The Minister of Defense, Rtd Major Alfred Palo Conteh has debunked publications by a local tabloid which stated that he made a false declaration and the anti-corruption must pursue him.
In his words the Defense Minister called the tabloid’s publication with screaming headline ‘False Declaration’ as nothing but “absolute crap!”
He disclosed to media practitioners at a press conference at the Defense Ministry yesterday that the tabloid in question, questioned his barrister qualification, “on the 24th of November 1992 I was called to the bar of England and Wales,” he said.
The Defense Minister explained that the property in London which the tabloid claimed to be owned by his girlfriend “is solely owned by me,” he said.
The minister furthered that the amount he declared the £ 19,000 was the amount stated in his statement of account by the City Bank in London.
He also disclosed that he has relinquished the property in US, noting that the property at 10e waterside road in Freetown was bequeathed to him.
The Rtd Major explained that the woman they stated in the article that he married; if it were true they would have published the marriage certificate. He appealed to the tabloid not to go into his past life which he had done with.
The minister opined that everyman has a skeleton in his cupboard and if that is a prerequisite why one should not hold public office, “then I don’t think any public officials are qualified.”
The minister pleaded with journalists to make sure they cross check information with regards to the ministry before publishing, noting that it is the defense ministry that is responsible for state security.
He maintained that such publication might jeopardize state security.
By Ophaniel Gooding