The High Court Judge in Bo Justice Ernest Gooding has on Thursday December 10, 2015 convicted and sentenced the Bursar at the Islamic Secondary School in Kenema, Millicent Augusta Blango to 35 years imprisonment and fined Le175 million Leones for misappropriation of public fund.
Samuel K. Ngegba (convict) an accountant formerly of the Kenema sub-Treasury department was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment and fined fifty million Leones.
The judge also ordered that both convicts must pay the sum of Le71, 055, 365.00 each to the finance department of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) within the period of six months.
Justice Ernest Gooding also ordered that the accounts of the convicted persons to be unfrozen and first choice of use of proceeds thereof be used to pay the fine and restitution for accounts with money above the fine and restitution.
The Bursar, Millicent Augusta Blango was indicted on19 counts but was convinced on fives counts of misappropriation of public funds contrary to the ACC act of 2008 and sentenced to seven years on each of the five counts cumulative 35 years or pay a fine of Le35 million on each counts.
The second convict, Samuel Ngbegba was found guilty of the offence of conspiracy to commit a corruption offence.
Both convicted accused persons were also fined for the salaries of teachers which were chopped.
According to the ACC Prosecution led by Lawyer Emmanuel K. Amara Esq. and Nigel B. E. Davies, the accountant conspired with the Bursar between 2012 to 2014 in Kenema, eastern Province of Sierra Leone during which he (Samuel Ngbegba) willfully assisted the Bursar who misappropriated the public funds amounting to the sum of one hundred and forty-two million one hundred and ten thousand seven hundred and twenty-nine Leones being unclaimed salaries of Teachers in the Islamic Senior Secondary School.
The ACC prosecution further offered no evidence on 14 counts of misapproriation of public fund which Madam Blango was indicted on after pleading guilty on five of the 19 counts.
Justice Gooding in his ruling stated that: “The offences committed by the convicts are grave. Corruption is a cancer in this country and we must be robust in the fight against it for the futur of our country”.
He added that: “Corruption of this magnitude is economic terrorism and both convicts deserve to go to jail”.
He further said the future of Sierra Leone rest on education, especially on the education of our children.
“The two convicts have been grossly wicked to Children and the country in general. They are elderly people and must serve as role model to others especially to the younger generation” Justice Ernest Gooding maintained.
The two convicts were represented by Lawyer Samuel Taylor Esq. and Paul Squire Esq. who pleaded for mercy for both convicted persons.
Meanwhile, it is unclear whether they were able to pay their fines and restitutions as we went to press.