Corruption at Ministry of Information : Le 206 million chopped

Acting Director of Information in the Ministry of Information and Communications Edward King has just been detained by the CID over the alleged misappropriation of funds meant for the sensitization of the Commission of Inquiry.

After making statement for four hours today, the CID has also invited Arthur Williams to make statement.

Their invitation came after the Minister Mohamed Swaray reported the misappropriation of Le206M provided by the Ministry of Finance to sensitize the people about the Inquiry.

…Minister Invites ACC
By Mohamed Konneh

Quietly it crept into the Ministry of Information, Communication and Broadcasting with the ultimate aim of destabilizing the office and turned it into a corruption den, where the fight for personal enrichment is the primary objective.

Unfortunately, the swift response of the Minister, Hon. Mohammed Rado Swarray to this cankerworm has left it in a state of predicament, but those who cherished its arrival are unable to explain what happened to the over Le206 Million scooped from the Consolidated Fund for the primary purpose of regional and district sensitization of the Commission of Inquiry scheduled to take place soon in the country.

The cheque for the over Two Hundred Million Leones was reportedly released to the Acting Director, Mr. Edward King who claimed to have deposited it into the Ministry’s account when asked about it, without the faintest idea that the news had reached several employees of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Broadcasting that the cheque had been encased and money was in the custody of the Acting Director.

Mr. Authur Hedd-Williams had received a telephone call at Fourah Bay College where he is pursuing Law from his friend at the Ministry of Information, Communication and Broadcasting informing him that “Manna” had dropped down, this time not from heaven but from the Consolidated Fund and he should rush down to collect his own part. Authur Hedd-Williams responded to the unexpected happy message and boarded a motor-bike that took him directly to the ministry. He allegedly collected the sum of Le40 Million and left happily without weighing the consequences or backlash of the action. The Acting Director reportedly addressed himself with the sum of Le20Million and the rest of the money was allegedly shared among senior officials, report states.

This unholy ceremony took place prior to the Christmas Celebration, which hyped the activities of the celebration of the officials as they went to their different homes with something in their pockets to give meaning to the celebration and pray that no outsider of the syndicate should get a wind of what had taken place.
Few weeks back, what they thought was a secret that crept quietly into the ministry was undressed when Minister Mohammed Rado Swarray enquired about the status of the sensitization. It was a mute atmosphere, until certain revelations came out that the money was shared and the minister was about to be implicated in the sharing of the money, but the proximity was unreachable to drag him into the corruption syndicate.

Hell replaced everything in the office when the minister vowed to report the matter to the Anti Corruption Commission if the money is not refunded immediately.
Mr. Authur Hedd-Williams has refunded Le3 Million out of his share which was Le40 Million. The Acting Director had nothing left and the other illegal beneficiaries. As at press time, this medium has learnt that the Permanent Secretary, Mr. David Sheku under instruction had communicated with the Anti Corruption Commission via a letter, reporting the incident. Yesterday, two officials from the Anti Corruption Commission were seen taking visual stocks of the offices and it is very likely that their presence would be made any time from now if the money is not refunded.

Both Mr. Edward King and Arthur Williams have been queried by the Minister to explain about the money as no single activity had taken place since the money was remitted by the Ministry of Finance. The situation regarding the alleged misappropriation looks messy with no proper or tangible explanation as to how the money was utilized.

Several meetings have been held in finding solution for replacement, thus giving the Minister Mr. Mohamed Rado Swarray sleepless nights as to how could such nightmare got a grip right under his nose.

Mr. Edward King has denied the allegation saying the money was still there and that they are now putting in place activities that will be undertaken.
“How can we embezzle such an amount, this is not true and I am glad you came to crosscheck. The money has been remitted into the Ministry’s account and that very soon activities will be undertaken” he said.

The Bio Administration since taking up the reins of Governance promised zero tolerance on corruption and had recently informed Sierra Leoneans that any member of his Government found wanting of corruption will be prosecuted.

Mr. King who has denied the misappropriation could not give reason for the delay in organizing any event that has to do with sensitization of the Commission of Inquiry. He further noted that the query has been responded to but could not explain the contents of the letter.

Mr. Arthur Williams seemed to have abandoned his place of work since last year, but collecting salaries at the end of every month. He is studying Law at the University of Sierra Leone but could sneak into the Ministry of Information, Communication and Broadcasting anytime there is news about money in the office.
Standard Times contacted the Minister Mr. Mohamed Rado Swarray on the matter but could not comment as he was traveling out of Freetown. He however promised to respond when he returns from his traveling trip.

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