By Jane B. Mansaray……………………………
Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator, Mr. Umaru Sesay yesterday appeared before Justice John Bosco Allieu to testify in a corruption matter involving the Executive Director of “Needy Today” (TNT) a Non Governmental Organization based in Makeni, Northern Province of Sierra Leone.
Led in evidence by ACC Lawyer Sariffou Harleston, the first prosecution Mr. Umaru Sesay told the court that he recognized and knows the accused persons in relation to the matter.
During the course of the investigation, the witness said he received attachment document from the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank request payment alleged to have been signed and dated on the 31st September 2016 by the said (NGO) Finance Officer, Alfred Mustapha Bangura who happens to be the third accused in the trial.
These documents and other exhibits material in relation to the matter were produced to form part of the court records.
The three accused persons include Dauda Amid Koroma Executive Director of “Needy Today”, Jessy Jim Brima Kpagoi Programme Manager and Alfred Mustapha Bangura Finance Officer of the above mentioned organization are standing trial at the High Court on twenty four counts related indictment ranging from misappropriation of donor funds contrary to Section 37 of sub section 1 of the ACC Act No.12 of 2008 to giving advantage to a public officer contrary to Section 28 sub-section (1) (a) of 2008.
The particulars of indictment state that the accused persons on diverse dates in 2015 and 2016 in Makeni, Northern Province of Sierra Leone being Executive Director of the Needy Today (TNT) dishonestly misappropriated funds close to one Billion Leones meant for the protection of vulnerable groups during the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak response project and also gave advantage of three Million Leones to one Sulaiman Bah, Internal Auditor at Goal Sierra Leone as an inducement to discontinue audit of funds at the above mentioned office in Makeni.
Various sums with different cheque numbers were withdrawn from a current account number 0212550242101 at the Rokel Commercial Bank.
All accused persons were represented by a battery defense counsels including Lawyer C.F. Edwards.
Based on the huge public cry for transparency and accountability of Ebola funds, Justice Allieu refused the accused persons bail pursuant to Section 79 of the Criminal Procedure Act No.32 of 1916.
All accused persons were remanded at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Centre attending trial. The matter was adjourned to the 3rd April 2017.