The Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) has been on the spotlight for vilifying the government, as that strategic national institution has been a centre of corruption news since the Bio-led Government came to power in 2018.

Already, the seeming massive corruption as the institution has witnessed frequent leadership changes with corruption charges leveled against almost all the executive officials been appointment to the envious position so far.

More than half a year since Sama Ansu Gamanga was appointed to act as Executive Director after Paul Soba and five others were suspended, reports of a contract scandal are now sprouting everywhere in connection to the construction of the Search and Rescue Center in Bonthe District.

Salone Compass gathered that some one million, three hundred thousand dollars (US$1,300,000), equivalent to more than fifteen billion Leones (Le15,000,000,000) was budgeted for the construction of the said Search and Rescue Centre, but it’s being alleged that this has been dealt with dubiously by the SLMA officials.

Sources intimated that the sum of one billion six hundred million Leones (Le1,600,000,000) was budgeted for the Search and Rescue Centre under the previous regime of the All People’s Congress government, but that this cost of the project has mysteriously turned into gigantic sum of over fifteen billion Leones (Le15,000,000,000).

According to sources, the original specimen of the design of the project presented earlier before the 2018 elections was quickly condemned for a different one provided by, CLAN A Investment, said to be the consultant firm, and that even as the cost has been accepted.

Further alleged is that the structural design of the project was changed without the approval of concerned authorities, and that the sketch of the project is currently said to be in SLMA files.

However, monitored reports indicate that the contractor, one Mustapha Bilal Kodami of B.M. Kodami (SL) Limited, who inherited the contract from his deceased father, has only received a meagre 20%, which is about three billion Leones (Le3,000,000,000) out of the over Le15 billion contract.

Kodami is quoted as saying that although there exists a project design, there has never been contractual agreement between the leadership of SLMA and the company at a time his father was alive during the 2018-2020 period.

Disclosure from monitored reports is that the agreement was only signed in late 2020, after which the company received 20% from SLMA in January 2021, instead of an initial cost of 30% was agreed upon as first payment to the company.

Besides SLMA’s breach of the agreement, report say handing of the project over to the company was delayed, resulting from the untimely demolition of structures on the project site, and more so, the demise of the original contractor, one Mr. B.M Kodami.

Construction work only commenced after May 2021, and since the death of Mr. B.M Kodami, the company has exceeded spending, far above the 20 percent SLMA has provided, on payment of workers and the transportation of materials which market prices have risen in prices to exceed the project cost, according to what Salone Compass gathered.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Paul Sobba Massaquoi, and five others, including Peter Joseph Menjor, who’s Acting Director of Procurement, Fodie U.K Dabor, the Acting Director of Finance, Hartwell Williams, the Quality and Assurance Manager, Victor Alpha, the Human Resource Manager, and Festus Musa, who is Procurement Supervisor, are all on suspension as they are defending themselves in court over corruption charges brought against them by ACC since 31st May, 2021.

Salone Compass Newspaper reports that, the ACC indicted the six on conspiracy to commit a corruption offence, failure to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines, abuse of office, and knowingly misleading the Commission, all contrary to Anti-Corruption Act No. 12, of 2008, as amended by the Anti-Corruption Act No. 9 of 2019.