ACC ENTERS INTO SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SLMA, DR. SARAH BENDU AND THREE OTHERS TO REPAY OVER 900 MILLION LEONES
11th March, 2019.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wishes to inform the general public that it has entered into a settlement agreement with Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu, former Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA), and three others to repay the total sum of Nine Hundred and Eighteen Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Leones (Le 918,657,000), representing the full amount they had been investigated for.
The other three persons are; Dr. Komba Dinkin Marah, Head of Internal Audit, SLMA; Mariama Bonghor Sesay, Accountant, SLMA; and Raymond Sawyerr, a Consultant of 26 New Castle Street, Kissy, Freetown.
According to the agreement reached with the ACC, as settlement, Dr. (Mrs.) Bendu is required to pay back the sum of Five Hundred Million Leones (Le 500,000,000); Dr. Marah to pay back Two Hundred Million Leones (Le 200,000,000); Ms. Sesay to pay back Two Hundred Million Leones (Le200,000,000); and Raymond Sawyerr to pay Eighteen Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Leones (Le18,657,000) to the Commission within 12 (twelve) months with effect from 1st March 2019.
At the commencement of the agreement, Dr. Bendu agreed to pay and has paid Two Hundred and One Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Five Thousand Leones (Le201,355,000) cash; whilst Dr. Marah and Ms. Sesay agreed to pay and have paid One Hundred Million Leones (Le 100,000,000) cash each; thereby totaling Four Hundred and One Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Five Thousand Leones (Le 401,355,000) recovered from the three staff of the SLMA. Raymond Sawyerr agreed to pay and has fully paid Eighteen Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Leones (Le18, 657,000). The remaining amounts of money due the ACC should be paid not later than 28th February, 2020.
In December, 2018, the ACC instituted an investigation into complaints of Misappropriation of Public Funds at the SLMA, amounting to Nine Hundred and Eighteen Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Leones (Le 918,657,000). The monies were withdrawn from the SLMA Accounts between August and December, 2018 and the Management of the SLMA cannot properly give account of how they were expended, though they claim, the withdrawals were for legitimate purposes. The ACC also discovered various systems and processes lapses that the staff concerned had exploited to facilitate the unlawful and improper withdrawals.
Within the past eight (8) months, the Commission has recovered Eleven Billion, Seven-Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Seventy Four Leones (Le11, 768,527,474.00); part of which has been accordingly paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
For further enquiries, please contact Margaret Murray, Public Relations Officer, on Tel: +232-78-832131.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACH