A big time financial scandal involving the Office of the First Lady, Fatima Jabie Bio has revealed that the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) spent monies without going through legal procedures.
This revelation was made by the Africanist Press which further indicated that there is widespread use of unchecked spending and financial allocations to fund non-budgetary and overhead activities, especially those relating to the operations and activities of the First Lady.
That regular funding was disbursed to the Office of the First Lady which is a non-statutory institution by the Ministry of Finance based on instructions from the Office of the President.
That an official in the Office of the President, Bockarie Momoh Foh wrote on behalf of the Secretary to President confirming the allocation of state funds to the Office of the First Lady without Parliamentary approval.
The report has it that the sum total of over Three Billion Leones (Le3,000,000,000) was disbursed by the Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, through his Ministry to the Office of the First Lady for the official two (2) days launching of the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign of the First Lady.
“For the launching ceremony of the “Hands Off Our Girls Campaign”, we collected documents confirming the disbursement of a total sum of Le3,116,755,000 provided by the Ministry of Finance just for the two-day launching ceremony,” the report documented.
That a regular disbursement is being made by the Ministry of Finance to the Office of the First Lady in order to meet monthly payments of operational and other overhead costs as well as staff of the office.
It is believed that the over Three Billion Leones disbursed just for the Two (2) days launching of the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign is Four (4) times the annual salaries of all the Forty (40) Senior Procurement Officers in the Public Procurement Department assigned across MDAs.
Responding to the issue, the Strategic Communication Adviser of State House, Dr. Patrick Muana stated that the release by the Africanist Press is just baseless and unfounded allegations.