A civil society activist says even though the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is taking the corruption fight more seriously than ever seen before in this country, it should not be sentimental about calling things by their names.
According to the veteran civil society activist, he feels saddened that the ACC watered-down the fact that a medical doctor ‘stole’ an electric generator belonging to the Bo Government Hospital.
“The ACC should call things by their names,” said Solomon Kamara of Human Health Defenders Network. He added that he is angry that instead of the ACC clearly stating that a medical doctor attached to the Bo Government Hospital ‘stole’ the generator in question, “they instead, watered down his unlawful act by defining it as ‘conferring an advantage on himself by the unlawful disposal of one 25ES 20 KVA generator from the Bo Government Hospital for use in his private premises.’”
According to the angry civil society activist, “when someone takes something that belongs to government, it does not matter whether the property stolen is in working order or not; as long as he did not seek prior permission to lawfully acquire it – that is plain stealing,” he said angrily.
Mr. Kamara’s outburst came following a press release issued by the ACC yesterday, stating that, the Anti-Corruption Commission on 13th January 2020, indicted Dr. Peter Belmoh Samai, a Medical Doctor employed by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and attached to the Bo Government Hospital on three (3) counts of corruption offences – Misappropriation of Public Property contrary to section 36(1); Unlawful Disposal of Public Property, contrary to section 48(1)(b); and Abuse of Office, contrary to section 42(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No.12 of 2008 and as amended.
According to the Particulars of Offence, Dr. Samai, being a Medical Doctor at the Government Hospital, Bo, between the 23rd February 2017 and 31st August 2019 conferred an advantage on himself by the unlawful disposal of one 25ES 20 KVA generator from the Bo Government Hospital for use in his private premises while the hospital continued to experience challenges with electricity supply.
The release went further to state that ACC investigations confirmed that as Medical Doctor, he instructed the removal and transfer of the generator from one of the wards and the generator was never returned. The Commission later found a generator of similar description in his home albeit newly sprayed from green to yellow. He instructed one Muctaru Morovia, an electrician at the said hospital, to disconnect the aforementioned generator and remove it from the said premise. When search was carried out at the residence of Dr. Samai, two generators were found for which he failed to produce receipts. A prior search was conducted by the Sierra Leone Police based on intelligence given by a journalist, who found what is believed to be the aforesaid generator in the premises of Dr. Samai.
It has also been discovered that Dr. Samai, being a Public Officer, failed to declare his assets and liabilities for the period 2018 and 2019, as is provided for in section 119 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
Dr. Samai is expected to make his first appearance at the High Court of Sierra Leone Holden at Bo, on the 16th January 2020.