A civil worker at the Ministry of Defence, Headquarters in Freetown, James Harris, together with two Commissioners, namely, Rashid Thomas and Georgiana Barnett, are reported to have embezzled the sum of Le50 million given to them by the Ministry for this year’s Remembrance Day Celebration.
According to report, amid the austerity that is currently plaguing the country, the Director General of the Ministry of Defence, gave them the sum of Le50M to organize a two day celebration slated for the 11th and 13th November, 2016 respectively, to mark the Puppy and Remembrance Day usually observed by the Military and Ex-Servicemen.
These personnel were also alleged to have solicited a substantial amount of money from President Koroma for the same celebration which they cannot now accounted for.
According to reports, James Harris, when advised by senior military officials on how the Le50M would be utilized to organize the said celebration, lambasted the military officials and further boasted that, he will chop the money and nothing will come out of it.
According to report, the Commissioners also boasted that, they were appointed by State House, and that, they will chop the money because it is given to them once a year.
Because of the failure of the officials in charge of the double celebrations to spend the money allocated to them for the said purpose, both programs at the Taylor Cummings Garden, and Remembrance Day at George Street in Freetown, were poorly attended by members of the public.
According to reports, even when officials from the Ministry of Finance tried to advise the two Commissioners and James Harris, on how they should go about planning the celebration their advices were ignored.
“Instead, they tend to misbehave at anyone challenging them and also lambasted whosoever, attempted to ask them to give an account for the monies they received for the celebration,” one top MoD official told this reporter.
Meanwhile, there are calls for the Anti Corruption Commission to investigate this report; as such an act constitutes a very serious offense.
“Why I did not take the complain to the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Defence is because, they always pretend as if everything is well in the Ministry” a senior official affirmed.