Sierra Leone News: “My Statements are based on Facts…” -Gento told Atuguba Commission

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Mohamed Gento Kamara, the Chief Executive Officer of Benton Villa Gento Group of companies

After a recess, the three Commissions of Inquiry resumed sitting on Monday 20th May 2019 at the former Special Court premise in Brookfields.

Mohamed Gento Kamara, the Chief Executive Officer of Benton Villa Gento Group of companies, testified before the Justice William Atuguba Commission informing that both the original contract for the Waterloo township road and its addendum were awarded to his company.

Mohamed Gento Kamara told the COI, “Before I was awarded the contract SLRA requested for quotations from different road construction companies in Sierra Leone of which I was privileged to submit my quotation and the contract was awarded to me.”

He went on to state he never deceived the Commission that he was the only bidder for the contract after Counsel M.Y. Kanu put it to him that his statements are inconsistent.

Kamara said his statement was based on facts hence he cannot prove that quotations were submitted by other contractors for the same contract stressing that he was not substantially aware of any other contractors who bid. He said despite knowing that the normal routine called for submission of quotations by bidders, there is no proof of evidence for him to say other bidders submitted their bids at the time.

The initial Waterloo road project went through a competitive bidding process for the construction of 12.1 kilometres of road valued at $16.9 million USD. While the road project was on-going, the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) gave directives for an addendum of 20 kilometres, bringing the contract to $42.7 million USD.

Payment for the addendum was made by the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA) without the knowledge of SLRA.

The COI is inquiring into alleged misappropriation, abuse of office, misuse of public funds, etc. on certain road projects between the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) and the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA). The persons of interest include, Yayah Tobias Sesay, former Board Chair RMFA, Abdul Kalokoh, CEO RMFA, Abdul Aziz Kamara, former Director General of SLRA, and Momodu Kargbo, former Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

 

 

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