Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, Desmond Babatunde Edwards (PIN#102462) and 60 other political appointees did not pay withholding taxes on rent allowances paid to them in the four years of the Maada Bio administration.
Africanist Press discovered that the cumulative rent allowances paid to the listed 60 political appointees between June 2018 and December 2021 alone amounted to Le25.10 billion. However, applicable withholding taxes to the tune of Le5.09 billion were not deducted from the rent allowances paid to the Chief Justice and the 60 officials.
On average, Africanist Press discovered that failure to accurately deduct applicable taxes from rent allowances paid to the Chief Justice and these 60 officials in the sample list resulted in an annual loss of Le1.25 billion in revenues from taxes on rent allowances alone. In the case of the Chief Justice Edwards, the total rent allowance paid amounted to a cumulative Le1.093, 333,335.00, from which the applicable withholding taxes of Le174,933,332 were never deducted. In total, we discovered that withholding taxes to the tune of Le5,009,594,876 were never deducted from the cumulative rent allowances of Le25,105,646,812.00 paid to all listed political appointees in the last four years (June 2018 to December 2021).
Apart from the non-payment of withholding taxes, we also found that payments to some of the listed officials recurred twice in the payroll records; suggesting the possibility of double payments for rent allowances in the same year.
We provide below the sample list of these political appointees, including details of the rent allowances paid to them and the applicable taxes that were never deducted.