21 May 2019

Sierra Leone: Ex-NMA DG to Face COI

Justice Biobele Georgewill, presiding at Commission of Inquiry Room 1, has stated that the Former Director General of the National Mineral Agency (NMA), Sahr Wonday, should be summoned to answer to allegations of him collecting end of service benefit and grassier, whilst he was still working at the Agency.

The Judge made the statement when the Senior Accountant at NMA, Joseph Tarawalie concluded his testimony in which explained to the Commission his functions and mode of payment of salary at the NMA.

He told the commission that NMA has retained over 102 Billion Leones generated from precious minerals between 2013 and 2018.

The witness stated that part of his duties were to record and analyse accounting transaction for the agency, prepare annual financial statement and monitor and implement internal control procedures.

On the issue of payment of salaries, he said the NMA pays end of year benefits and end of service grassier to every contractor aside their salaries even when they are still on contract.

He also testified that the NMA has been paying top up allowances to all geologists and engineers of the Agency.

When quizzed as to whether there is any law binding the NMA to retain the revenues it generated, the witness declined knowledge and added that such questions should be put to his superiors.

Exhibits were tendered by Lawyer Bangura showing portions where the former Director General collected Le46 million and Le93 million.

It was at that juncture Justice Biobele requested that the former DG be brought to the commission to answer to those allegations.

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