Bad blood continues to flow at the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA), where the Executive Director and five other top officials are currently under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for the alleged siphoning of public funds. The current investigations have made the Paul Sobba Massaquoi and others become worried and at the same time praying for Divine intervention to resolve their current predicaments. Some quarters of the public are calling on the President and other Authorities concern such as the Ministry of Transport and Aviation to suspend the Maritime Executive Director and those under investigations to prevent them from tampering with the pieces of evidence needed by the ACC during their investigations.
It could be recalled that President Maada Bio won the 2018 elections on the premise that his New Direction Agenda will stop ‘business as usual’ and that the fight against corruption will be a top priority. “It is our collective responsibility to fight corruption, and we must not have sacred cows,” the President had said in one of his public addresses. But as to why those under investigations at the Maritime Administration are still holding onto their offices is something he should be thinking of.
Attached to this article is a copy of the original contract signed by BM Kodami and the Executive Director of SLMA, Paul Sobba Massaquoi, on 8th July 2020, to the tune of Le1,200,000,000 (One Billion, Two Hundred Million Leones). In a minute of a Board Meeting, the Executive Director had reportedly presented to members of the Board the sum of Le1.2 Billion as cost estimates for the rehabilitation of the SLMA Headquarter Building.
Mr. Massaquoi allegedly presented a different contract to the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) and ACC amounting to Le2.9 Billion for the same activity. Sources say Massaquoi had been deceived all these while by the Deputy Head of Procurement, who presented a picture as if they were on the right track during the bidding process. Now that the NPPA had blown the whistle, those suspected to have been involved in the procurement fraud are blaming the Procurement Depart of the SLMA for not following the due process.
SLMA sources say the contract presented to both ACC and NPPA is not signed. “Now that the actual CONTRACT SIGNED BETWEEN BM KODAMI AND SLMA has been released, we expect that SLMA will explain to the people of Sierra Leone why they paid more than Le1.7 Billion to BM Kodami. The Executive Director and all those being investigated by the ACC must be set aside to avoid cover-up,” a Senior Government Official suggested. Investigations continue.