The Le3.7 billion tax fraud at the Western Rural District Council (WARD-C) is a prima facie case of corruption and embezzlement of public funds. The fact that this money was derived from property/house rates levied on ordinary citizens should warrant the Anti-Corruption Commission to seize jurisdiction over this matter and immediately conduct a thorough investigation to determine the nature and extent of this fraudulent activity and to ensure those found wanting face the full force of the law.

According to Fritong Post Newspaper, the police have already stated that the owners of the companies contracted to provide the services of collecting property/house rates for and on behalf of the council between 2018 and 2021 have taken to their heels, but they claimed to have arrested two suspects who bear no legal obligation for the execution of the contract.

What we need to know is how Sigma Ventures, Shaadeen Enterprises and New Generation Solution were selected by the council to provide such services when the companies operate outside jurisdiction of the council. We are also baffled as to how and why these companies collected Le4.3 billion property/house rates but only deposited a paltry Le600 million to the council, and why the council waited till the expiration of the contract to pick it up.

We uphold the view that the commission should not just be touting corruption but should be seen fighting graft whenever and wherever it rears its ugly face. Just to re-echo the notion of the businessman we quoted in our last publication: “…..this case presents an opportunity for the ACC to once more demonstrate its seriousness in fighting corruption… if the commission can go after the Freetown mayor for a paltry of two hundred million Leones, it must also probe WARD-C on this monumental fraud that is twenty times higher than the amount deemed misappropriated by the Freetown Mayor.”