President of Union of Musicians All Stars, Milton Koker aka Prezo Callabo and others are to refund a fortune to the Government of Sierra Leone. They have been named in the White Paper as being part of the national corruption scam probed by the current government.
In March this year, three Commissions of Inquiry set up by the Bio administration concluded their findings into the earnings and assets of the former president and his lieutenants of the then ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party. But other people were also named in the report submitted to State House who were not politicians. Some were civil servants or mere service providers contracted by government functionaries.
One such scenario is the case of musicians accused of having collected the whooping amount of Le 500,000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million Leones) for service to be rendered not constitutionally appropriate, hence classed as an act of corruption.
According to the just released Government white paper, they are to repay within three months the money into the consolidated revenue fund. The finding was that Callabo and others received money from the Ministry of Youth Affairs which was unlawfully redrawn from the Youth In Drainage Project.
On page 8 in chapter 4 of the Government White Paper, it is titled: Investigation into the Youth in Drainage Project of Ministry of Youth Affairs between November 2007 and April 2018.
The report says “Government accepts recommendation 1.5, number 2 that “the following persons shall jointly or severally pay into the consolidated revenue fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le 500, 000, 000. 00 that was given to the Union of Musicians All Stars without any justification and outside the core mandate of the Youth In Drainage Project.” The persons whose names are mentioned in that relation are the former Youth Minister Bai Mahmud Kargbo, Adakali Samura and Milton Koker aka ‘Collabo.’
In No. 3 of the same recommendation, another entertainer and popular singer and presenter who doubles as the CEO of the Music For Girls Initiative, Esther Micheal was also asked to refund the sum of Le 150, 000, 000.00 (One hundred and fifty million Leones) she was given from the same account.
It could be recalled that during the commission of inquiry hearings, both Milton Koker and Esther Micheal were invited to the commission to testify. But the two entertainers were found wanting at the end the proceedings of Commission No. 64 under Justice Biobele Georgewill. The hudge in his submission duly recommended that they refund the money as they obtained by corrupt means.
All those affected by the White Paper’s position are required to settle their problems within three months from the date it was released indicating Government’s acceptance of the recommendations.
No word has ever come from the two musicians on their indictment and Jamboreee could not reach them either, even as efforts were made to get their reactions.
By Ishmael Daddys Bangura