The Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization, Mr. Abu Bangura seems to be in a state of dilemma as he now perceives his plan to be in a state of flux and ambition paralyzed. This he noticed, after the publication of the outcome of the Independent Procurement Panel Review Report, which examined Complaint filed against him and the Commission that was submitted by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company, called Consolidated Logistics International(SL) Ltd.
On the petition list, the Chief Executive Officer reported a number of violations that he strongly believed Mr. Bangura had committed, which included but not limited to the manner the procurement process was handled by the Commission and accused Mr. Abu Bangura of playing a role that he considered not only unpatriotic, but bias and therefore called on the Independent Procurement Review Panel that was created by an Act of Parliament 2004 to look into the matter after he had received no response from the Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization through his legal representative, Lawyer Jenkins Johnston who wrote to him on his behalf.
Apparently, Mr. Bangura came to realize that almost all his actions were a complete violations of both the Procurement Act and that of the National Commission for Privatization when the Independent Procurement Review Panel released its findings and recommendations regarding the Electronic Cargo Tracking Notes Contract. Both the recommendations and findings were not supportive of his actions which have now left him exposed and is seeking ways to scapegotize other state institutions by running to them for solace. Among these state institutions are the Law Officers Department and Solicitor General.
On receipt of a copy of the report from the Independent Procurement Review Panel, sources say he sent a copy to the Solicitor General for legal advice and the way forward. It would be recalled that prior to his number of unlawful and illegal actions he failed to consult the Office of the Solicitor General for legal advice, but against the present backlash he rushed for cover, a clear trick and ways of maneuvering the system, thinking that the law office would advice otherwise.
When the report landed on the table of the Solicitor General Ms. Matilda Kroma she reportedly assigned it to members of her legal team who are not only legally minded but equally so, experience in procurement issues, agreements and treaties and they spent their invaluable time to peruse the document and unanimously came to the conclusion that the Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization has no mandate under the Act to cancel the process as highlighted in the Independent Procurement Panel Review Report. A number of violations were also discovered to have been committed by the Chairman.
Up to press time yesterday, it is learnt that Mr. Bangura called a meeting at his Privatization Commission Office and discussed the way forward. In addition to the meeting, a letter was sent to the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), requesting assistance for a way forward of the matter.
A ten-day ultimatum has already been given to the Procurement Authority to comply with the recommendations of the Independent Procurement Review Panel. Any failure to comply with the recommendations as contained in the report after ten days, the Chairman has the authority to refer the matter and the Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization to the Anti Corruption Commission(ACC) for further investigation and corruption charges be prescribed against him where applicable, and can also officially write to the Appointing Authority, who is no other person than President Ernest Bai Koroma reporting Mr. Abu Bangura’s non compliance attitude to a procurement matter that has been investigated by the Procurement Panel Review and discovered a number of violations committed by him.
It would be recalled that when Standard Times contacted Mr. Abu Bangura at the initial stage of the investigation into the Electronic Cargo Tracking Notes Contact to find out why he arbitrarily cancelled the contract, he responded by saying that he cannot give the job of a fisherman to a carpenter. “Time has now proved him wrong, and it is now clear that he violated the Procurement Act to give the job to the fisherman that was meant for the carpenter” remarked an employee of the National Commission for Procurement.
Sources say the relationship between the Chairman of the Technical Evaluation Committee Alhaji Musa King who refused to bend down and Mr. Abu Bangura, Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization has still not improved since the standoff of the matter to date. Yesterday, the Chairman of the Independent Media Commission (IMC), Mr. Rodmac Johnson received a bundle of Complaint from Mr. Abu Bangura accusing the Standard Times editor of publishing materials that are not true. Mr. Bangura in his report claimed that the editor’s motive is to tarnish his reputation that he had built over the years, but did not mention whether the reputation he was referring to was built when he was an employee of the National Development Bank(NDB), which collapsed at the detriment of the state and its customers or the reputation was built when he was a shareholder of intertek or his present occupation as Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization where it has been discovered that he violated the Procurement Act in the award of the Electronic Cargo Tracking Notes Contract.