University scholar, Professor Parrot has called on the ACC to order President Koroma and his ministers to refund the cost of all the cows and goats donated to them as personal gifts, Sierra Express Media reports
This is coming after the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) ordered the former Tourism Minister, Peter Bayuku Conteh, to refund the sum of 3,000 US Dollars being the cost of furniture donated to him as personal gift by the management of Bintumani Hotel.
“Even when the management of the Bintumani Hotel has made it clear that the furniture in question was donated as a personal gift to Bayuku Conteh, the ACC has asked him to refund in cash his personal gift because, according to the ACC, the gift was donated to Bayuku by virtue of his position as a minister.
“If that is the case, then all the cows and goats were donated as gifts to the President and his ministers by virtue of their positions, therefore, they must also refund the cows and goats in US Dollars. Bayuku should not be single out to refund personal gifts; everybody must refund to ensure fair play.” Parrot succinctly said
Parrot is also stupefied by the ACC press release which cleared the former Minister of Tourism but asked him to refund his personal gift.
“I wonder what would have happened if Bayuku was not exonerated. Even the Executive Director of the Campaign for Good Governance, Valnora Edwin, is puzzle by such a press release issued by the ACC. Valnora cannot understand why Bayuku was asked to refund in cash a personal gift after being found not guilty of any corrupt act. Or was receiving the gift not a corrupt act? If no, then why punish Bayuku? Refunding the donated gift is a form of punishment. If receiving the furniture was a corrupt act, why exonerate Bayuku and not charge him for engaging in illegal reception of personal gift. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
“By ordering Bayuku to refund in cash his personal, the ACC is implying that receiving such a gift as a minister was equivalent to corruption; otherwise, the ACC would not have asked Bayuku to refund the furniture.”