It was disclosed that the High Court of Sierra Leone, holden at Freetown which was presided over by the Honourable Justice Reginald Sydney Fynn Jnr., on Wednesday 24th April 2019, sentenced Mr. Abdul Barrie, former Deputy Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure (MWHI) to three (3) years imprisonment or pay a fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Million Leones (Le 250,000,000), following his conviction for corruption.
Mr. Abdul Barrie was standing trial on seven (7) counts of corruption offences in relation to contracts for the refurbishment of various Government properties which he awarded to Ribar Enterprise, a business he jointly owns with his wife without disclosing his interest.
Mr. Abdul Barrie, had initially entered a ‘not-guilty’ plea at his first court appearance, but later changed his plea to ‘guilty’ for the fifth count of ‘Failure to disclose interest to public body’, contrary to Section 45 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No 12 of 2008.
Hon. Justice Reginald Fynn Jnr. convicted the former Deputy Minister of MWHI on the said count. He ordered that, if the convict chose to pay the fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Million Leones (Le 250,000,000), he makes a full payment within thirty (30) days, effective 24th April, 2019, or face the three years imprisonment. Trial will continue on the other counts of offences. The matter was adjourned to 20th May, 2019.
In this regard, the Commission wishes to advise all public officers who are in control of public resources to comply with laid down laws and procedures in the handling and disbursement of same.
The Commission was represented by Sariffou Harleston Esq., whilst the convict was represented by I.S. Yillah Esq.