On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: Permanent Secretary denies knowledge of $950K for youth farm

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport, Adikali Samura, said he was unaware about the $950,000 USD that was allocated by the Ministry of Youth Affairs for farm equipment for the national youth farm. The Permanent Secretary said, “There was no such contract, to my knowledge, and my signature is on the second page of that document.” Samura was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs from 25 May 2014 until 6th December 2017. Samura was testifying before Commissioner Biobele Georgewill on Thursday 7th March 2019 at the Commission of Inquiry. Samura said while at the Ministry of Youth, there were certain projects that were initiated by the former Minister Alimamy A. Kamara, as he was also in the Ministry under Bai Mamoud Bangura as Minister. Amongst the projects he highlighted were the youth in fisheries project, youth in agriculture project, youth village and the youth in drainage. He said those projects were launched by Government to provide employment for young people and to empower them. He said the Government allocated huge amounts of money to those projects. The witness said there were management teams in charge of those projects including project coordinators and managers. He added, “I know the projects are still in existence except for the youth in drainage project.” He said the coordinator of that project was Ibrahim Koroma, who is presently at large. “Those coordinators were answerable to the Minister.” According to Samura, he was involved in the procurement of 70 boats and vehicles that were meant for the youth in fisheries project. He said he cannot remember any procurement in relation to youth in agriculture. He said most of the managers and directors in those projects were appointed directly from State House. The Person of Interest, Bai Mamoud Bangura, was represented by lawyer Ibrahim Mansaray and his predecessor Minister, Alimamy Kamara, was represented by Ady Macauley.

Commissioner Georgewill adjourned the hearings till Monday 11 February 2019.

MJB/6/3/19

By Mohamed J. Bah

Monday March 11, 2019.