By: Foday Manneh
The Upper River Region Youth Committee has debunked a preliminary investigations report filed to the Basse Police by the anti-corruption group, Movement for Social Justice (MSJ – 4) linking RYC to the misappropriation of funds in an IOM-funded project scandal.
In February 2022, a TAT publication on the alleged misappropriation of funds and materials meant for the renovation project of the Basse youth center prompted MSJ – 4 to launch probes into the matter that lead to a preliminary investigations report filed to Police on May 6 for further action.
The Regional Youth Committee has quickly responded with a release dismissing the findings of the anti-corruption group, describing them as “false and unfounded”.
“The MSJ-4 submission of preliminary findings into URR Youth Committee Corruption Scandal to Police is baseless, and therefore holds no water. The said information is meant to mislead the public, particularly the people of URR.” The release reads.
“It is important to note that an investigative report is an all-inclusive document. It should include everything from the nature of the complaint, the investigative scope, the investigator’s role and methodology, a full recitation of the evidence gathered, and a detailed analysis supporting the findings. These important elements were not put into consideration by the so-called investigators.”
“The Regional Youth Chairperson as Head of the Regional Youth Committee has never been questioned by the so-called Movement for Social Justice (MSJ-4) in any issue relating to the so-called Basalt Saga.’’
“The movement acted selfish, biased, and has a hidden agenda that is not in the interest of the people of URR. The said report they claim to have submitted to the Police was regarded as baseless, as the Principal of the RYC (Bubacarr Sidibeh) was never questioned by their investors nor the Center Manager (Essa Drammeh).
“We were meant to understand that they only questioned the cleaner of the Youth Center who knows nothing about the project. How could someone or a group of people (Investigators), mount an investigation about a particular issue without engaging the responsible authorities who are all the time available for any form of scrutiny regarding their work? Isn’t that too low for a group of people who claim to be fighters for social justice?
“Furthermore, the report claimed that the contractor informed them that his 25 timbers were shared among the youth and sports Coordinator, Chairman, and Center Manager which is false.
“The Movement’s so-called led investigator Yuba Jawara once approached the contractor about the timbers issue and the man made it categorically clear that the timbers that were said to be shared according to beneficiaries are not true, the timbers do not belong to IOM neither RYC, they are the property of the Contractor and he is aware they are using them for their home projects but to be returned.’’
The RYC has proof of every single financial transaction or dealings regarding the Basalt money. And it is obvious that transparency has been one of the most important official tools we employed since coming into office, and this, we shall continue to do as far as we are in office.’’ The release concludes.