The YAN YU 632 boat licensed by Lilian Liskís Okeky Fishing Agency and seized whilst committing numerous jailable offences under Sierra Leoneís 1994 Fisheries Development & Management Act is alleged to have been released without charge.
Last week, this newspaper reported that whilst erstwhile Fisheries Minister Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba was being described as the sacred cow of President Koromaís regime, the reality was that she has been enjoying absolutely no special protection from President Koroma. On the contrary, we postulated that the fact that her antagonist Madam Lilian Lisk can steal fish she is not licensed to catch and boast of how she bribes her way around; all with impunity (Boff Case) means that she is the sacred cow.
We also stated as follows:- Madam Lilian Lisk who enjoys a good relationship with the mother of President Koroma, Madam Alice Koroma is reported to be counting on some of such extended relationships to ensure she goes scot-free in the face of bribery and theft she has proudly confessed to. It will be remembered that in the Year 1996 when she was again arraigned in the criminal dock for stealing of the countryís fishes, she had managed to escape jail time by plea-bargaining with the help of a senior Judge; a certain Law Chambers is still managing legal affairs for Okeky. This time, the largesse of Lilian Lisk towards key associates of the system such as the Presidentís mother, Alice Koroma reportedly getting assistance with generator problem facilitation for the Presidentís motherís residence, has apparently scored big time for Lisk who is now a real and true sacred cow.
We also asserted as follows: Cogent information also is that Lilian Lisk supplied vehicles and other emoluments to the APCís Presidential 2007 Elections bid.
In clear endorsement of our suspicions, last Friday, we received news that the seized boat YAN YU 632 with Salone catch labelled as originating from China and a huge percentage of supposedly By-Catch of fish onboard, had already been released by the APC Government despite the shocking discoveries.
Speaking on condition of anonymity to Awareness Times reporters who visited the Naval Base, navy officers confirmed that they received documents from the Ministry under the leadership of the new Minister Joe M. Koroma instructing them to immediately release the boat, all the Chinese crew and the entire contents of the boat as Lilian Lisk had settled the issue with Government and quietly paid money to Government as fines for the offences. If true, how much paid is unknown whilst attempts to get Fisheries Director,¬† Dr. Mohamed Sesay to confirm release¬† of the boat proved to be futile as he was reported to have been dragged to the Anti Corruption Commission where he spent Friday alongside the Ministryís Accountant, Mr. Sanusi and the Sub-Accountant Mr. Jina. The latter two gentlemen were detained at cells at CID Slater Terrace and Adelaide Street respectively and rendered completely incommunicado to the extent they could not even be granted access to lawyers under instructions of the ACC whilst Dr. Sesay was allowed to go home. Why Dr. Sesay was treated with kidís gloves and the other two were detained in police cells is the question being asked by many observers. As at presstime, no reason was given for the detention of the two accountants in police cells.
The 2 accountants should be able to confirm or disprove if anyone ever collected salaries as an employee of the Ministry. Volunteers do not collect salaries but employees collect salaries.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.