Former minister sentenced to prison for vehicle misapproriation

By Hassan G. Koroma

TV-News24…Judge Bintu Alhadi(arrowed-L) passing sentence on former minister Kadija Olamatu Seisay (arrowed — R)

FREETOWN (TV-News24) - Former Deputy Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure Madam Kadija Olamatu Seisay was Thursday in Freetown sentenced to four years in jail for misuse of public property — or pay Le60M in fines within 28 days.

“In view of the whole evidence before the court and the law and considering that the vehicle has been found, I fine Kadija Olamatu Seisay, former Deputy Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure guilty of the offence of misappropriation of public property contrary to section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008,” Justice Bintu Alhadi declared.

Seisay was charged to the High Court by the Anti-Corruption Commission in February, last year, on one count of corruption — contrary to ACC laws.

ACC alleged that during her tenure, Seisay, between Dec. 2017 through Dec. 2018, misappropriated public property to wit a Toyota Land Cruiser jeep.

Dressed in black, Seisay listened attentively as Judge Alhadi recounted how she had pleaded not guilty during last year’s arraignment — and was released on bail.

During the trial, Prince Kennick, Seisay’s personal bodyguard, testifying for the state, says in 2017, he was sent by Seisay to collect the life card of the new vehicle — assigned to her by the Transport and Aviation ministry.

The life card is a document that gives ownership to a vehicle.

Kennick also told the court that Seisay told him she was going on official duties in Guinea — and needed the life card to enable her travel with the vehicle.

Justice Alhadi, in sentencing, says, Seisay’s misappropriation of the vehicle was done with impunity, and that she considers the vehicle her own private property

Kadija Olamatu Seisay, former Deputy Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure — now a convict

State Prosecutor Mohamed Saw says personally, and collectively as a commission, they were pleased with the trial’s outcome.

Saw told TV-News24 that Seisay’s conviction and subsequent sentencing, should act as a deterrent to those who might think they could embezzle state property — and go free after becoming ex-government officials.

“This sentencing is serving as a warning and advice to all government officials to know that it is their responsibility to take care of government properties entrusted to them,” Saw says.

Defense Attorney Drucil Tayor says they plan to appeal the lower court’s verdict — though he did not divulge the part of the law that the judge erred in.

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