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Town Chief, Speaker nabbed for slashing Ebola payments

October 29, 2015

Four local authorities in the Sahn Bumpe township, Bumpe Ngao Chiefdom, Bo District have been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for allegedly “conspiring and deducting” payments made to more than 60 Ebola beneficiaries under the Rapid Ebola Social Safety Net (RESSN).

A press statement issued by the ACC yesterday alleged that Lansana Sheku Amara – Deputy Town Chief; Councilor Morie Korpeh Ansumana; Joe Bangalie – Section Speaker; and Ernest Gondo – a town elder, all in the Bumpe Ngao Chiefdom, conspired to deduct the sum of one hundred and twenty thousand Leones (Le120,000) each from more than 60 beneficiaries under the RESSN.

The Rapid Ebola Social Safety Net is a project designed to provide direct cash transfer to Ebola affected communities to develop their livelihoods.

It could be recalled that last week (Wednesday 21 October), the ACC also arrested four local authorities at Nengbema in the Nyawalenga Chiefdom, also in Bo District, on similar allegations.

Town Chief Peter Yamah, Secretary to the Town Chief Joseph Yokie, former Youth Leader Eddie Johnny, and one Yusufu Foday, were picked up by ACC officials for “conspiracy to commit a corruption offence” by allegedly issuing false HH ration cards to residents of Nengbema.

The HH ration card is a document that entitles verified Ebola victims to receive cash payment in the sum of one hundred and thirty-seven thousand Leones (Le137,000). The project is implemented by World Vision as support to victims of the Ebola virus disease to improve their livelihoods.

Town Chief Yamah, his secretary, Johnny and Foday were alleged to have presented to the Splash pay team “unverified beneficiaries purporting to be eligible recipients, to access benefits under the project. The said unverified persons collected Le137,000 and paid Le30,000 each to the Town Chief and others, as reward for facilitating the unlawful enterprise”.

Leslie Lahai Monson, Field Coordinator and Kerfala Babah Janneh, Field Monitor – all of World Vision Bo, were also arrested by the ACC and detained at the Bo police station.

Meanwhile, the eight suspects have been put on bail and assisting the ACC with investigations.

The commission assured citizens of its continued resolve to the fight against corruption.

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