By Sylvester Samba.
A special Technical Audit carried out by 50 Independent Auditors drawn from Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya and Sierra Leone revealed that the government of the All People’s Congress (APC) party led by former President Ernest Bai Koroma embezzled during their last three years in office the sum of One Billion, Thirty Six Million, Five Hundred and One Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy Six United States Dollars. This revelation was made yesterday by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa at the official presentation and media launching of the Technical Audits Reports at the conference room of the Ministry of Finance. According to the Finance Minister, the Audit was done on four sectors; Roads, Telecommunications, Energy and NASSIT (Social Security Scheme).
Mr. Saffa made it very clear that all those involved in the embezzlement of such funds should refund such monies to the State of Sierra Leone as against 30th June, 2019. He said this special forensic audit is deferent from previous ones, as it was initiated by the Ministry of Finance. The Minister also vowed to implement the 532 pages Reports to the letter and that all those involved will face the full force of the law. Mr. Saffa said his government spent very little in the entire process as 90% to 95% was funded by foreign partners. He said in total 50 Independent Auditors were involved in the exercise with specialized areas in Civil Engineering, Legal Gurus, Investment Experts, Surveying Personnel, Performance Auditors, Energy and Telecommunication experts.
The Minister maintained that a lot of structural and administrative lapses were detected in the previous administration by these Auditing experts that led to this grand scale corruption in the institutions. He promised that most of the money will be refunded by the people concerned. He lamented that people were receiving monies that they were not entitled to and thus were not properly accounted for in the books. The Minister noted that these findings have nothing to do with the CIO, “they are new revelations to us as opposed to the GTT Report”. According to the Finance Minister, “ these are the people`s money and therefore must be refunded back to the State”, Mr. Saffa blasted. He thanked all the Auditors for a job well done in bringing the fact findings to the attention of the people of this country.