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HOW CROOKED CONTRACTOR DUPED EDUCATION MINISTRY

His unsuspecting behavior is typical of a professional wheeler-dealer who always and all time hides behind his acts. Mike Baryoh, formerly of Mik Foreign Exchange Bureau of Rawdon Street and currently the principal and sole owner of the Global Times Newspaper located at Percival Street and the Global Times Shop at Lumley is no stranger to criminality and no stranger to the game of fraud and forgery. He enjoys doing it and may have derived substantial benefit from it. Therefore, to quit such a trade has become a herculean task for him and not a necessity. He now hides behind his Newspaper and projects other individuals as front men when carrying out what he loves and knows best.

Mike Baryoh’s unpatriotic scar left behind at the Ministry of Education has undoubtedly contributed to the unsuccessful performance of the SABABU PROJECT, which was one of the icon projects of the Ahmad Tejan Kabbah SLPP Administration.

 

Evidently, both Primary and Secondary Schools that could have benefitted from funds disbursed by the international community to upgrade the education system in the country are left in disappointment and despair as a result of inadequate learning materials which, contractors of the project including Mike Baryoh had supplied to the Ministry of Education.

Although, reports from the Anti Corruption Commission state that the Commissioner, Mr. Joseph F. Kamara is dusting files relating to the SABABU PROJECT and will soon called in contractors whose reports of embezzling state funds were made, however’ it is not know when the march to the Anti Corruption Commission Office will commence.

Competent sources at the Commission have indicated that the file of Mike Baryoh relating to the supply of Cellotex instead of Blackboards to the Ministry of Education is among the first set of criminal files that would be looked into by the Commission. According to a very senior official the Commission is forced to take a look at reports involving donor funds and how contractors bastardized and misused funds meant for the SABABU PROJECT and are left to walk the streets of Freetown as free men and women when they have a case to answer to the state.

As a member of the Sierra Leone’s Peoples Party, Mike Baryoh took the undue advantage of defrauding the state using his alleged proximity with the then Vice President, Hon Solomon Ekuma Berewa who was Chairman of the country’s National Tender Board that was responsible for the award of contracts.

Claims of bankrolling the former VP’s Presidential Campaign as a reason for defrauding the SABABU PROJECT was noticed to have been used by him as a political cover to prevent him from being a guest at the Pademba Road Maximum Prison. Now that the Anti Corruption Commission is reportedly taking a retrospect of all criminal doings of contractors it is possible that Mike Baryoh may soon find himself in a state of regret as political opportunity and proximity to the current Vice President Hon. Samuel Sumana of the APC Party are farfetched.

The contract documents specifically stated that Mike Baryoh was to supply Blackboards and other learning materials to the Ministry of Education for onward distributions to schools. An initial down payment in compliance with the terms and conditions of the project to the tune of Four Hundred Million Leones was paid to him on the name of the Company he used to bid for the contract through the Commercial Bank on behalf of the SABABU PROJECT.

With Dr. Alpha Wurie as Minister of Education the SABABU PROJECT was transformed from a well meaning venture to a syndicate meant to enrich a few group of people who were closed to the seat of political power. The impression giving to other competitors by Mike Baryoh about his political connection was enough to keep others at bay, little was it realized that his ambition was how to screw the project to his benefit at the detriment of the Schools and School going Children.

The supply of Cellotex of poor quality instead of what the contract document had stated attracted the attention of the Anti Corruption Commission to nose dive into the matter.

Whether it was the opinion of Mike Baryoh that the offence of fraud, corruption and other related offences have suffered a natural death or not will send him a shocker when in the coming days he would be invited like other corruption offenders to the Anti Corruption Commission to give account of donor funds that were dished out to them…(Read about the Ibrahim Bailor Barrie saga in our next edition)

 

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