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Colossal theft at EDSA…

Former RCB staff pleads guilty, ordered to pay over Le3bn

July 23, 2021

By Regina Pratt

The first accused in the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) corruption matter, Mohamed  Sheku  Turay, a former banker attached to the Operations Department of the Rokel Commercial Bank  Sierra Leone limited, has pleaded guilty on counts 1 and 3 of the indictment.

He pleaded guilty that, between 5th January, 2019 and 25th June, 2020, he conspired to  misappropriate public revenue in the sum of three billion, nine hundred and twenty million, one hundred and forty-five thousand, two hundred and sixty-two Leones (Le3,920,145,262.00), being funds of EDSA.

The accused person pleaded guilty on Thursday after making their second appearance before Justice Simeone Allieu at the Anti-Corruption High Court No 6, together with the other seven accused persons.

Turay and seven others-Alimamy Sesay, Reconciliation Officer at EDSA, Noah  Winnebah Marketing Officer at EDSA, Abioseh Ola Barnes Accountant at EDSA,  Musa Momoh Lahai Head of Commercial, North, EDSA, Hawa Y. Kamara Revenue Reconciliation Officer, EDSA,  Mary Bangura  (Mrs. Ngegbai), Revenue Assistant, EDSA, Rugiatu Kalokoh Revenue Assistant, EDSA, were charged with  five counts of misappropriation, conspiracy,  and failure to comply with the applicable procedures relating to the management of funds.

Responding, Justice Allieu said having heard the 1st accused’s plea of guilty on the face of the indictment on counts 1 and 3, he had no option but to convict him as charged.

In his plea of mitigation on behalf of the 1st accused, defense counsel, Drucil E. Taylor, said the accused complied and conducted himself  well.

He also said that in face of the trial, he opted to forfeit his property in order to deal with the consequences done in the face of the many challenges, adding that he was quite remorseful of his conduct and that justice is composit with mercy.

“Therefore, I plead with you to temper justice with mercy.”

Justice Alieu sentenced the convict to five years on each count, and ordered him  to pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund the restitution of Le3, 920,145,262.00 on or before 30th September, 2021.

He further ordered that the payment should be supervised by the Anti-Corruption Commission with receipt presented to the registrar.