43 Arrive To Investigate… 2 Years Of APC Government

 

  • Financial Damage
  • Ban From Public Life

Work has started in earnest in fulfilment of President Julius Maada Bio and his ‘New Direction’ Government’s determination to bring to light the true account of how the former All People’s Congress (APC) Government handled the financial affairs of the state.

As such, Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) has announced that a forensic audit team that comprises 43 financial and performance auditors from Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Sierra Leone supported by DFID has commenced a one-month technical audit on Social Security, Energy, Telecoms and Civil Works.

Deputy Auditor-General of ASSL, Mrs. Adama Renner welcomed the team to Sierra Leone on behalf of the Management. According to ASSL, the audit teams from the Supreme Audit Institutions of Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana comprise staff with specialist skills in civil engineering, telecoms, pensions and investment.

This special technical audits led by ASSL will cover the period January 2016 to July 2018 of the APC Government. The probe team was put together by ASSL upon a request sent to the Auditor-General in July this year by the President through the Minister of Finance to do a special technical audit on the four sectors.

The Auditor-General, Lara Taylor-Pearce, in fulfillment of the President’s request, applied to the three countries through the African Organisation of English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E) to assist in the technical audit.

ASSL confirms that the 43 auditors have already started work and their probe would cover the National Social Security Trust (NASSIT), Civil Works Sector, Ministry of Energy and Telecommunications including the three state-owned enterprises – the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Sierra Leone Cable Company (SALCAB) and Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (SIERRATEL).

Deputy Auditor-General in charge of Special Audits, Tamba Momoh said 11 entities within the four sectors would be audited, stating that the Auditors-General of Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania accepted to support Sierra Leone by sending their staff to help in the audit. He commended the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) for its support to enhance a successful outcome.

Although an independent investigative body, the Deputy Auditor General explained that Section 119 (7) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone makes provision for the President, acting in accordance with the advice of Cabinet or Parliament, to request the Auditor-General in the public interest to audit at any particular time, the accounts of anybody or organisation. He noted that the request to do a special audit was done in line with Section 119 (7).

Welcoming the delegation from Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya at a ceremony at the NASSIT hall, Walpole Street in Freetown on Monday 12th November, 2018, the Director General of NASSIT, Mohamed Fuad Daboh stressed on the need for accountability which, he said, is the main reason the auditors are in Sierra Leone. He assured ASSL that NASSIT would give maximum cooperation to the audit.

It could be recalled that when delivering a speech in his home district of Bonthe, President Julius Maada Bio told the nation that monies that were stolen by former government officials would be recovered by his regime to help finance his government’s flagship free quality education program.

As such, going by previous experiences of the outcome of Commissions of Inquiry in Sierra Leone and other parts of the world, political analysts foresee serious financial consequences for public officials of both the now ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and All People’s Congress (APC) big guns that would be found guilty of corruption during the closing years of the former APC Government.

Political watchers also anticipate that besides being slapped huge fines or ordered to pay back what they had taken illegally, all those found guilty by the different Commissions of Inquiry that have been set up by this government would end up being legally banned for life from participating in politics and public affairs.