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EMBEZZLEMENT OF STATE FUNDS: Anti Corruption accused of compromise &Selective Justice

By this time now, M r. Augustine Sheku should have been spending days behind bars at the Pademba Road Prison for allegedly conspiring to embezzle state funds above One Billion Leones or would have been responding to questions in the Court of Law in a corruption trial, but the Anti Corruption Commission has refused to do so, while other Sierra Leoneans for petty crimes committed are charged to court, tried, found guilty and sent to jail. Some members of the public hearing the case of Augustine Sheku and the manner he was being pampered by the Graft Commission are pointing accusing fingers at the Commission and describing its decision as a case of selective justice.

Mr. Augustine Sheku was an employee of the Ministry of Works and Maintenance. He had occupied a very senior position at the Ministry of Works and Maintenance at the time he was an employee of that institution. Later, as a Civil Servant he was posted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs as the institution’s Permanent Secretary under the political leadership of the late Joseph B. Dauda. It was during his tenure that a project for the development of the Country’s security sector was initiated and as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry he was in charge of the project to see the commencement and successful conclusion of it. The successful conclusion and implementation of the project would have attracted a whooping financial assistance from ECOWAS in the sum of Three Million Euros, which could have been used to further improve and strengthened other areas of the Country’s security networks. A total of Le700 Million was collected from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning by Mr. Augustine Sheku, excluding other donations reportedly from interested International Nongovernmental Organizations and friendly bodies who, acknowledging the fact that the benefits to be derived from the project would have been tremendously huge for both the Country and the Security of the State. Monies collected from International Nongovernmental Organizations and friendly bodies could be estimated to more than Le300 Million, which was reportedly added to what the Government had provided through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

What is shocking is that the total amount of money meant for the development of the Country’s security networks was never spent on the project and no action taken against those who were put in charge of the project, including Mr. Augustine Sheku who had championed it, since inception. A formal report by concerned members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was reportedly made to the Anti Corruption Commission in 2015 and Mr. Augustine Sheku was invited to explain about the project and why it collapsed when funds for it was provided in abundance, by both the Central Government and the International nongovernmental organizations.

(Read in our next edition. Why Augustine Sheku was suspended from office and how the money for the project was chopped by government officials. Why the Head of the Country’s Civil Service, Dr. Surur became frustrated over the matter, seeing the open fraud and nothing done.  

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