By: Foday Manneh
An anti-corruption movement, Movement for Social Justice (MSJ – 4) has provided the results of preliminary investigations into corruption allegations against members of the Upper River Region Youth Committee accused of misappropriating an IOM-funded project at the Basse youth center.
The movement submitted a report of their probes to the Basse Police station on the 6th of May, 2022, and advised further action while urging the law enforcement body to act fairly without fear or favor and prosecute anyone found wanting.
The publications of TAT indicated‘’ allegations of corruption in the sale of unused basalt supplied to the project, worth around D40,000 after the refurbishment exercise by some members of the Regional Youth Committee who allegedly shared the proceeds amongst themselves.
Additionally, unused cement bags, sand, and an unknown amount of iron rods were taken and distributed among a few members of the committee.”
However, the Chairman of the committee, Bubacarr Sidibeh denied these allegations, describing them as “false and fabricated” against him and his committee when he was contacted by TAT at the time.
This triggered MSJ – 4 to launch an investigation into the allegations and further file a report to the Police for more findings to take action accordingly.
The movement’s report on the investigation seen by TAT states that one of the contractors for the project confirmed and revealed an estimated amount of D255,000 for three trips of basalt bought for the project, one of which was left unused and later sold by the Chairman.
According to the contractor in the report, a virtual meeting was held with the donors (IOM) where the chairman, Bubacarr Sidibeh confirmed and agreed to the selling of the remaining trip of basalt worth around D85,000 without consulting them.
However, speaking to TAT earlier, the Chairman confirmed the selling of the basalt but claimed he sold half of a trip and used the sales to complement the work at the center.
The report also reveals that some members of the committee shared 24 timbers meant for the work. According to the contractor, the timbers were shared accordingly with the following beneficiaries; Musa Jarra, the Youth and Sports Coordinator, Essa Drammeh, the Center Manager, and Bubacarr Sidibeh, the Chairman.
Further findings by the movement also show that the contractor once suggested the provision of four (4) trips of sand to finish the work, but this was, however, over-budgeted by the Chairman who wrote ten (10) trips in a receipt sent to the donors which he (contractor) said was too much for the work.
Ultimately, the movement has submitted its report of this investigation to the Police with the expectation that law enforcement officials will conduct further investigations into the alleged corruption scandal at the URR Youth Committee. They also urged IOM to conduct proper auditing on the work and provide the results of their findings to the Police.