ACC Arrests 3 *Le14B Missing At Youth Ministry *Le2B NASSIT Debt

 

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday 23rd July, 2018 arrested and detained the erstwhile Minister of Youth Affairs in the former Koroma administration, Bai Mahmoud Bangura.

According to the ACC’s Director of Education and Public Outreach, Patrick Sandy, who was on Radio Democracy FM98.1 on Tuesday morning, the former Youth Affairs Minister was arrested and detained for alleged misappropriation of funds for development activities undertaken by the Ministry to the tune of Le14 Billion.

He said the discrepancies related to important youth transformation projects undertaken by the erstwhile government, including the Youth Farm Project at Masiaka in Tonkolili District and the controversial Youth Village that was supposed to be constructed at Kabala in Koinadugu District and Mile 91 in Tonkolili District.

It could be recalled that ACC’s action cannot be unconnected with allegations earlier made by the current Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura that he had discovered huge accountability gaps in the Ministry’s documents.

Also invited for questioning were the former Director General of the National Social Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT), Edmund Koroma, who was appointed as Financial Secretary in 2008, and erstwhile Director of Investment at NASSIT, Mahmoud Idriss. Both were grilled lengthily at the ACC’s Headquarters in Freetown on Monday but were later released on bail.

The two former NASSIT senior officials are under investigation over their alleged failure to pay the balance of Le2 Billion with regards two ferries that were purchased by the Trust from Damien Yard in The Netherlands that became the subject of an ACC probe when Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara was the ACC Commissioner. An out-of-court settlement was reached in the matter and the former senior officials were ordered to pay restitution of Le2 Billion to the state. Le500 million was reportedly paid in 2011. Since then, the ACC believes there is no evidence to show that the balance of Le1.5 Billion had been paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Meanwhile, the former Youth Affairs Minister, who spent a night as guest of the ACC, has been granted bail.