After an investigation into serious allegations of corruption at the ministry of agriculture in Sierra Leone, the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has once again proved that it has teeth and can bite.
Although critics are accusing the commission of hacking at the heels of those at the bottom of the food chain in the government, the fairly new Anti-Corruption Czar – Mr. Ady Macauley says that he is fighting corruption at all levels of government and is determined to win.
In a statement issued today by the anti-graft agency, six people – including two journalists and a commercial motor vehicle driver, have been charged to court for offences, pursuant to the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, ranging from misappropriation of public property to impersonation of an ACC officer.
Mark Ivan Babatunde Dixon and Mohamed Alimamy Mansaray – both working for the ministry of agriculture, have been charged respectively with one count of misappropriation of public property contrary to section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
It is alleged that Mark Ivan Babatunde Dixon misappropriated 980 bags of urea fertiliser and 17 bags of NPK 15-15-15 fertiliser, Mohamed Alimamy Mansaray is believed to have misappropriated 804 bags of urea fertiliser.
The fertilisers had been bought by the ministry of agriculture for distribution to local farmers to improve food production in the country.
In addition, Mark Ivan Babatunde Dixon has also been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit a corruption offence, contrary to section 128(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
Two journalists from Bo district – Samuel Lahai and Julian Carey have jointly been charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit offence – conspiring to impersonate an ACC officer by holding out to staff at the Bo district education committee primary school that Samuel Lahai was an officer of the ACC.
Samuel is also indicted on one count of impersonating an ACC officer contrary to section 76 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
Kaifala Mansaray – a commercial motor vehicle driver was also charged with one count of offering an advantage to a police officer attached to the Ross Road police station in Freetown, as an inducement for not holding him in custody, contrary to section 28(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
John Nabie who is the town chief of Bumpe town in the Bo district, has also been charged with two counts of soliciting an advantage and two counts of accepting an advantage, contrary to section 35(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
Nabie is also accused of demanding and collecting monies for the beneficiaries of the world bank sponsored social safety net programme, which is aimed at helping to alleviate extreme poverty in communities. The accused will appear in court at a date to be determined, and in the meantime have been granted bail.