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Sama Gamanga, former Acting Executive Director in 2022…why?

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament recently conducted a thorough inquiry into the operations of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) in response to the alarming findings outlined in the 2022 Auditor General’s Report. This development has garnered significant attention from the public and officials alike, especially in light of concerns surrounding the management of public funds in both 2021 and 2022.
The scrutiny intensified when the Anti-Corruption Commissioner revealed that an ongoing investigation is targeting three to four individuals within the SLMA. While the Commissioner did not disclose specific names, the probe is closely tied to issues raised in the internal audit report that were subsequently corroborated by the Auditor General’s Report of 2022. These reports highlighted disturbing allegations of missing public funds, irregularities in procurement practices, and expenditures carried out without proper documentation.
A focal point of the investigation revolves around the alleged mishandling of public funds during the tenure of the current Deputy Executive Director, Sama Musa Gamanga, who had served as the Acting Executive Director during a period when his superior was suspended amidst corruption allegations. It has been revealed that prior to the suspension, a substantial amount exceeding Le160 billion (old Leones) was under the administration’s control. Shockingly, upon the superior’s return after a hiatus of two and a half years, the funds had dramatically decreased to slightly over Le4 billion (old Leones). This significant financial gap has sparked widespread inquiries into how these funds were disbursed, monitored, and managed during this crucial period.
Numerous questions have arisen regarding the mysterious disappearance of the substantial sum under the administration’s watch, the individuals accountable for overseeing these funds, and the underlying factors contributing to this financial downturn. The public is keen to understand the utilization and allocation of public funds within the SLMA, as well as the governance and leadership of the organization during the period in question.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is anticipated to pursue the recovery of the alleged misappropriated funds, which reportedly amount to over Le140 billion. This pursuit mirrors previous successful efforts by the ACC to reclaim illicitly acquired assets, as evidenced by the recent retrieval of over Le8.6 billion from corrupt public officials. The public remains vigilant in observing how the ACC will navigate this complex investigation and ensure accountability and restitution in the case of the SLMA.
This pecuniary puzzle has prompted calls for accountability, with demands for thorough investigations into the disposition of the funds, the custodianship of such resources, and the implications for the wider public.
The PAC’s inquiry into the SLMA, coupled with the ACC’s ongoing investigation, underscores the critical need for transparency, oversight, and integrity in the management of public funds. The outcome of these proceedings will likely have far-reaching implications for combating corruption and enhancing financial stewardship within Sierra Leone’s public institutions.

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