Managing Director of SLCB Acted Without Criminal Intent -ACC’s Investigation Ascertains

Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB).jpg

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

Recent media reports criticizing the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) exoneration of the Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB), Yusuf Abdul Silla, overlooks several crucial factors that demonstrate his integrity and commitment to the Bank’s operational efficiency.

It must be underscored that indisputably, the ACC conducted thorough investigation into allegations of financial misappropriation against the Managing Director for the procurement of fifteen operational vehicles for the Bank and an official vehicle for his use.

However, at the conclusion of its investigation, the ACC proved beyond all reasonable doubts that Yusuf Abdul Silla acted without criminal intent although it was categorically stated that some administrative breaches were noted. Also confirmed was that the vehicles procured were brand new with zero mileage.

While the ACC identified some procedural deviations, these should be viewed within the broader context of the Bank’s operational needs and the Managing Director’s role in ensuring the Bank’s smooth functioning.

The additional US$90,000 allocated for the Managing Director’s vehicle was a necessary adjustment to secure a suitable and durable vehicle that meets the operational demands of his role. The initial budget, approved by the Board of Directors, may not have anticipated the full specifications required for a vehicle that ensures both security and efficiency in the Managing Director’s extensive duties. Such adjustments, while ideally approved by the Board, were made in good faith to fulfill the immediate needs of the Bank.

The procurement process’s deviation, particularly the lack of advertisement, was driven by practical considerations rather than wrong doing. Salman Motors’ referral to AL Kuwait Motors in Dubai was based on the unavailability of the required vehicle type locally. This pragmatic decision ensured that the Bank could acquire the necessary vehicles promptly, minimizing disruptions to its operations. The direct payment to Al Kuwait Motors was a measure taken to expedite the procurement process, ensuring timely delivery and cost savings in the long run. That decision was more so justifiable as the Bank previously relied heavily on rentals for its daily operations and such was not financially viable or cost effective.

The ACC’s findings, which highlighted procedural flaws but did not indicate any criminal intent or financial misappropriation, support the notion that the Managing Director’s actions were aimed at enhancing the Bank’s operational efficiency. The recommendation for administrative action, rather than indictment, underscores the absence of malicious or criminal intent. It reflects an understanding that the procedural lapses were administrative in nature and did not amount to corruption or personal gain.

Comparisons with how junior staff might be treated under similar circumstances fail to consider the complexities and pressures faced by Senior Management in maintaining organizational efficiency. The Managing Director’s decisions, while requiring more stringent procedural adherence, were made in the best interest of the bank. Holding Senior Executives to account for every procedural lapse without considering the context of their decisions could deter proactive measures and impede the Bank’s progress.

The Managing Director’s experience with this procurement process highlights the need for more robust procedural frameworks. The ACC’s recommendation for a system review is a constructive step towards ensuring that such lapses do not recur.

Yusuf Abdul Silla’s willingness to comply with these recommendations and implement better oversight mechanisms demonstrates his commitment to transparency and accountability.

His actions in the procurement process for the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank’s vehicles should be seen in light of his dedication to enhancing the Bank’s operations. The procedural deviations, identified by the ACC, were administrative oversights rather than deliberate acts of corruption.

By focusing on operational efficiency and immediate needs, the Managing Director acted in the Bank’s best interest. The ACC’s recommendations for administrative actions and system improvements will further strengthen the Bank’s procurement processes, ensuring greater compliance in the future.


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