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MISAPPROPRIATION OF EBOLA FUNDS: 4 ANGLICAN DIOCESE STAFF CONVICTED IN BO

BY PAT KAWA IN BO

Four senior staff of the Anglican Diocese  of Bo  who were faced with thirteen –count- charge of corruption  at the Bo High Court  Presided over by  Honorable Justice  Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens  for  dishonestly misappropriating  donor funds contrary to section 37 (1) of the Anti Corruption Commission Act No. 12 of 2008 were on Wednesday 28th February 2018 found guilty and  convicted .

The 4th  accused person, Lawrence  Dauda Kpangu who was chairman of the project implementing team to  the  Ebola eradication activities  at the Anglican Diocese Parish communities in the South and Eastern Provinces  and who was  formerly the AIDs/ HIV Program Coordinator of the Anglican Diocese of Bo. The 3rd accused person Franklyn Jenkins was the Vice Chairman. The 5th accused Austin Kposowa Bockarie Secretary and 6th accused Christopher Kemoh coordinator were all hooked up in the corruption net.

It could be recall that the accused persons on diverse dates between 1st march 2014 and 31st December 2o15  misappropriated donor funds to wit the sum of Le51, 000,000 Fifty One Million Leones withdrawn from the Anglican Diocese of Bo Bank Current Account at the Rokel Commercial Bank number 02031666-114-01 on cheque number 01395302 which was meant for the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease ( EVD) by the Anglican Diocese of Bo (ADB), the 7th  Parish Communities in the South and Eastern Provinces.

The document on count 2 indicates that the accused misappropriated donor funds to wit the sum of Le37, 214,000 Thirty Seven Million Two Hundred and Fourteen Thousand Leones  from the Anglican Diocese of Bo account at the Rokel Commercial Bank with current account number 0316661401 on cheque number 01395303 and diverted the said  sum into their personal use .  According to Count 3 indictment, the accused persons withdrew the sum of Le4, 000,000 Four Million Leones from the Diocese account number 0203155511401 on cheque number 01395304, which was also meant for Ebola eradication activities in the Anglican Diocese Parish Communities which did not reflected in those Communities. The accused persons were also charged on count 4 for dishonestly misappropriated the Sum of Seventeen Thousand Leones withdrawn from the Anglican Diocese of Bo (ADB) account on account numbered 0203166611401 with cheque numbered 01395306 also meant for the eradication of Ebola virus disease in the Anglican Diocese Parish Communities.

According the indictment, the accused persons were also charged on count 5 for fraudulently withdrawn the sum of Le 500,000 Five Hundred Thousand Leones on account number 0203166611401 on cheque number 01395308 from the Diocese Bank Account at the Rokel commercial Bank under the pretext of under taking similar project on behalf of the Anglican Diocese for the eradication of the Ebola Virus Disease by the Anglican Parish Communities in the South and Eastern Provinces. According to court records, the accused person’s pleaded guilty to the eight count- charges and the prosecution offered no further evidence against the four accused persons on the eight counts, which are counts 6 and 13.  The accused persons Franklyn Jenkins, Lawrence Dauda Kpangu, Austin Kposowa Bockarie and Christopher Kemoh pleaded guilty to counts 1 and 5. In his wisdom the Presiding Judge Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens handed down separate jail terms on the 3rd 4th 5th and 6th accused persons to three years imprisonment or pay a fine of Thirty Million Leones each, totaling to One Hundred and Fifty Million Leones or Fifteen years imprisonment. Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens maintained that the sentences must run concurrently and the fine must be paid by the 3rd 4th 5th and 6 accused persons that have been released.

He told the court that the five counts of three years each is equal to fifteen years but when its runs concurrently are three years. Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens further quoted section 37 subsection 3 of the Anti Corruption Commission Act which states  that a person guilty of an offence under the section shall be  liable  to pay a  fine not less than Thirty Million   Leones and   a jail term of not less than three years or both such fine and imprisonment. Meanwhile, the 1st accused person, the suspended  Bishop Emmanuel Tucker of the Anglican Diocese of Bo and the 2nd accused Joseph Toma Kainesie, 7th accused Brima Mattia have pleaded not guilty to all  thirteen- count- charge and the matter comes up for hearing on 27th March 2018 in respect of  the 1st 2nd and 7th accused persons.

 

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