Pastor Emmanuel Aiah Momoh, who found the 709.41 carats of uncut diamond in Kono district sometime in March this year, is now in a complete state of dilemma. The man urgently needs money to look after himself and his family. His diamond has still hot been sold by the Government of Sierra Leone.
At the last auction held at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex at Kingtom, the highest bid of US$7.7m (Seven Million Seven hundred thousand dollars) was rejected by the Government Auctioneer, Sahr Wunday, who doubles as head of NMA (National Minerals Agency).
Sahr Wunday told a packed press conference on May 11, 2017 at Kingtom that, the highest bid did not march the Government’s reserved price. The diamond is now expected to be sold outside of Sierra Leone in an open tender in September this year.
Pastor Momoh is clearly a frustrated man. He regretted his decision of handing over the diamond to the government instead of selling it to the Lebanese diamond exporter, Mr. Jihad Basma who first saw the diamond in Koidu City and even weighed it in front of Pastor Momoh.
Pastor Momoh, according to family sources, needs assistance from the government in the form of an urgent loan of at least US$25,000 (Twenty Five Thousand United States dollars) to take care of urgent and very pressing family needs.
Some people have blamed the government for failing to help Pastor Momoh to take care of his urgent and pressing needs, by unnecessary delaying the sale of the 709.41 carats uncut diamond.
The decision by the government to delay the sale of the 709.41 carats diamond will discourage other people from taking their finds directly to the government. In future, they will instead decide to sell them to local diamond exporters based in their various localities.
Sources at NMA assured the Global Times last night that Pastor Momoh was being “adequately informed about the efforts that the government is making in order to get an appreciable price for the gem diamond…It is in Pastor Momoh’s interest to be patient until a better price for the diamond is found”, NMA sources said.
Pastor Momoh is presently living on handouts from his friends and relatives, according to a senior family spokesman in Koidu City yesterday.
The government should find an urgent means to address the plight of Pastor Momoh. Over to you, Mr. President!