As reported by Sierra Leone Telegraph, The US based Africanist Press, has published fresh allegations of corruption and sleaze at State House in Freetown, involving the wife of the President – Mrs Fatima Bio, who is being accused of siphoning millions of dollars of tax payers’ funds into her private office which many say is not recognized by the country’s Constitution
The latest allegation published by the Africanist Press is tilted – “Trading Gender Violence: First Lady uses President’s Influence for Personal Financial Gain”, authored by Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, Matthew Anderson, and Mark Feldman.
In two previous reports published on January 18 and 25 2021, we showed how the wife of the president of Sierra Leone, Madam Fatima Jabbe Bio, received nearly Le30 billion Leones (almost US$3 million) of government funds in less than three years after the inauguration of her husband, Julius Maada Bio as president of Sierra Leone in May 2018.
We revealed, in particular, that a total of Le7,890,755,000 (over US$789,000) that was disbursed from the country’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to the organization Hands Off Our Girls during the first six months of the Bio administration were instead all spent between June and December 2018, allegedly on office furniture, electronic equipment, fuel, travel tickets, and hotel accommodation costs for the First Lady’s foreign guests..
In fact, additional documentary evidence examined by the Africanist Press suggests that the First Lady is trading off young girls’ health and sexual vulnerability for her own profits.
In a BBC interview on Thursday February 4, 2021, Madam Bio denied that she received direct public funds, stating that the Office of the President is responsible for the fiscal operations of her organization. But on January 18, 2021, the Africanist Press released bank statements from the Office of the First Lady that show direct disbursements of government funds to the First Lady. The Africanist Press reported that those funds – over US$800,000 – were allegedly used on furniture, event planning, hotel accommodation, and travel-related costs for foreign guests, and not the Hands off our Girls campaign.