March 12, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Former Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) and three others have agreed to repay a total sum of Nine Hundred and Eighteen Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Leones (Le 918,657,000) to the Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC).
Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu, Head of Internal Audit- Dr. Komba Dinkin Marah, Accountant-Mariama Bonghor Sesay and Raymond Sawyerr, a Consultant of 26 New Castle Street, Kissy, Freetown had been investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) since December, 2018, in relation to complaints of misappropriation of public funds at the SLMA.
According to a release from the ACC, the monies were withdrawn from the SLMA account between August and December, 2018, and that the Management of the SLMA could not properly give account as to how they the money was expended.
They had they claimed the withdrawals were for legitimate purposes.
The ACC also discovered various systems and processes lapses that the staff concerned had exploited to facilitate the unlawful and improper withdrawals.
Dr. Bendu is required to pay back the sum of five hundred million Leones (Le 500,000,000), Dr. Marah-two hundred million Leones (Le 200,000,000), Ms. Sesay- two hundred million Leones (Le200, 000,000),while Raymond Sawyerr should pay eighteen million, six hundred and fifty-seven thousand Leones (Le18, 657,000) to the commission within 12 (twelve) months with effect from 1st March 2019.
At the commencement of the agreement, Dr. Bendu paid two hundred and one million, three hundred and fifty five thousand Leones (Le201, 355,000) cash, with the remaining amount should be paid to the ACC not later than 28th February, 2020.
“Dr. Marah and Ms. Sesay agreed to pay and have paid one hundred million lioness (Le 100,000,000) cash each and Raymond Sawyerr agreed to pay and has fully paid Eighteen Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Leones (Le18, 657,000),” the release stated.
Within the past eight (8) months, the ACC has recovered Eleven Billion, Seven-hundred and sixty eight million, five hundred and twenty-seven thousand, four hundred and seventy four Leones (Le11, 768,527,474.00), part of which has been paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.