Freetown’s Mayor arrested in Sierra Leone

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Mayor of Freetown, Herber George Williams photographed at his office earlier this year

Freetown – The Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) has indicted the mayor of Freetown, Herbert
Akieremi George-Williams, the chief administrator and eight others.

The mayor’s indictment came after romours he fled had the shores of Sierra Leone to evade an
impending ACC indictment during his visit to Banjul,in The Gambia.

Together with the mayor are his Chief Administrator, Bowenson Frederick Phillips.

The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the twenty five (25) count indictment against the Mayor of the
Freetown City Council, the Chief Administrator and eight (8) others on various corruption offences.

The mayor and his officials stand charged with ‘Conspiracy to commit Corruption Offences in the sum
of Le744, 450,000 (Seven Hundred and Forty Four Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Leones) relating to a two-day Morgan Heritage Concert;

Misappropriation of Public Funds to the tune of Le1, 047,216,300 and USD$19,000 (One Billion and
Forty Seven Million, two Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Three Hundred Leones) and (Nineteen
Thousand United States Dollars);

Failure to comply with applicable rules and guidelines relating to the Procurement of Contract for
services involving the sum of US165, 000 (One Hundred and Sixty Five Thousand United States Dollars);

Failure to pay (“PAYE”) Taxes amounting to Le430,412,432 (Four Hundred and Thirty Million, Four
Hundred and twelve Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Two Leones) being monies deducted from
Employees Salaries that were not paid over to the NRA;

Failure to pay NASSIT Contributions in the sum of Le76,123,246.20 (Seventy Six Million, One Hundred and Twenty Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty Six Leones, Twenty Cents) being monies deducted from Employees Salaries that were not paid over to NASSIT, amongst others.

The ten accused persons are: Herbert Akieremi George-Williams – Mayor, Freetown City Council, Bowenson Frederick Phillips – Chief Administrator, Freetown City Council, Arthur Kwesi-John – Deputy Chief Administrator, Freetown City Council, Sylvester Momoh Konnehi – Acting City Treasurer, Desmond Thomas – Head of Cashier’s Office – Freetown City Council, Franklyn Garber – Senior Engineer, Freetown City Council, Alimamy Turay – Municipal Trade Officer – Freetown City Council, Nimata Bendu –Former Finance Officer – Lumley Government Hospital, Aiah Brimah, Development Planning Officer – Freetown City Council, Mohamed Allie Shaaban – Business Man operating as “Waka Fast” Construction and General
Services.

According to a release from the ACC, all persons will be arraigned before the High Court in Freetown on the 5th of December 2011.

Meanwhile, the Mayor, Herbert Akieremi George-Williams and the Chief Administrator, Bowenson
Frederick Phillips, have both been served with copies of the Indictment and put on bail in the sum of
Le500,000,000 (Five Hundred Million Leones) and two Sureties to be Property Owners in the Western Area of Freetown.

The majority of residents in Freetown were not surprised at the indictment claiming that the ACC action is long overdue.

According Mohamed Sesay, a local trader in Freetown, the mayor has little or nothing to show for the
millions of Leones generated by council in Freetown.

He said the lack of faith on the accountability of the mayor by the people and the many unfulfilled
development promises made the majority of the residents to refuse to pay city taxes.

“The people are demonstrating against the poor performance of the mayor,” he said, adding that the
indictment will serve as deterrent to others.

Efforts to reach the mayor and the other officials proved futile.

By: Alpha B Kamara Photo Credit: Maroon Connection