The High Court of Sierra Leone presided by Justice Reginald Sydney Fynn Jnr., on Wednesday April 24, 2019, convicted Mr. Abdul Barrie, former deputy minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure (MWHI) to three years in prison or pay a fine of Le 250 million following his conviction for corruption.
Barrie was standing trial on seven counts of corruption in relation to contracts for the refurbishment of various government property which he awarded to Ribar Enterprise, a business he jointly owns with his wife without disclosing his interest.
The convict had initially entered a ‘not-guilty’ plea at his first court appearance, but later changed his plea to ‘guilty’ for the fifth count of failure to disclose interest to public body, contrary to Section 45 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No 12 of 2008.
Justice Fynn Jnr. convicted the former Deputy Minister on the said count. He ordered that, if the convict chose to pay the fine of Le 250 million, he makes a full payment within 30 days, effective April 24, 2019, or face the three years imprisonment. Trial will continue on the other counts of offences. The matter was adjourned to May 20, 2019.
In this regard, the Commission wishes to advise all public officials who are in control of public resources to comply with laid down laws and procedures.
The Commission was represented by Sariffou Harleston Esq., whilst the convict was represented by I.S. Yillah Esq.