The Awareness Times, has now received a copy of the Suspension letter written to Mayor Saa Emerson Lamina by the Honourable Minister of Local Government & Rural Development Finda Diana Konomanyi. It is published here in this edition.
See below for letter, it is clear that the honourable minister is acting on an Executive Clearance from the Head of the Executive arm of Government, His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma.
NOW, despite his youthful excesses, I have always liked Mayor Lamina whom I still consider as an APC Comrade unless he says otherwise.
Therefore, I want to advise this young APC man to temper his public exuberant utterances with prudence. There is a wide divergence between what I am reading in the said Letter of Suspension as against what the Mayor told the Opposition MAMBA TV especially viz-a-viz approval of His Excellency to the suspension of the Mayor from Office.
Those who can advise, should help me advise this young man that no member of the Executive arm of Government is bigger than the President of Sierra Leone.
The young Saa Lamina was shot to national prominence in 2012 for no other reason than simply because he received an APC symbol as it pleased H.E. President Koroma to grant him back in 2012. According to APC Constitution as well as current Electoral Laws of Sierra Leone, only President Koroma, as Leader of the APC, had the authority and final say in who got to contest elections under the APC symbols in 2012.
It was the President who empowered Mayor Lamina. I doubt if anybody will have voted for a relatively unknown young man had he not had the WEIGHT of the APC symbol behind him.
The young Mayor needs to do some introspection and exercise the value of prudent politics at this time. He has NOT been removed from his office. He has merely been suspended to allow unimpeded investigations into allegations of gross corruption. If he is innocent, the facts will tumble out and we will all applaud his re-instatement from his procedural suspension.
Afterall, this whole saga started from the pen of the Mayor himself when he wrote the letter that the Honourable Minister cites in opening paragraph of the suspension letter.
Please read the full suspension letter that we have published verbatim today. It speaks for itself as to how this saga started.
So, from the Minister’s letter suspending him, it is clear the Mayor and his Finance Officer wrote letters accusing one another of being thieves (i.e: TIFF MAN DEM) and an initial Audit by Finance Ministry will seem to indicate brazen thievery of Kono people’s monies and assets.
The Honourable Minister and His Excellency the President have taken the correct procedure to suspend whilst independent full blown investigation of the serious TIFF MAN allegations are ongoing.
If I were Mayor Lamina, I will exercise prudence and patience especially against backdrop of “tiffy tiffy jankoliko” (thievery) allegations traded by him and his Finance Officer on each other.
Saa Lamina, my little brother and hopefully, still my APC Comrade, watch your utterances. This is bigger than your big sister from Kono, Finda Diana Konomanyi. This is a procedural exercise for us to know between you and your Finance Officer as to who really ‘TIFF’ the Kono people’s monies. That’s all.
God bless you young man and God bless us all. Amen.
GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development
6th Floor, Youyi Building
26th February, 2016
Mr. Emerson Lamina
Mayor, Koidu New Sembehun City Council
LETTER OF SUSPENSION
As you may be aware, a letter of complaint was submitted to my office by the Finance Officer, Koidu New Sembehun City Council (KNSCC) on “Withdrawals without documentations and incorrect procedures” against you and other officials of the Council; and a subsequent query letter alluding to financial impropriety and insubordination issued by your good self to the Finance Officer dated 21st December 2015.
Taking into consideration the seriousness of the issues raised in both correspondences, I requested the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to undertake a special audit of the Council’s fiduciary matters and proffer recommendations to my Ministry for appropriate action. The report of the Audit has been submitted to my office and serious violations of the Local Government Act of 2004 and standard financial management practices have been highlighted.
• Monies withdrawn from Council own source revenue bank accounts, using co-signatories appointed by the council without appropriate documentation and / or prior consent of the Chief Administrator who is principal signatory and vote controller;
• Funds approved and paid for expenditures not included in the approved budget of the local council;
• Local council’s own mobilized funds not banked intact in contravention of Section 43 of the Financial Management Regulations 2007, and Section 106 (1) (2d) of the Local Government Act, 2004;
• Council assets disposed of by the Mayor and proceeds from such transactions not banked intact;
• Council has outstanding financial obligations to the tune of five hundred and thirteen million, seven hundred and eighty – eight thousand, five hundred and ten Leones (Le513,788,510);
• One hundred and fifty – three (153) receipt books were missing during 2015 and could not be accounted for;
• Draft internal audit reports produced by the Council’s internal Auditor for 2015 fiscal year are yet to be acknowledged and responded to by management.
In order to further probe into the aforementioned allegations, I have instituted an independent Investigation Committee. Owing to the fact that some officials have been implicated by the findings and the need to ensure that the Committee’s work is unhindered and not influenced, I have sought executive clearance from H.E. the President, which has been provided, to suspend you with immediate effect until the Committee completes its work and decisions are taken on the outcomes of the investigations.
Meanwhile, you are required to handover any Council property or asset that is in your possession to the Chief Administrator of the Council by Tuesday 1st March 2016.
FINDA DIANA KONOMANYI
MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Secretary to President
Secretary to Vice President
Minister of Finance and Economic Development
Deputy Minister, Local Government and Rural Development
Chairman, Local Councils Association
Chief Administrator, KNSCC
P.C. Paul N. Saquee V
P.C. Fengai S.K. Kaimachende III
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