From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, ACC & MFMR have No Case against Blyden
By Aruna Turay
May 26, 2010, 17:04

Competent sources within the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and also within the Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources (MFMR) have confirmed to this medium that not only was the ACC not investigating Sylvia Blyden for alleged embezzlement of State Funds but that there is not a single record at the Ministry indicating that Blyden ever collected monies to conduct Public Relations for the erstwhile Minister of Fisheries Haja Afsatu Kabba.

Dr. Sylvia Blyden is on record as being a champion who fights for the rights of abused persons finding themselves up against powerful forces in the society. She has bravely stood up against the excess Anti Corruption Commission abuse of authority on at least two occasions now. Her courageous acts of standing up to demagogues abusing their authority have been winning her tremendous amount of respect from increasing number of admirers all over the country and beyond the shores of Sierra Leone.

In the process, she has also stepped on the feet of powerful people who misused and abused their authority and who plotted to defame Sylvia Blyden but she has always prevailed over them since good always triumphs over evil and she is also a protected child of the Almighty.

Even though her detractors make up offensive stories about her everyday, she is rarely distracted. The latest one is from a local newspaper Peep Magazine which recently published an innuendo that an un-named newspaper publisher had been cited as collecting ten million leones monthly from the erstwhile Minister currently facing corruption charges at the Law Courts. This was followed by Punch newspaper edited by David Tam-Baryoh publishing the same innuendo which was then picked up by a mentally disturbed lone writer in London who actually proceeded to name the alleged Publisher to be Sylvia Blyden but with no documentary evidence.

"I was never contacted by Peep Magazine nor by David Tam-Baryoh to verify if the Ministry ever engaged the services of any Publisher. It is totally untrue to say that a Publisher used to sign for ten million leones from this Ministry monthly," the Director of Communications at the Fisheries Ministry Mr. Abu Max-Konneh said.

When he was asked if Sylvia Blyden specifically had ever performed or collected monies for public relations, Mr. Max-Konneh was not at all hesitant to deny it.

"Many journalist colleagues have asked me if there was any credence to the innuendo that Sylvia Blyden used to collect monies from this Ministry and I have told all of them repeatedly that it never happened. It is a false allegation. Very false allegation," Mr. Max-Konneh said.

Similarly, senior members of staff at the Anti Corruption Commission have told Awareness Times that they had "absolutely no file investigating Sylvia Blyden".

"We are particularly concerned over this allegation because it gives the impression as if the ACC is witch-hunting Sylvia Blyden for being critical of our activities. As far as integrity goes, this is not the image we will want to send out to the public. It is untrue. We have absolutely no file investigating Sylvia Blyden for anything let alone for embezzling State funds," a senior member of the ACCís Team told Awareness Times.

Our ACC sources however lamented that they had been expecting a proposed Letter from Sylvia Blyden asking for clarification on the issue which they would have used to clear the air in their response but that the Letter never arrived.

Dr. Sylvia Blyden however explained that she decided to prioritise her activities and not be distracted by allegations from "persons with no credibility as far as I am concerned".

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