SIERRA Leone anti-corruption agency is investigating a top aide to the country’s president, Fatmata Edna Kargbo after she talked about her newfound wealth in church.
According to CNN, Kargbo was invited for questioning after she displayed a photo of her new house and appointments letters to a church congregation in Nigeria.
Margaret Murray, a spokeswoman for the country’s anti-corruption agency was quoted by CNN as disclosing the investigation.
Kargbo was the the Chief Protocol Officer of Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio before she was asked to proceed on leave after the video sparked public outcry.
“I cannot delve into the details because the investigation is ongoing and she’s been cooperating since we invited her for questioning,” she said.
The Cable Network News reported that it reached out to Kargbo but has yet to hear from her at the time of publishing.
The case is being investigated under the country’s Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 which empowers the agency to probe unexplained wealth of public officials.
A presidential media aide told CNN that Kargbo was ordered to go on leave in August. He claimed the directive is not linked to the investigation.
She came under scrutiny after a video of her sharing a testimony at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) surfaced online sparking outrage from citizens who questioned the source of her wealth.
In the two minutes long video, the public official spoke about her appointment and how it had helped her complete a house she said she started around ten years ago.
“Initially, I was staying in a two-bedroom house while I was constructing this house, so I give God all the glory for blessing me with this house,” she said.
Meanwhile, Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) has reacted to the development.
Joshua’s television channel, Emmanuel TV, released the video of Kargbo’s actual testimony, which she shared on Sunday 21stJuly 2019.
According to Kargbo, after visiting SCOAN – “the house I constructed for 10 years without finishing – in exactly 14 years, I was able to complete it through the grace of God!”
This contradicts the narrative implied by most media reports that the Sierra Leonean politician amassed excessive finances within the short time frame of her appointment as Bio’s Chief Protocol Officer in April 2018.
The clip released on Emmanuel TV also paints Kargbo as a patriotic figure who championed the cause of her nation during the deadly Ebola outbreak in the nation in 2014.
A letter from then President Ernest Bai Koroma to Joshua, requesting his assistance in the nation to battle the deadly virus, is revealed, alongside a donation of $50,000 to Sierra Leone and 4,000 bottles of ‘Anointing Water’ to help curb the spread of the disease.
Kargbo revealed she personally received the gifts from Joshua – which were sent in a private jet chartered to the tune of $50,000 – and ensured they reached the affected areas, claiming that the regions where the ‘water’ reached were later declared Ebola free.
Although most media reports claimed Kargbo had been ‘sacked’ from her job, a statement from the presidential office indicated she had only been placed on leave pending the outcome of the corruption investigation.