REPORT OF THE BECCLES DAVIES COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
To examine the Assets and other related matters of all persons who were Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers within the period from 1st day of June, 1986 to 22nd day of September, 1991 and to inquire into and investigate whether such Assets were acquired lawfully or unlawfully
THE ALLEGATION OF HIS THEFT OF SEVEN OR ELEVEN DRUMS OF CURRENCY NOTES
We questioned him about a story concerning rumour which had been doing the rounds namely, that he had stolen currency notes belonging to the Government and had stored them in seven or eleven drums. His reply was: -
"...I want to take this opportunity to talk about it. The first statement I would like to make in respect of that is that scandal or propaganda was "as false as it was diabolic and imbecilic..."
I would say so for the following reasons:-
My relationship with the former President suffered a steady decline, particularly during my tenure as Minister of Finance in the Ministry of Finance and it was not only the President in his capacity as President, it was also the President in his capacity as Head of the BINKOLO HEGEMONY... I was considered an obstacle, an obstructionist by the former President and the "BINKOLO HEGEMONY". In fact information reached me that they were describing me or designating me as an obstructionist. They were finding a way of removing me. But they also knew that if they had just removed me, I was armed with information and I would expose it to the Press. I was informed that their plan was to discredit me and then to silence me. It was due to this that they orchestrated this idea of money in drums. Let me explain the shortage of currency for one minute".
THE IMPROBABILITY OF THE ALLEGATION
Mr Kanu demonstrated the improbability of the allegation in these words:-
"There was a time when the leone was one leone to one dollar. Then we devalued, until eventually we floated in June 1986 at nineteen leones. When we floated at nineteen leones Government was able to put enough currency in the system only to take care of the transactions requirement of the exchange rate at nineteen leones. Therefore, when during the floating the leone depreciated to fifty five leones to one dollar we were not as a Government able to put currency in the system to take care of the transactions requirement at an exchange rate of fifty five leones to one dollar. So we had that gap.
We had ordered five billion worth of currency from De La Rue of Fifty leones and one hundred leones. Not a single cent from them had come. I have a minute here from the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone to me, telling me that the money "was not coming and the currency was short because we owed De La Rue Six Million United States Dollars which we had to pay; and that if we did not pay, the money would not come". So my adversaries that I have named, used this to discredit me.
The Bank of Sierra Leone has exclusive preserve over the printing, security and transportation of currency, not the Minister of Finance...they said money was short because I had stolen it and put it in drums - some say seven, some say eleven. I said the the statement was imbecilic because I cannot imagine anybody putting money in drums - diabolical because it is a national catastrophe. They were dealing with a human being who had a soul, who had emotions - and that was me. Eventually, they removed me."
THE AFTERMATH OF HIS REMOVAL AS MINISTER OF FINANCE
He complained about the treatment he had received at the hands of his adversaries after his removal from office. His complaint was:-
"... they did not stop there. I believe they intercepted my mails. They even impounded my passport so that I could not travel, out of fear that I might expose these things I have said to the outside world. They intercepted my mails and communicated with my business partners who would have liked to send me....rice and cement to sell in the country. They communicated with them stating to them that I was a security risk; I was anti-government; that any investment brought into the country in my name would suffer problems. They extended that to my business with the Russians - with the buses..."