Sheku Abdulai Kamara, the Assistant Finance Officer at the Eastern Technical University (ETU) in Kenema, has been convicted and sentenced for misappropriation of public revenue.

The High Court of Sierra Leone presided over by Hon. Justice Francis Banks Kamara handed down the judgment on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, following Kamara’s guilty plea to three counts of misappropriation.

The court sentenced Kamara to a fine of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand New Leones (NLe 150,000) or fifteen years of imprisonment. Additionally, the court ordered Kamara to pay restitution of Seventy-Five Thousand New Leones (NLe 75,000), which reflects the total amount of money misappropriated.

Kamara’s conviction stems from his actions between January 2021 and December 2023, during which he misappropriated public funds amounting to Seventy-Five Million, One Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand Old Leones (Le75, 167,000) received from twenty-one students as tuition fees for ETU. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had earlier filed an indictment against Kamara on twenty-six counts of misappropriation, leading to his conviction on three of the charges.

In his ruling, Justice Kamara highlighted the gravity of Kamara’s actions, labeling them as “Educational Treason” due to their detrimental impact on the affected students and the broader community. The judge emphasized that Kamara’s actions not only undermined the trust placed in public officers but also inflicted long-lasting harm on the educational institution and its students.

The ACC, represented by A.B.C. Samuels Esq., played a pivotal role in bringing Kamara to justice. This conviction is part of the ACC’s broader efforts to combat corruption and ensure accountability among public officers. The commission has been steadfast in its mission to uphold integrity and transparency within public institutions.

The ACC’s Director of Public Education and Outreach, Sylvanus Blake, reiterated the commission’s call for public officers to adhere to established laws and procedures in handling public resources. Blake emphasized that the ACC will continue to pursue cases of corruption vigorously and ensure that offenders are held accountable.

Kamara’s defense was represented by S.S. Ansumana Esq., who acknowledged the severity of the charges against his client. Despite Kamara’s guilty plea, the court’s decision underscores the significant consequences of corrupt practices and the importance of maintaining ethical standards in public service.