• January 26, 2024

Mohamed Gento in Corruption Scandal

Mohamed Gento in Corruption Scandal
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By Sahid Bangura

The mandate as the supreme audit institution of Sierra Leone is to audit all government institutions and any other entities that receive money for and on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, as enshrined in Section 119 of 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, the Audit Service Act of 2014, and the Public Financial Management Act of 2016. As the guardian of Sierra Leone’s economic security, Audit Service Sierra Leone business is to ensure that public resources are utilised in the best interest of the citizens.

However, for the past years, many recommendations of the Audit Service Sierra Leone have not been taken into consideration especially by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Going through the 2022 and 2023 Audit Service Report, the Gento Group of Companies has been one of the organizations implicated of indisputable corruption.

Following the report of Amin Kef (Ranger), published by the Independent Observer, the CEO of the Gento Group of Companies, Mohamed Gento Kamara claimed that the report that implicated him of corruption is “totally erroneous and misleading.”

In regards with Gento’s response to the Audit Service Report, which implicated him of receiving a double payment, Akin reported: “At no point in time did the Gento Group receive double payment during the Waterloo Township Roads Project’s implementation.”

However, the Audit Service Report provided evidence which shows that Gento received an additional payment of $5,439,499.26 from the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA).

The Audit Report went forward to reveal Gento’s loss and damages, which amount to $13,524,419.34; however, according to Amin Kef, Gento denied: “Clause 70.1, relating to an increase in materials and labour (price adjustment), was never invoked during the contract’s implementation. He highlighted the challenges faced by the company, such as high inflation rates and escalating material costs, while still executing the project within the original contractual sum.”

In response to the Audit Report highlighted the lack of supported documentation for the suspension of its (Gento) project, Gento alleged that the Ministry of Finance, during a meeting held in 2018, “Communicated the suspension of road works for a forensic audit.” Kef continued that the company was not issued a written notice of suspension, and said: “Gento emphasized that the contract did not stipulate such a requirement.”

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