ACC Exonerates Deputy Director of Budget And 4 Others

Over Le6.5B Saga…

The Deputy Director of the Budget Bureau at the Ministry of Finance , Jacob Tenga Sessie alongside  four others, Jacob T. Sessie, John Ellie, Philip Yomba, Starlyn Kemoh and Joseph Johnson have  been exonerated by the Anti-Corruption Commission following allegations of  their involvement in fraud at the Ministry. All of them have been vindicated from the shadow that had cast doubt on their reputations.

On the other hand, the ACC said it uncovered that only two individuals, Ibrahim Musa Bangura from the Ministry of Finance and Emmanuel Smart from the Sierra Leone Roads Authority, were involved in the fraudulent activities. It further revealed how both culprits repaid the full amount to the Anti-Corruption Commission and received a three-year ban from holding public office.

Those exonerated were initially accused of being part of orchestrating a scheme to divert 6.5 billion old Leones ($270,000) to a fictitious account in Kabala Community Bank. Also established was that the alleged payment was purportedly for work on the Kenema-Pendembu Road construction.

According to the ACC, in a commendable display of transparency and commitment to upholding ethical standards, the Minister of Finance and the Financial Secretary demonstrated their unwavering dedication to accountability. It pointed out that their decision to refer the allegations to the Anti-Corruption Commission reflects their commitment to ensuring a fair and thorough investigation, showcasing a high level of moral integrity.

The anti-graft institution’s acknowledgment and appreciation for the Ministry of Finance’s cooperation, it stated, underscore the collaborative efforts to unearth the truth and uphold justice. It continued that such a principled approach not only strengthens public trust in the leadership but also sets a commendable precedent for ethical governance in Sierra Leone.

Although the Anti-Corruption Commission claims that it diligently pursued the case and the truth emerged with the exoneration of Jacob and his colleagues seen as not just a personal victory but also marking a transformative moment for the Ministry of Finance and the nation as a whole, there is a school of thought that holds the view that the incident should serve as a reminder that allegations should be thoroughly investigated before reputations are tarnished.

As the situation now stands, the professionals at the Ministry of Finance can now reclaim their dedicated and honourable positions to contribute positively to the betterment of the country.


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