The Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) Seemed to be moving anti-clockwise, thereby creating a very an improper image for the government of Sierra Leone. Over the years, officials of the SLMA have been benefitting from massive corruption to the extent that most of its leaders have either been sacked or faced corruption charges by the graft Commission.

The SLMA under the leadership of the Acting Executive Director, Sama Ansu Gamanga, is not unconnected with allegations of another contract scam for the construction of a Search and Rescue Center in the Bonthe District.

The US$1.3 million (over Le15 billion) is been subjected to public ridicule due to some alleged dubious exercise being perpetuated by the Maritime Administration.

The Search and Rescue Center according to investigations was budgeted at Le1.6 billion under the previous regime of the All People’s Congress Party, but how it later turned out to be over Le15 billion is something to thing about.

The original structural design that was made available before the 2018 election was allegedly condemned and another design provided by CLAN, An Investment and Consultancy Firm, was accepted with the cost inflated. “They change the structural design of the project and the construction to a different one without approval. SLMA already has drawings for the project”. An SLMA source revealed.

Giving his side of the story the contractor, Mustapha Bilal Kodami of B.M Kodami (SL) Limited, said he inherited the contract from his late father and has only received 20% (about Le3 billion) out of the over Le15 billion contract. Kodami said even though the project design existed, there was however no contractual agreement between the company under his late Father’s leadership and the SLMA from 2018 to 2020. “We had an agreement signed in late 2020 and we received the 20% from SLMA in January 2021,” he said and added that they agreed that an initial cost of 30% should be given to his company but the SMAL breached the agreement by paying 20%.

Although there was a delay in handing over the project site to the contractor due to moves made to demolish structures erected by illegal occupants and the death of the former contractor, Mr. B.M. Kodami, construction work reportedly commenced after May 2021.

“Since the death of my father, our company has exceeded far above what Maritime provided and we have spent lots of money on transportation of materials, payment of workers and the prices of materials have far overweighed the project cost.” Kodami said.

Several contacts made to the SLMA Authorities, including a visit to the Public Relations Office to get the side of the SLMA have proven unsuccessful.

However, current event unfolding at a time when the suspended SLMA Executive Director, Paul Sobba Massaquoi and five others (Peter Joseph Menjor, Acting Director of Procurement, SLMA, Fodie U.K Dabor, the Acting Director of Finance, SLMA, Hartwell Williams, Quality and Assurance Manager, SLMA, victor Alpha, Human Resource Manager, SLMA; and Festus Musa, Procurement Supervisor) are facing corruption charges levied against them by the Anti-Corruption Commission since 31st May 2021.

According to Standard Times Newspaper, a release from the Commission has explained that the six accused persons were indicted for conspiracy to commit a Corruption Offence, failure to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines, abuse of office, and knowingly misleading the Commission, contrary to Anti-Corruption Act No. 12, of 2008, as amended by the Anti-Corruption Act No. 9 of 2019, respectively. Investigations continue.