Karefa Kargbo faults Govt.White Paper


September 29, 2020

By Mohamed M. Sesay

Two former APC government officials accused of corruption say the COI  allegations are false – SIERRA LEONE TELEGRAPH
LT.COL Karefa Kargbo

Former Financial Controller at the Petroleum Directorate, Retired LT.COL Karefa Kargbo has questioned the legality and professionalism in the just concluded Justice Biobele Georgwill’s Commission of Inquiry which implicated him (Kargbo) as one of the Persons of Interest that are to pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund the sum of Le70, 294, 264, 523. 00 that had remained unaccounted for as monies not transferred to the Single Treasury Account in 2017 and monies paid out illegally as terminal benefits to staff whilst still in the service of the Petroleum Directorate.

Kargbo stated that he was resident in Sierra Leone during the entire period the Commissions of Inquiry was in secession, but that he was never invited, notified expressly or impliedly that he was a Person of Interest or that his presence was required as a witness at the Commissions of Inquiry.

He lamented how adverse findings or a judgment could be passed on his person with materially adverse and life challenging implications for himself and his family without being given the opportunity to have rebutted the accusations against him.

He clarified that he was not at the Petroleum Directorate when the Single Treasury Account came into force in October 2017, and could not therefore have been involved or had any influence on the decision to pay or not pay monies into the Consolidated Revenue Fund in 2018.

“I was no longer at the Directorate in 2017 or 2018 when members of staff were paid terminal benefits,” he said.

 Karefa Kargbo also asserted that when the said decision was sought to be done during his time at the Directorate, he vehemently resisted the move and never implemented it, a stand he considered to be part of the reasons he was accused of “insubordination” which eventually led to the termination of his service on the 9th January 2016.

He added that he was also not employed at the Directorate in 2018 when SMRT was given a US$3,000,000 loan to purchase Biometric Machines for elections.

“I am not a legal mind but my accounting and auditing background informs that you give opportunity to the subject of your work to explain or justify the action no matter how gross the allegation against same. In my experience, even persons who have been caught red handed acts of thievery of Government property by the Anti-Corruption Commission are given a right to a fair hearing. How the Commission of Inquiry therefore came about to make an adverse finding against me, and the Government of Sierra Leone duly accepted the recommendations leaves me questioning the very core foundation of the professionalism of the Commission on which Government relied,’’ he said.