Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a recent press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala, revealed that the ongoing investigation at the Accountant General’s office led to the discovery that the Clerk of Parliament’s wife is required to refund 19 months’ salary, not the initially reported 10 months.
Commissioner Kaifala stated that out of the 19 months, Le 21 million remains outstanding for the Clerk’s wife to repay to the ACC, with the accused having already paid 131 million out of the total amount owed, which was initially reported as 151 million.
The allegations concerning Mr. Paran Tarawally, the Clerk of Parliament, and his wife came to the attention of the ACC on January 5, 2024. Subsequently, both husband and wife were invited to the Commission’s office for questioning.
During the interrogation, Commissioner Kaifala asked Mr. Tarawally about the recruitment of his wife, to which he claimed not to be responsible for her hiring. However, Commissioner Kaifala pointed out a potential conflict of interest in the matter.
The ACC initially believed that the wife had worked for 10 months. However, further investigation at the Accountant General’s office revealed that she had worked for 19 months. Commissioner Kaifala clarified that the disaggregated amount of 19 months resulted in the revised sum of 151 million for repayment.
Emphasizing his duty to protect the country’s resources, Commissioner Kaifala noted that the clerk denied knowledge of his wife’s recruitment, attributing it to Mr. Charm, who had already made a statement at the ACC office on Monday.
Commissioner Kaifala stressed that no conclusions had been reached in the matter, urging the public to exercise patience. He also highlighted that according to the ACC Act, a person charged with corruption or economic crime should be suspended and receive half pay from the date of the charge. The Commission is committed to following proper procedures and avoiding hasty decisions.
Furthermore, Commissioner Kaifala reiterated that the wife of the Clerk of Parliament held the position of a Human Resource Manager in Parliament. AJ/24/1/2024