A financial scandal of epic proportions is brewing in Sierra Leone where the Chief Minister, Dr. David Francis, has been serenaded with allegations that U.S $ 1. 5 million was paid into his account at the ECOBANK in Freetown by a mining company seeking a restoring of their mining opportunities recently suspended by the government.
The alleged scandal came to light when a Freetown journalist, Mr. Sallieu Tejan-Jalloh was arrested by the government yesterday after he sent a note to the Chief Minister, requesting clarification about the said money deposited into his account. The journalist enquired :
“Good evening sir, please be informed that we are currently investigating an issue of financial crime allegedly involving the Chief Minister. It was alleged that the FIU discovered the sum of USD1.5 million which was paid on diverse dates in your account at the ECOBANK. There are issues of alleged bribery from a mining company that also requires your response. We are already concluding our investigation and we would therefore need your own side of the story before publications. Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you.”
Instead of responding to the journalist’s question in good faith, he was invited to the Criminal Investigations Department ( CID ) based on “Orders from above” and ultimately ended up being arrested and detained at the CID.. As the news of the arrest spread, the SMS note he had sent to the Chief Minister was circulated in the social media. In any case, it looked like the Financial Crimes Intelligence Unit (FIU) had already got wind of the deposit in the account of the Minister, as indicated by the journalist in his note to the minister.
This morning, an Anti-Corruption Commission official tweeted that the ACC was on the case and were investigating :