The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Tuesday, 31st March 2020 indicted Former Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education, Alpha Osman Timbo on fifteen (15) count charges ranging from misappropriation of public property, abuse of office among others.
Mr Timbo was charged alongside former Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education, Mrs Emily K. Gogra, Permanent Secretary, Mr Charles T. Kamanda and Mrs Mamusu Massaquoi, senior Nutritionist at the Ministry.
In a press conference held at its George Street office in Freetown, ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala, revealed to pressmen that the indictment is in relation to findings following investigation of alleged missing Chinese aid rice at the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education. The four he said, are main decision makers in the Ministry with regards to the aforementioned.
It could be recalled that earlier this year, the above named personalities were relieved of their respective duties in respect of an alleged 49,000 bag of rice saga. The said rice was for the purpose of the school feeding program and was donated to the ministry by the Chinese government.
“The ACC during the course of this investigation came across several parties who were indirectly involved in the misappropriation process. Teachers were distributing the rice among themselves; an MP of Moyamba district called upon to distribute rice in his constituency, resident minister North-West was also given 500 bags of rice to distribute, etc,” he said.
Francis Ben Kaifala also said Zainab Kamara; a business woman at Waterloo was in charge of the store where the rice was stored for it to be misappropriated by the above officials. He added that they have completed the investigation and have filed the matter to the high court for hearings.
“We appreciate the efforts of the judges in the ACC prosecuted matters but however, there are some judges who use microscopic eyes to look for small doubt and discharge the ACC matters. We can only win the fight if we all make corruption an expensive enterprise and a no profit zone”, he maintained.
The Commissioner ended by informing that the indicted persons asked for an out of court settlement but in as much as monies were not misappropriated but rather rice, they have to stand the trials and prove their case or otherwise.