. I appeared before the commission and challenged the allegations. How comes I received money without signing for it? The judge only believes in the verbal allegation of the Permanent Secretary,” he said.