Did Maada Bio Steal $982,000? Asked Ekudayo Scott, Southampton, Britain.

Mada Bio

As revelations keep pouring in both nationally and internationally on the past character of the SLPP flagbearer Julius Maada Bio, decent Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora keep asking themselves whether the SLPP did a thorough background check on their leader before they elected him to lead their party in the 2012 election. It seems that since he was elected, no day passes without fresh and damning things not unearthed about Bio.

If it is not about the summary execution of Bambay Kamara and 28 others, it is about his involvement in the illegal sale of Sierra Leonean passports or his alleged deportation from the United States of America.  Of all the issues surrounding Maada Bio the one I am interested most in is his connivance with Captain Valentine Strasser to defraud the state of $982,000 on the sale of Sierra Leonean passports to Hong Kong. The reason why I believe this story more than his role in the summary execution of Bambay Kamara and others is because this revelation was made by Solomon Berewa at a time when he was Attorney General and Minister of Justice and had no intention of becoming President. This revelation was also made at a time when Maada Bio was not seeking the leadership of his party or the country so there was nothing like malice or character assassination.

Added to that logic is the fact that the report was written by an American who was once a Peace Corp in Sierra Leone and is currently working at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. On the 13th September 1996 Peter Anderson wrote this report on his Web: “Justice Minister Solomon Berewa said Friday that the government has enough evidence to convict former military rulers Captain Valentine Strasser and Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for defrauding the state of $982,000 on the sale of Sierra Leoneans passports to Hong Kong. Berewa said that a Chinese business man who had coordinated the sales in Hong Kong has agreed to testify. ‘We have enough evidence now to convict Captain Strasser and Brigadier Bio on this matter. Strasser and Bio deposited the money they received illegally in banks in Switzerland, the Channel Islands, and Ghana. The government now has copies of the accounts.’ The Chinese businessman allegedly paid Strasser and Bio in person and by wire transfer to the bank accounts. Shortly before the NPRC handed over power to the civilian government, military leaders passed a decree giving themselves immunity from prosecution. That decree is to come up before parliament shortly, and Berewa said there is a strong possibility that it will be scrapped. If so, the government will request Strasser and Bio’s extradition. Both are thought to be in the United Kingdom. Berewa said charges against former Foreign Minister Abass Bundu have been dropped after he repaid on Friday the $210,000 he received from passport sales.” This report was not made when Bio was seeking political power but at a time when even his own party the SLPP was trying to make sense of the financial state of things left by the NPRC. Even Solomon Berewa who was also an adviser to the NPRC was so appalled by Maada Bio’s state theft that he at some point advocated for extradition of him from the USA where he was enjoying his loot.

Now the puzzle is beginning to take shape. Sierra Leoneans are beginning to realize why Dr Abass Bundu is so desperate to have Maada Bio first elected as their party’s flag bearer and president of Sierra Leone because they are not only partners in crime but  want to continue their illegal sale of Sierra Leonean passports. As the saying goes, birds of the same feathers flock together. If Sierra Leoneans really mean business, they should now be advocating for the imprisonment of Maada Bio rather than leave him parading the streets of Freetown as a free man. Once a thief will always be a thief! This is also one of the reasons why I agree with Dr Sylvia Blyden and Mohamed Bangura of the United Democratic Movement that the characters of any Sierra Leonean wanting to attain higher office should be debated and scrutinized. Those who are saying that Maada Bio’s past should not be scrutinized are those who want to condone impunity and theft.

Sierra Leoneans should now be asking Maada Bio to return part of the $982,000 he received on the sale of Sierra Leoneans passports to Hong Kong than encouraging him to be president to continue his stealing of state funds. For now let the debate on the characters of our leaders continue.(Published Verbatim)

Posted by on 2:43 pm. Filed under COMMENTARIES, OPINION, OTHER NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Did Maada Bio Steal $982,000? Asked Ekudayo Scott, Southampton, Britain.

  1. kamara

    August 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

    stop the diversionary tactics ? Talk about the failed APC record over the past four years. The cocaine funded APC party. What have they done on four years? Stop dredging up stories from 20 years.

    sierra leone has to look forward. The international communities have overlooked these stories you bring up. Why did nt the APC Attorney general arrest Bio?

    Tell me how Koroma is going to improve Sierra Leone in the next five years. We need development not regression.

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