The Anti Corruption Commission indictments against the three accused persons indicated that the first accused, Dauda Amid Koroma being the Executive Director of a local nongovernmental organizations called, Needy Today and the second accused, Jessy Brima Kapoi being the Programme Manager, including the third accused and Alfred Mustapha Bangura being the Finance Officer of the above named local nongovernmental organization initially and dishonestly misappropriated forty six million leones.
All the three accused were facing twenty four count charges, and they were alleged by the Anti Corruption Commission that all the accused dishonestly misappropriated the sum of forty six million leones accredited into the organizations bank accounts at Rokel Commercial Bank in the Republic of Sierra Leone, to undertake the Ebola response project, during the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country, between the dates of 25 August 2015 and 5 January 2016.
The Commission’s further indicted the three accused persons to have dishonestly misappropriated monies running into the region of over four hundred million leones donated to the Needy Today for the purpose of responding to the outbreak of the world deadliest pandemic, the Ebola Virus Disease, and at the same time respond to issues bothering on the venerable groups in various part of the country at that material time.
They were also alleged to have giving an advantage to a public officer, Sulaiman Bah, an internal auditor of an international nongovernmental organization called Goal Ireland, to discontinue the auditing of Needy Today financial records, with regards to how funds received by Needy Today on behalf of the people of this country, from Goal Ireland were utilized for its intended purpose, by offering him a bribe of three million leones.
When the twenty four counts charges were put to the accused persons in the dock by the court Registrar, Konkanda Kamara, they pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, and that the Anti Corruption Commission prosecutor, S. Arston who was not opposed to bail being granted to the accused informed the court that an authority had been granted to him by the Commissioner of the Anti Corruption Commission and the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to prosecute the accused persons, pursuant to section (89) sub section (91) of the Anti Corruption Commission act of 2008.
All the prosecution witnesses whose name were indicated at the back of the accused indictments, were conspicuously absent when the matter was mentioned, but that the prosecuting Counsel, S. Arston however told the court that his witnesses stayed in the northern district headquarter town of Makeni, and would endeavor to bring them forward his witnesses in peers for their testimonies on the next adjourned date, in respect of the matter before the court.
Earlier, Lawyer C F Edwards who represented the accused persons canvassed the presiding Judge Justice, John Bosco Allieu to grant his Client bail, on the grounds that the they were Sierra Leoneans and resident in Western Area of Freetown, and that accused persons had credible sureties who were ready and willing to enter into recognizance on their behalf, and would always be present in court on every adjourned date.
After perusing and digesting the accused persons indictments, Justice John Bosco Allieu stated that although the Anti Corruption Commission granted bail to the accused persons, but that he was denying them bail and ordered to be remanded at the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba road in Freetown on a very strong and solid legal grounds.
According to Justice Allieu , there had been huge public outcry, and Sierra Leoneans were demanding explanations and justifications with special reference to huge funds received by various local and international nongovernmental organizations from donors to respond to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country, stating that many of those local and international nongovernmental organizations had been in lime light.
He noted that the matter before the court was a test case , and that he would not state that accused persons were guilty of the offences preferred on them, but that he would remand them , pursuant to Section (79) of the Criminal Procedure Act N0.32 of 1965, 0f the laws of Sierra Leone.
The accused person were charged with the offence of Giving an advantage to a public officer and misappropriation of donor funds, contrary to section (37) sub section (1) of N0.12 of the Anti Corruption Commission Act, of 2008, of the laws of Sierra Leon. Hearings continue.